May 13

Text: Matthew 15:25-28

But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, "Lord, help me!"  And He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs."  But she said, "Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters' table."  Then Jesus answered and said to her, "O woman, your faith is great; be it done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed at once. (NASB)

The conversation in the last devotional was between Jesus and the 12.  Today’s devotional is the first time Jesus spoke to the Canaanite woman.  What a brief but powerful conversation!

In that day, most societies considered women (with a few exceptions) as inferior.  She with great respect and courage came, bowed, and begged for help.  Jesus responded with that day’s Jewish perspective.  Today, we tend to see his statements as derogatory and disrespectful.  He was merely acknowledging the reality of their situation (from the Jewish perspective).  We do not live in a society of slaves nor of a caste system.  The only thing most of us are familiar with is the divide separating the “haves” and the “have nots”—and that is blurring.  We are not familiar with a society nor see a world that says, “Know your place, and stay in it!”  (There was a time when this society held that view.)

Jesus said that it was not proper to give something intended only for Israelites to people who were not Israelites.  Note her response.  She was neither offended nor humiliated.  She certainly did not feel rejected—she did not say, “How dare you talk to me that way!”  In fact, she only asked for the crumbs—not part of the loaf.  “I only ask for the unwanted.  I do not wish to deprive any Israelite.”  Having great faith in Jesus is not dependent on a just world!

Jesus was touched by the quality of her faith.  Again we see a non-Israelite manifesting a quality of faith rarely seen among Israelites!  He said, “May your faith determine what happens.”  Her faith was as real as it was impressive.  Her daughter was healed immediately.

Suggestion for reflection: What does Jesus think about your faith?  (Read Isaiah 50:4-8.)

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