The Great Faith of a Canaanite Woman

The Canaanite Woman Begging Jesus for her daughter's healing and deliverance from Demon possession

The Great Faith of The Canaanite Woman.

Daily Spirit & Word: 824: The Great Faith of the Canaanite Woman.

Yesterday, in St Luke’s we had the following Gospel reading about a Canaanite woman who came running after Jesus.

 

Matthew 15:21-28 (NIV)
21  Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
22  A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.”
23  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.”
24  He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
25  The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
26  He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”
27  “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”
28  Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

Tyre & Sidon: Canaanite Territory.

When Jesus sent His disciples out, he told them not to go to the Canaanites or anyone else, but only to the LOST SHEEP of Israel (Matthew 10:5-6). What was Jesus doing in Canaanite territory? We know from Mark’s Gospel that Jesus had withdrawn to be alone with His disciples, moving away from the busy shedule of Gallilee and the surrounding towns, the hustle of the crowds and the persecution of the Sadducees and Pharisees. But was that His only reason for going?

Matthew 10:5-6 (NIV) Disciple’s Instructions.
5  These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6  Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.

What or Who are the Lost Sheep of Israel?

1) We must keep in mind Jesus’ mission: He came to redeem Israel. He was Israel’s Messiah. He was born of the house of King David, He was from the tribe of Judah, Jesus was very much a Jew with a mission to the Jews FIRST…

2) Jesus mission: To call sinners to REPENTANCE: The Jews at that time were the only ones who’d been given God’s revelation of His Holy Standards of Goodness: Through their Laws and the Ten Commandments. They still taught that law, but didn’t live according to it. They knew their lives were in breach of God’s Law… Jesus was calling God’s Chosen people, the Israelites, to come BACK to God in humility and repentance… They were the Lost Sheep of Israel.

But, Isn’t Jesus The Saviour of the World?

Of course He is, but whilst He was on the Earth, His mission was for the Jews. Only after Jesus mission had been completed, did He send the Church (Empowered by the Holy Spirit) on it’s Mission: To go into all the world and proclaim the Good News of the Gospel.

We can say one thing with certainty about our Lord Jesus: He was focused… He was fixed on His own mission from His Father… He knew why He’d come and was heaven-set on completing that mission. Jesus had a Divinely Fixed Compass, knowing His Father’s will and doing His Father’s will way Jesus highest priority in life. (Our’s is knowing and doing the Saviour’s will, after all we’re Jesus’ Disciples too).

The FAITH of the Canaanite Woman:

She kept up calling after Jesus. So much so that the Disciples complained to Jesus to send her away (Verse 23). They knew, their mission as well as that of Jesus was to the LOST SHEEP of Israel. But the Woman kept calling out to Jesus, until she got a response…

So How DID Jesus Respond to the Canaanite Woman?

1) He ignored her: Verse 23 tells us, “Jesus did not answer a word”…

My friends, the SILENCE of the SAVIOUR in this passage is DEAFENING.

It tells us so much: There are times when Jesus seems NOT to answer our prayers too. It’s as if Jesus is not speaking to us. He seems silent or unresponsive to our cries for help or assistance. But did Jesus hear the woman?

Was Jesus ignoring the woman? I don’t think so. Jesus could hear just as much as His own disciples the woman’s constant cry for help… She was desperate… And when you are desperate and the cure is right in front of you, for you or your relatives, you will NOT STOP until you get the treatment needed.

Does Jesus ignore you? NEVER! He hears our prayers, even before they come out of our mouth. He knows your thoughts (Psalm 139), but He still wants you to ask. But HOW to ask?

Why didn’t Jesus respond? 

Well, we already saw that He’d come for the Lost Sheep of Israel: And she was not a Jew. However, was that it? Was anyone who was not a Jew healed by Jesus?  Of course they were, because we’ve already seen Jesus going beyond that boundary; He healed the Centurion’s Servant: Matthew 8…

Matthew 8:5-13 (NIV) Centurion’s Humility…
5  When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help.
6  “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralysed and in terrible suffering.”
7  Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.”
8  The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.
9  For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
10  When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.
11  I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.
12  But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
13  Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that very hour.

Again: We see in Jesus response to the Centurion’s Humility and Faith: brought about Jesus’ compassion. He knew he didn’t deserve it, He knew Jesus could do it, He had faith enough to ASK for it in humility. However, notice the difference; the woman was almost demanding Jesus do something, the Centurion was asking humbly. We’ll see that’s exactly what happened to the woman too.

