In the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 15, verses 21-28, we read of the faith of the Canaanite woman. She begs Jesus to deliver her daughter from an evil spirit and the suffering it is causing her. Jesus explains that He came for the sake of “the lost sheep of Israel.” That seems rather harsh and also not the whole story as Jesus helps more than one person who is not from the House of Israel. I think his reply has more to do with His foreknowledge that she’s a woman who is clever, has her wits about her, and that she is obviously a woman of great faith in Jesus’ power to defeat evil.
The proof of Jesus’ knowledge of the Canaanite woman’s quick wittedness is in her response to His remark about who He came to save. He uses the example of masters withholding the food meant for their families from their dogs. Her perfect response:
“Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
Then Jesus says her faith is great and immediately her daughter is healed, delivered from evil. We need to be more like this woman. I know many of us would do anything we could to save our own children from physical or spiritual harm. No matter how scared we were, we’d find the courage that comes stems from our love to try to save our children. But how often are we this feisty, this determined, this unrelenting in prayer for the things we know God wants to give us all? Not just for our children’s sake, but for the sake of people we don’t even know who are suffering or who need deliverance?
Let’s be like that woman! And not just with regard to our prayer life. We also need to consider our daily words and our actions. Are we obvious signs that the Kingdom of God is within and among us? Do our actions glorify God and advance His Kingdom? I’m ashamed to say that too often mine do not.
We, the Body of Christ, must become those feisty, tenacious, loving people (like the Canaanite woman), who refuse to allow those in most need of spiritual and physical protection to be left unaided, unconsidered, ignored, abandoned.
We can follow the Canaanite woman’s example, and go to Jesus begging Him to deliver us and others from evil. And don’t take “no” for an answer. We will, with God’s grace, be Jesus’ hands and feet on earth and be His voice, with the ample aide of Scripture and faith that the Holy Spirit will “teach us what to say.” (Luke 12:12) We know God loves us; we know we love Him and believe in Him. For we are the Children of God.
So, Lord, we are here asking You to heal the Body of Christ. Only You can. We are so desperate and we’re sorry for not turning to You sooner, for not turning to You always. We will remember the power of Jesus’ name and that the we possess the power of Your Son’s resurrection in our very beings. We want to cooperate with You in the fight for the Kingdom and Your children, every single one! We are thankful and believe we are healed and delivered from evil. Even though, as Your children, we can receive the Master’s bread, we would gratefully accept even the scraps from Your table. The tiniest bit of faith will save us.