The Canaanite Woman - Truth Revealed
I prefer to think of myself as good. I like to think that I am loving and accepting, and that I don't prejudge a person. But there have been times that prove that view to be inflated. There was the time in a crowd, when I moved away from an unwashed, rough looking person. And in groups, there are a few people I make little effort to get to know, because it is obvious we have nothing in common.
Matthew chapter 15.
A Canaanite woman found Jesus and his disciples in a place they had gone to be alone. Jesus had been teaching about the difference between clean and unclean - between traditional methods of cleansing as taught by the Pharisees and true cleanliness in God's eyes.
The woman kept calling after them. She wanted healing for her demon possessed daughter. The disciples wanted her to go away. After all, she was a Canaanite - a Gentile - not one of God's chosen people. The woman persisted. She called Jesus, Son of David, proving she knew Jewish prophesy, and believed him to be the Messiah. She knelt before Jesus and said, "Lord, help me." This woman believed Jesus to be the Savior. She had faith in his ability and in his compassion.
The disciples were pretty sure the woman had no business bothering their Teacher. She didn't look like one of their own. Jesus was teaching them important truths of the Kingdom of God, and she was interrupting.
Jesus hesitated. He didn't immediately grant the woman's request. He required her to tell more of her faith. I wonder why, since we know that Jesus could easily see her heart. Could it be that Jesus used this opportunity as one more teaching moment for the disciples? They had relied on Jewish traditions to make their decisions as to character. Jesus taught them not to judge by what’s on the outside of a person. God’s cleanliness is a condition of the heart. Believing and trusting in Jesus as God and Savior had made this woman clean. Her request was granted. She left with the assurance that her daughter was free of the demon. The disciples saw that even a Gentile could be one of God's chosen.
Not many of us look like a child of God. Fewer of us consistently act like his chosen people. I thank God that he sees my heart and hears my often used prayer of "Lord, help me."
My prayer: Lord, I know that to some people, I may not look like a Christian. Thank you for accepting me and forgiving all my faults. Would you soften my heart so I can see other people through your eyes instead of my clouded ones?
Matthew 15:21-28, Isaiah 9:7, Isaiah 16:5, Romans 15:8
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