SHE CAME AND KNELT: The Woman was Humble: She knelt before Jesus (KJV says, “She worshipped Him”… (You’d think then, that this humility was enough, surely the Lord would see her kneeling and give her what she wants)…

Jesus did respond to the Canaanite woman, but it was not a positive response.

He said to her, these most shocking words. Can you imagine someone saying something like this to someone today? Verse 26  He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”

So, even though she’s been crying, now kneeling, begging, crying and pleading, “Please Lord”… Jesus still said “NO”… 

When something’s not right, Jesus will not be MOVED… Remember how Esau begged for his birthright with tears when he sold it for a pot of stew? He didn’t get it, because what he’d done was wrong. Jesus knew why he’d come and wouldn’t be diverted, unless, unless something else was mixed with the CRIES and the PLEADING…. What was the CRITICAL INGREDIENT that got the ANSWER she needed from Jesus?: FAITH.

The Canaanite woman, like the Centurion, eventually got Jesus message, she now KNEW that she didn’t deserve it. However, that knowledge of not deserving, didn’t stop her. But now she’s pleading from the perspective of; A DOG to It’s Master.

I know so many people who are PUT OFF coming to Jesus, because they KNOW they are not right, they don’t deserve it… However, this woman, she knew she didn’t deserve it, but she still came, fell at Jesus feet and begged….

PLEADING DOG: I always remember my mum and dad’s voice when I read this part of the Bible: “Donald, don’t feed the dog at dinner”… I couldn’t look into my dog’s big, round and sad eyes and say no… He had a cold wet nose… he always managed to look so sad… he made funny noises… He stayed by me with his eyes fixed on my hands, watching, waiting, longing… He knew that I was the only one who’d give in and give him what he wanted. Even though my mum and dad had said, “NO!” I couldn’t resist those big sad eyes…

That Canaanite Woman: Was like a Dog who knew her Master’s heart.

Listen to her words, Verse 27 “27  “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”

She knew about Dogs too, and about their Masters: Dogs eat the falling food… The scraps that people either toss or drop by accident… No matter what, a dog is determined to stay there until they get what they want….

Her Faith was Doggedely Determined: She knew Jesus could do it. She was going to stay around like a DOG and keep begging until she could get what she needed from Her Master… Not for herself, but for her daughter.

HER FAITH WAS DOGGEDLY DETERMINED

The CANAANITE WOMAN’S RESPONSE:

Verse 27:
27  “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”
28  Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

What was it that REVEALED to Jesus the woman’s faith?

She knew that a DOG knows its MASTER’S HEART…

Nobody who owns a dog would let it go hungry.

Nobody who owns a dog would never respond… A DOG is a man’s best friend…

The secret of GREAT FAITH my friends, is KNOWING the MASTER’S HEART…

  • Knowing what God wants.
  • Knowing what God is like.
  • Knowing What God does.

Do you know the Master’s Heart? Father God loves to; heal, deliver, forgive, cleanse, refresh and renew. He’s not stopped doing that since the Creation of Mankind; He’s the SAME: Yesterday, today and forever…

MOSES PLEADS THE FATHER’S HEART;

Moses knew that too, and SAVED the Israelites from being struck down with a deadly disease… He KNEW God’s Heart: How He was, “Slow to anger, abounding in love and who forgives sins”… Moses pleaded with God’s own Heart:

The Refusal To Believe in the LORD: Meant they Forfeited The Promised Land:

Numbers 14:17-23 (NIV)
17  “Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed, just as you have declared:
18  ‘The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.’
19  In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.”
20  The LORD replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked.
21  Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the LORD fills the whole earth,
22  not one of the men who saw my glory and the miraculous signs I performed in Egypt and in the desert but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times—
23  not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers. No-one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it.

When you know God’s HEART my friends, and you believe it, trust it, and plead according to it, you can MOVE God with your prayers; just like Moses, the Centurion and this Canaanite woman. So Don’t you dare give up on the LORD! He’ll never give up on you.

Still, in your knowledge of the Father’s Heart: how are you going to respond to this message today?

Like the Canaanite woman, we too can;

  • Be Humble: She knelt before Jesus. Know this; “God lifts up the humble…”
  • Be Sincere: She worshipped Jesus… “True worshippers, will worship the Father in Spirit and Truth”.
  • Be Honest: She knew she didn’t deserve it… We too don’t DESERVE anything from God, in fact, it’s only by His grace we’re not destoryed”. Recognise God’s GRACE, Mercy and Kindness towards you.
  • Be Polite: She called Him her Master. Is Jesus our Master? Let’s really seek to serve Him and honour Him with our lives.
  • Be Persistent: She didn’t stop PLEADING until she got what she needed. She did so, because she knew the Master’s Heart. We too can be persistent with God, knowing the Father’s Heart. How he’s sent us, those who follow Jesus to go into all the world; preach the Gospel, Heal the Sick and Disciple those who respond to the message. Making them into followers and disciples of Jesus, who will also go on to show others the way.

