Matthew 15: 21-28.
21Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22A 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.” 23Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” 24He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” 25The woman came and knelt before him. “LORD, help me!” she said. 26He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” 27“Yes, it is, LORD,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” 28Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
We see a Gentile woman, who in theory had no right to approach Jesus a Jew, so desperate that she pleads for Jesus to intervene. But notice in verse 22 that she has a respect for Jesus, she knows enough about him to address him as Lord, Son of David. There were many Jews who did not acknowledge Jesus as the woman did.
Note also that the woman has determination, she is not easily put off and in verses 21, 25 & 27 she does not give up and continues to plead her cause.
In verses 27 & 28 we catch a glimpse that everyone has a right to approach Jesus, he is not exclusive to the Jewish people.
In verse 28 we see that faith is recognised and responded to by Jesus.
If we were to put my thoughts into a ‘bullet point’ presentation it would look something like this:
1) RESPECTFUL APPROACH – Lord, Son of David have pity on me
2) REPEATED REQUEST – She did not give up, her determination shines through.
3) RIGHT TO A RELATIONSHIP – No one is excluded from being able to approach Jesus.
4) REVELATION – Faith leads to God responding to our needs.
After studying this passage of Scripture when I come to the words in the prayer of humble access in the Communion Service that say ‘we are not worthy to eat the crumbs under your table, but it is your nature always to have mercy’ I will always be reminded of an incredible woman’s tenacious faith which lead to God being involved in her life, and I will try to imitate her humble expectant relationship with God.