Scripture Reading: Genesis 43:1-44:34 / Matthew 15:10-39 / Psalm 13:1-6
Faith is one of the most powerful things that we can ever possess and use. Faith unlocks the windows of heaven, opens our hearts for redemption and ushers us before His throne of grace. As it has been said, “Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible.” Faith of all kinds; childlike, unfeigned, obedient, steadfast, bold and great faith are rewarded by God.
Jesus only describes two people of having great faith and one of them is the Canaanite woman here in Matthew 15, “Woman, you have great faith!”(v.28) Christ made this declaration after she came to Him and cried out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” (v.22)
This woman, from Tyre and Sidon, had a pagan background and her daughter was completely controlled by demonic and evil spirits. She believed in the delivering power of Christ and went to Him for a miracle. We find that Jesus, the gracious, compassionate and merciful healer, ignored her by turning His back and He gave her the silent treatment. She desperately needed Christ to respond to her but she did not lose hope or faith as she waited in the silence.
After World War II, an inscription was found scratched inside a German house. It said, “I believe in the sun even when it does not shine. I believe in love, even when it is not shown. I believe in God, even when He does not speak.” This Canaanite woman, like so many throughout history, had her faith tried in silence. Faith blossoms when the fires of trials blow the fiercest. Her faith was being tested and was also about to face hostility and rejection.
The disciples told Jesus, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” They viewed her as a pagan without any hope, promise or God. She was an emotional wreck, spastic, dramatic and was interrupting Christ’s schedule. Sometimes those who are supposed to be encouraging, uplifting and loving, respond with rejection and discouragement. They were supposed to welcome her, not push her away.
Christ’s mission was to reach the Israelites yet she pleaded with Him to help her. She fell before Him in humility and brokenness yet Jesus mused, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” (v.26) The Jews were considered the chosen children of Abraham and the gentiles were compared to dogs. She was a heathen and had no claim to the Messiah but she began to argue her case with Jesus.
She knew she wasn’t allowed to feast at the table but all she wanted was the crumbs that fell from the table. She knew the crumbs of Christ’s power were sufficient and able to heal, deliver and save. Jesus rewarded her faith and healed her daughter that very hour. Our faith will be tested by the silence of heaven and the hostility of man. Don’t Give Up but Hang On, Cry Out, Bear Down and Dig In… It Is A Test Of Faith!
Pastor James Clark has pastored Calvary Assembly since 1985. He is blessed with his wife Yvonne, six children, two son-in-laws, a beautiful granddaughter and hopefully many more grandchildren to follow!