What was DRIVING The Woman?

Her daughter was under the influence of the Devil.

How many of us, are crying out to Jesus as this Canaanite woman did? She kept up following, crying, begging, pleading for Jesus to do something for her daughter. This speaks to me about PERSISTENCE (Heart of Love for our children)… Keep praying to Jesus, don’t give up. How many of our own children are under Satan’s dominion? How many are living in sin, in rebellion, away from the LORD. How many of us plead to the Lord for our own children as this woman did for her’s?

It’s my hope and prayer that you’ll have an awesome week with Jesus.

Remember to meet up regularly with fellow saints in Christ Jesus for fellowship, Bible study, prayer and praise.

Arrange a coffee time with another member of your church, just to catch-up and encourage one another. Remember Hebrews 4:13. Encourage one another every day…

Be blessed and full of Holy Spirit.

Don.

 

New Penny Black Stamp

Daily Spirit & Word, 501: New Penny Black Stamp.

Good morning my friends, I’ve not gone mad, I know we’re in a series looking at the disciples reactions to the resurrection appearances of the Lord, and that today the focus is upon JOY and the Title should read: “Jesus Gives A New Joy” Day 17. However, imagine how everybody in the UK would feel today, if the Post Office issued a commemorative Penny Black Stamp. Because it’s 175 Years since the First Penny Black Stamp was issued. You know the old fashioned stamp? You buy it and if you stick it to a letter then the STAMP itself guaranteed delivery of your item. So my friends, the Holy Spirit guarantees delivery of God’s Word to produce great JOY in your heart today.

Penny Black Stamp

It was a magnificent idea, People all over the county could send letters, notes, parcels etc to each other for the first time and the government guaranteed that it would be delivered, all because it carried the official Post Office Stamp: The Penny Black. Can you imagine the sheer joy and delight it must have been to receive the first letter in your life? If you had a relative who’d traveled to find work, they could now keep in contact by letter. Of course letters could take a few days to arrive 175 years ago, everything was very slow back then. Horses were the main means of transportation, it was before the advent of Steam Railways, Cars and Buses. No my friends, it was either horseback or coach and letters and mail were still in their infancy. You had to trust that someone would deliver you letter and you had no way of guaranteeing that it would be delivered. Also it would take a long time to discover if your letter had been delivered or not. The Penny Black Stamp changed all of that.

Now, when we read our lesson today from John’s Gospel, you’ll note that I’ve not gone completely bonkers: We’re thinking about the disciples JOY, now let’s look at the passage together;

John 20:19-21 19  On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
20  After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21  Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

Notice what it says in verse 20; “… The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.”

You know my friends, I want you to try and picture the scene and use your imagination, try and think what it must have been like to be one of Jesus disciples at that moment. You are perhaps; Peter, John or Mary and you’ve all gotten together three days after Jesus was tortured and killed upon the cross. You are all frightened to be there together, you imagine all sorts of horrible things happening to you if you are caught by the authorities. You can see them in your minds eyes, torturing you like the shamefully tortured Jesus’ body. You can imagine the sting of thw whip or the pain as they thrust the crown of thorns on your head. You can almost feel it, because you witnessed it just a few days ago, the memory of what they’d done to Jesus and what they could possible do to you, was still very fresh indeed. You’ve all got this dread of being captured and caught, then suddenly out of nowhere, because you’ve made certain the doors are locked anyway, Jesus stands in the midst. First you’d probably be shocked, but then Jesus utters these words; “Peace be with you” You know it’s Jesus’ voice. You recognise the voice of the Master. But your mind is doing summersaults, “it can’t be, He’s dead, but He’s here, how can He be here? He’s alive, no Jesus died, but yet I can hear his voice. Am I dreaming? Is this a ghost or a dream?” I know that my mind would be racing like this: but then slowly it begins to sink in; “This IS Jesus, that was His voice I just heard, He really IS here with us now” Then your surprise and shock give way to a Tsunami of Joy. Wave, after wave or Tsunami like Joy floods you soul.

Now can you see what I meant about the Penny Black? The Joy of having been contacted by a loved one hundreds of milse away, they actually touched this paper and put a pen to it and wrote upon it for you. Oh the Joy of the personal letter from a loved one, addressed to you personally. You’d look at your name, see the marvellous new innovative Queen or King’s Head on the Penny Black Stamp. WOWzer! You’d be over the moon, cock a hoop.

