By Lynda MacFarland
In the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 15, verses 21-28, we read of the Canaanite woman’s faith. 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 clever woman, has her wits about her, and is 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 scraps 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 children from physical or spiritual harm. No matter how scared we were, we’d find the courage that stems from our love to protect our children. 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 even for people, we don’t even know, who are suffering or need deliverance?
Let’s Be that Woman!
Let’s be like the Canaanite woman in more than just our prayer life. We also need to consider our daily words and actions. Are we visible signs to others 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 does 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.
Pray Without Ceasing
We can follow the Canaanite woman’s example and go to Jesus, begging Him to deliver us and others from evil and not take “no” for an answer. With God’s grace, we will 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 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.
About the author:
Lynda loves Jesus and her fondest desire is to encourage others in their faith journey toward Home. She prays often that the things she does will glorify God and advance His Kingdom. Lynda is the author of one book (so far!), Drowning In Lemonade – Reflections of an Army Wife, and has a blog at www.drowning-in-lemonade.com