In Matthew 15:21-28, we read a brief, albeit powerful story that Jesus lived.
As Jesus is going about his day, a Canaanite woman calls out to him to heal her demon-possessed daughter. Jesus appears to ignore her at first, and only responds after a little pressure from his disciples. Apparently she was bothering them.
Jesus’ response is essentially a “no” because she is not an Israelite: “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel…It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” How offensive! Did he really just liken her people to dogs? Does this seem like an uncharacteristic response for Jesus to anyone else?
Without skipping a beat, her reply is stunning: Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” (v. 27)
Wow! Well, of course, after a reply like that, Jesus immediately restores the daughter to full health.
The Canaanite woman in this story had three things that made her ripe for a miracle.
First, she had humility. It is obvious from her response, and her kneeling posture, that she knew her place in relation to Jesus. She was not under any delusion that she was in any kind of status or position to get attention from Jesus. How humble are we? How often do we approach Jesus bowed low, willing to receive from him whatever he would give– even if it’s crumbs?
Next, she had need. Her daughter was suffering and there was nothing anyone else could do. How desperate are we for a touch from Jesus? In other words, how in tune are we with our need? Sometimes when physical needs are easily met, spiritual needs are harder to notice.
Lastly, she had great faith. Jesus said so himself. She was confident in Jesus’ authority over every other power and in his character to do what was best. How great is our faith? Are we so sure that, if all we get from Jesus is crumbs, it’s enough?
Apparently, even crumbs from Jesus are still enough for a miracle.
- Are you humble before the Lord?
- Are you desperate for God’s presence?
- Do you have great faith? What is one step you could take to increase your faith? (Warning: It often looks like stepping out in faith.)