August 8, 2012

  • Faith: Coming to Jesus

    The Faith of a Canaanite Woman

    Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.  A 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.”

    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.”

    He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

    The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

    He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

    “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

    Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment. (Matt 15:21-28)

    Some time ago, when I read this passage, I thought it was about the faith of the Canaanite woman in Jesus to heal her daughter.  And, it does seem that her faith is unwavering as she continues to plead with Jesus to heal her daughter.  What we see here is a faith that is acted in actions, a living faith.  The Canaanite woman did not only believe that Jesus could heal her daughter, she acted this belief and continued to ask Jesus to heal her daughter despite the refusal.

    Sometimes, I wonder if we come to Jesus in the way this Canaanite woman did.  I wonder if we believe in Him so much that we continue to go towards Him instead of away from Him.  I wonder if our faith changes our lives and that we put our faith into action.  What I find interesting here is that Jesus literally turns her away.  I believe that Jesus did this to show us what it means to have living faith.  Here, the Canaanite woman believed and she put her belief into action.  Later, Saint James tells us that faith without deeds is dead. Some people think that Jesus was impressed with people’s faith when they come to Him against all odds.  I believe that Jesus already knew their faith; because faith is a gift from God, God already knows our faith.  Here, I believe that Jesus was not astonished with the Canaanite woman’s faith, but stated “Woman, you have great faith!” so that we can see what an example of what living faith is all about.

    Faith without deeds is dead.  Here, the Canaanite woman continued to look towards Jesus and did not turn around and leave like some others did. With our faith, do we continue to seek Jesus and continue to go towards Him.  Do we ever turn our back on Him and leave?  Will our faith withstand the test of the world and will we endure to the end?  Will we invite others to come to Jesus too and to experience His love and compassion just as Jesus did here?

    Copyright 2012 by Christenstein

Comments (1)

  • Great thoughts. I appreciate your comments. The attribute I note about this woman, which gets  pointed out I think by Jesus’ turning her away at first, is her persistence in faith. You have posed very good questions. ~~Blessings ‘n Cheers

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