Our scripture this week is Matthew 15:21-28.
Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
This passage contains one of the most problematic exchanges (for me) in all of scripture. It sounds like Jesus is going to discriminate against this woman because of her background. Would Christ really do that?
I prefer to think He was telling her that He was there for those who believed, not just those who wanted something. Through their conversation she expresses her belief in Him and the fact that “a little Jesus goes a long way” ( according to one of my Sunday School kids). Jesus is pleased with her response because it proves her faith.
Christ the Lord doesn’t need our help for anything, all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him (Matthew 28:18). However, Jesus wants us to be part of His work and part of His kingdom. Through our faith we join with Jesus to heal the world.
Gracious God, we are grateful for the gift of Your Son who came to love and heal and save us. Help us to have a faith that answers the call You place on our lives and be part of Your plan for creation. Amen.