Tuesday 29 October 2019

Bible Book:

Then Jesus answered her, ‘Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.’ And her daughter was healed instantly. (v. 28)

Matthew 15:21-31 Tuesday 29 October 2019

Psalm: Psalm 89:1-18


The Canaanite woman is in a desperate situation: her daughter is possessed by a demon. Her anguish is made clear by her actions where she comes to an Israelite for assistance. The Canaanites and Israelites were traditionally enemies, separated due to their vastly different ideas about religion. That this woman would call for mercy from the Israelite religion is amazing. Even more extraordinary is her acknowledgement of Jesus as "Lord" and "Son of David".

Jesus is quick to dismiss her cries for help, but the woman is persistent. She keeps following Jesus and shouting to him until he grants her request. This is one of many occasions in the Bible where persistence is rewarded. Jesus himself tells the Parables of the Widow and the Unjust Judge (Luke 18:1-8) and the Friend in the Night (Luke 11:5-8) who both get what they want through perseverance. God grants justice to those who call out to God and their persistence is linked to their faith.

There is great power in an individual who won’t give up. A prominent example of this is the influence of one schoolgirl. Last year Greta Thunberg solitarily striked for the environment. One year later, over four million people joined her in striking and she has influenced political leaders around the world. Great change is made by perseverance.

Jesus was moved by the faith of the Canaanite woman and granted her request. Although he stated that he was sent only for the house of Israel, she changed his mind and he healed her daughter. A woman so different to him, from a group who were the Israelites enemies, changed the mind of Christ.

Just as Jesus was knew that there are no boundaries to God’s grace, we too must be prepared to challenge our own misconceptions. One way we can do this is through listening to people from different backgrounds from us. This passage tells us of the change that was made when an Israelite man listened to a Canaanite woman. When we listen to people whose voices we don’t usually hear, how much great change will that inspire?


To Ponder:

  • Whose voices have traditionally been overlooked in the church?
  • What issues should Christians be persistent in raising?
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