Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
ACTIVENESS IN THE MIDST OF LIMITATIONS
Matthew 15: 25-31
Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment. (Matthew 15:28)
The passage describes how Christ acknowledges a Canaanite woman’s faith. The Canaanites were descendants of despised enemies of the Israelites. Despite being a gentile, the woman addressed Jesus as “Lord”, and “Son of David”. The Canaanite woman did not yell out of desperation, but cried a humble plea three times to admit to him that she knew he was the Christ and powerful enough to save. Her cry was not even for herself, but she begged Jesus with a believing heart for the sake of her daughter, seeking relief on her behalf. She persisted and pushed through conventional wisdom and refused to give up.Woman of Discouraging experiences: The Canaanite women faces different kinds of obstacle, social and psychological. Being a woman of the gentile stock, she had odds against her in an orthodox patriarchal society. The primary response of Jesus over her plea was absolute silence. We will be disgusted when we approach somebody with great hope and receive no response. The disciples came and ask Jesus to send her away – to them she might be a nuisance on their journey. Jesus ignores her and the disciples were unsympathetic. She received no encouraging words from Jesus on whom she put her entire trust. He said” I was sent to the lost sheep of Israel and to them alone.” The woman is undeterred, and in the kneeling posture of Christian worship continues to address her petition to Jesus. In verse 27 Jesus address her for the first time. To compare the Jews to children and the gentiles by the analogy of ‘dogs’ seems very crude, even though the word dog is used as a term affectionately used for household puppies.
Woman of Daring Faith: Seemingly un-resentful of the analogy the woman persists, and continues to plea her case. She gracefully present her rightful claim on Jesus – not that the “dogs” can eat later but that they receive “crumps” even as the “children” are being fed. Such persistent struggle in prayer, Jesus designates as great faith and immediately heals the woman’s daughter. When she addressed him as the “Son of David”, she got no reply. Secondly she used a simple and direct language to beg for mercy. For the act of faith, she was rewarded for her pleas as she will not take no for an answer. The lesson this woman teaches us is simple. Though God may test us in seemingly strange and unpredictable ways, he will not turn away from his promises to help those who call on him in their time of need.
Prayer: Lord, We thank you for being our helper in times of our needs, and help us to trust in you completely that we may see your power and activeness in the midst of limitations. Amen.
Thomas Varghese & Sophy Ann Abraham,
Dallas Farmers Branch MTC.