What does Over-the-moon mean? It was a phrase popularised by Private Eye who took-the-micky (made fun of) English football managers and their use of the English language. They would string phrases and words together that don’t make any sense at all. “Cock-a-hoop”, (filled with Joy), “over-the-moon” etc, would be used to express the sheer delight that their team had won a victory. i.e. “We were over-the-moon about the fact that we trounced Manchester 2-0”.

So my friends, the disciples would have been OVER THE MOON about Jesus resurrection. OVERJOYED.

Other Football Manager Quotes:

(You’ll not the funny side in a little while).

Football Manager Quotes:

  • “The Spaniards have been reduced to aiming aimless balls into the box.” (Ron Atkinson)
  • “If you can’t stand the heat in the dressing room, get out of the kitchen.” (Terry Venables)
  • “If Glenn Hoddle said one word to his team at half time, it was concentration and focus.” (Ron Atkinson)
  • “I felt a lump in my throat as the ball went in.” (Terry Venables)

These quotes are nonsensical, very funny and humorous, but they’re not intended to be. They’re what we’d call bleepers, bloops or silly mistakes of English grammar. You can just imagine Terry Venables swallowing a huge football down his throat can’t you. LOL.

Over the Moon: Was a phrase like that, it means, really, really happy, full of joy or as the Bible has said today about the Disciples upon seeing the Lord and hearing His voice, “They were OVERJOYED”

Cock a hoop is another phrase to express happiness, I’ll let you look that one up on Google yourself though. Have fun my friends.

OVERJOYED

Dave Smith, In his little book to accompany this series, talks about dogs wagging their tails when they see the master coming with breakfast. Even dogs can be overjoyed my friends.

You can be OVERJOYED too my friends. When you see a letter with your name, personally hand-written, it produces and air of expectation. You wonder who it was from, you turn it over to see if they’ve put a return address upon it. Nope, you open it up and you note immediately where it’s addressed from, and who signed it.

Notice that word: OVERJOYED. The disciples were not just joyed by seeing Jesus. It was no ordinary joy or happiness, as if we’re seeing a long lost friend, but imagine the delight you’d experience if you were to meet a dearly loved relative or friend if they came back from the dead? That’s what it means for the Disciples to be OVER-Joyed.

The PENNY BLACK: Guaranteed Delivery.

That’s what it’s like with the Bible: It’s God’s Book, It’s His LOVE LETTER addressed to YOU personally. It can produce the same JOY the disciples felt my friends, It’s like it’s got your own personal PENNY BLACK STAMP of guaranteed delivery, right into your heart today. You see my friends, the Bible’s Penny Black is God The Holy Spirit: who inspired the Bible to be written and who also enables us to understand the words contained within. (Spiritually discerned truth)

1 Corinthians 2:10-14 10  but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
11  For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no-one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
12  We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.
13  This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.
14  The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

In other words, only the PERSON with the SPIRIT can understand God’s WORD. He’s like the Penny Black Stamp of authority and delivers God’s Word right into your heart today. Have you been filled with and OVERJOYED by the Holy Spirit.

Just as the Disciples were OVERJOYED by the LORD Jesus Presence my friends. So will you be when the Holy Spirit ushers in the presence of the Lord into your life today. Seek Him, seek the fullness and then you too will be OVERJOYED.

For over 2000 years the Bible has been delivering God’s message, with much more certainty than the New Penny Black Stamp ever could, because His message goes right into your heart and produces so much Joy, you’ll be over the moon, cock a hoop, filled with sheer delight. OVERJOYED. Not just happy, but OVER-JOYED. WOWzer! Who ever said that following Jesus would make life boring? It’s full of surprises and sheer delight and joy. Be OVERJOYED today, get the New Penny Black Stamp on your Heart, let it stick there forever by the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus will be your seal on your heart, you’ll know Him as Lord and Saviour forever.

Overjoyed when the New Penny Black Stamp was issued! Imagine what it must have been like for the disciples seeing, hearing and touching the RESURRECTED Lord Jesus Christ. WOWzer! OVERJOYED.

My friends, when you call upon Jesus today, you too can experience that same level of JOY. You’ll not have to work it up within yourself though, because you automatic response to the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ is going to be awesome; but eventually it will burst forth in to great JOY.

Have and exciting and JOY-Filled day my friends: The New Penny Black Stamp.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 17: Jesus Gives A New Joy. (As did the Penny Black Stamp), but much, much greater.

God bless and keep you all,

Don.

p.s. Did you notice that the Penny Black Stamp is on Google today?  😎  😎  😎