Have you ever read a portion of scripture from the bible that makes you feel a teeny-weeny bit uncomfortable & so you kind of ignore it & hope it will go away?
The only trouble is, it won’t go away because God is obviously trying to teach you something through this scripture & ignoring it won’t work!
God will just keep bringing it up until you study & learn from it!
It says in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work”.
I don’t know about you but I definitely want to be complete & thoroughly equipped for everything I do in God.
So here is my ‘pretend its not there’ scripture from the bible:
Matthew 15:21-28 Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.” But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
Okay, so no guesses needed for the part that makes me squirm.
Yep, you’ve got it. Its the bit where Jesus refers to the Canaanite woman as a ‘little dog’.
Shock horror! My beautiful Jesus, the one who saved me and called me by name has called a woman a dog! Surely not.
And so I quickly move on to the next part where I read about the loaves and fishes……but no, wait.
God wants me to stay on the part of the bible that I find tricky, to study it & gain revelation in order for me to grow & know Him better.
Over the last week I have not been able to get this portion of scripture out of my head.
The Lord has been breaking it down for me, bit by bit and I would like to share what I have learned.
So, what can we learn from the Canaanite woman and this scripture?
1. The Canaanite woman had great faith.
Now let’s go back to that original scripture from verse 27.
And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
It reminds me a lot of the woman with the issue of blood found in Mark 5:25–34, Matthew 9:20-22 & Luke 8:43–48.
This woman knew that, by just touching even the hem of Jesus’ garment, she would receive her healing. So great was her faith.
The Canaanite woman had great faith also & had assurance that Jesus was the only one that could heal her daughter.
She only needed just a moment of Jesus’ time, just a glimpse of His presence.
A crumb was enough for her because she had recognised exactly who Jesus was.
So great is God’s power & presence that we can receive from Jesus with just a crumb and be completely full & satisfied.
2. The Canaanite woman showed humility
Now to illustrate this I want to go back to the scripture again but this time looking at verse 25.
Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”
(Any bible verse that says the word ‘worship’ always makes my ears prick up!)
As the Canaanite woman worshipped, she was saying, “Lord help me”.
Oh, I remember it well, the time when I cried out to God and asked Him to help me. Just as the Canaanite woman had cried “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David!”
The moment I reached out to Jesus and asked for His help was the moment I let go of all my pride and accepted that I was in desperate need of a Saviour.
I had eaten a huge portion of humble pie, had fallen flat on my face and came full circle, back to the only one who could help me out of my big mess.
I couldn’t do this on my own anymore. We’ve all been there right? That place where we come to the end of our rope and the only solution is Jesus.
So, I worshipped and cried out to God for Him to help me, right there on my kitchen floor.
I was begging, on my knees like a little dog, for a crumb of God’s forgiveness, mercy & compassion.
It didn’t do me any harm to be on my knees. For far too long I was full of pride, had done my own thing and made a complete and utter mess of my life!
I needed to reach that place where I could identify exactly what price Jesus paid for my sins.
I needed to eat the crumbs off the floor, in humility, in order for me to experience that beautiful moment when Jesus lifted me up to sit at the table to eat with Him.
Without humility it is impossible to receive.
3. The Canaanite woman was persistent and bold
Matthew 15:22-23 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.”
We have a chihuahua called Lacey. She is the cutest little thing & is definitely a pampered pooch.
Here’s a picture of her.
Lacey is ridiculously tiny & doesn’t need much food, however, she is extremely greedy & wherever food is, Lacey follows!
Her belly is full but she is not satisfied.
As we eat our meal at the table, Lacey will sit, tentatively expectant for one small crumb to drop on to the floor.
She then races as fast as she can to gobble up the scraps of food that have fallen from the table.
Lacey is also extremely persistent when food is around. She has the most annoying, yappy bark. The noise she makes can go straight through you until you eventually give in and either put her in another room, away from the food, or give her something to eat. (I try to do the first rather than the latter).
The Canaanite woman was not giving up on her protest to receive from Jesus, despite the fact that she was annoying the disciples.
The Canaanite woman showed great persistence as she was not going anywhere until she had got her answer.
My beloved Grandad used to say, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get!”
And so, I would never be afraid to ask my Grandad for anything.
I was confident that if I really needed something, I could go to my Grandad, knowing that he loved me and would help in any way he could.
The Canaanite woman was bold in her approach. She went straight up to Jesus and asked him outright for deliverance for her daughter.
I, too, have been in that very same position, desperate for healing & deliverance for my daughter.
My eldest was admitted into hospital at the age of 10 and was being treated for Anorexia Nervosa, a vile & horrible illness, which meant she was refusing to eat or drink.
This was the worst thing I have ever had to go though and I cried out to God for her deliverance relentlessly.
Praise God, she is 13 now and is completely healed and delivered from this illness.
I know that God answered my prayers and I know that He healed my daughter.
4. The Canaanite woman wasn’t ruled by her past
Matthew 15:21-22 Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him…..
Now, for this, we need to look at both the history and culture of his woman’s background in order for us to understand.
If we go to the book of Isaiah, chapter 23 it explains more. It is best read in its entirety but verse 4 says,
“Be ashamed, O Sidon; For the sea has spoken, The strength of the sea, saying, “I do not labor, nor bring forth children; Neither do I rear young men, Nor bring up virgins”.
What this verse is saying about Sidon, is that it is a godless nation that puts their strength in idols (the sea) and not in God.
Sidon, the area that the Canaanite woman came from, was not a pleasant place.
This woman’s ancestors would not have followed or worshipped the one true God and she would have been raised to worship idols.
The Canaanite woman refused to let this part of her past rule her and she had come to realise that Jesus was her answer.
As she made that step of faith and cried out in desperation to Jesus, she was literally saying, “I know you are God and I know you can help me”.
At that moment, not only was the daughter made whole but this woman also received her salvation.
The Canaanite woman was no longer a product of her past but had now experienced the inheritance that Jesus came to give us all, regardless of our origin.
I have learned so much from this portion of scripture that I once avoided. I do hope you have too
Please feel free to comment & share. I love to hear from you and am happy to chat and answer any questions.
Love & blessings,