A Gentile Woman’s Faith

“Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David!” – Matthew 15:22

When the Syrophenician woman approached Jesus, she was far from being tentative.  In fact, she was rather bold, so much so, the disciples urged Him to “Send her away, for she cries out after us.”

The woman wasn’t put off at all by their attitude or objections.  She was there to seek Jesus’ help for her daughter who was demon possessed.  First, she cried out to Him to get His attention.  When He seemed to be ignoring her, she went and fell at His feet in worship.  Again, she begged Him to help her.   This time, Jesus gave her His full attention. And He said something to her that really tested her faith.

How strong is your faith when it comes to discouragement and opposition?  Do you press on or back down?  Do you cry out to the Lord and when there’s no answer, you give up? Or do you throw yourself on His mercy?  Do you worship Him first and then put your petitions before Him?

When Jesus told the woman that it was “not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs” she responded by saying, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” This woman stood her ground, a testimony to her faith.  Yes, a little mercy was all that she wanted.  She didn’t want much, just deliverance for her child.  She knew that Jesus wasn’t actually calling her a dog but the term was used in contrast to the “lost sheep of Israel”.   When He sent His disciples out to preach the message about the kingdom of heaven, He told them not to go to the Gentiles but to the  lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew 10:6).  Salvation was to go to the Jews first and then the Gentiles.  Charity begins at home.  The woman understood what Jesus was saying but she believed that He would impart some of that mercy to her and He did.  Those who seek, ask and knock, the door will be opened to them.

Jesus marveled at her faith and exclaimed,  “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.”  Her daughter was healed at that very moment.

This woman knew how Jews felt about Gentiles but she didn’t allow that prejudice to prevent her from seeking help from the “Son of David”.  Her faith was such that she was willing to cross barriers of race and prejudice.  She believed in His mighty power to heal and defeat the powers of darkness.

Jesus came into the world to set the captives free and this woman’s daughter was set free that day because of her mother’s faith.  Our faith can not only transform our lives but the lives of others.  Today, if there is someone in your family who needs help from the Lord, go to Him in prayer and keep praying until that deliverance comes.


Sources:  Blueletter Bible; Bible Gateway



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