21. Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
22. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.”
23. 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.”
24. He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
25. The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
26. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”
27. “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”
28. Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
In today’s message, a Canaanite woman comes out. A Canaanite woman is a gentile woman. She was a gentile woman, means her position was one to (not) receive the word of Christ. How was she able to receive the blessing and grace from Jesus Christ? We are going to look at how this woman who was unworthy to receive these, received this grace of Jesus.
This woman surprised Jesus. She surprised and shocked Jesus very much. We are going to see how people are surprised when things exceeded the ordinary. She exceeded ordinary meaning she was extraordinary. In this path of faith, being touched and shocked is very important. We are able to see that true faith is moving and touching someone by being extraordinary.
By looking at this story of how this woman greatly touched Jesus, we wish that we will also be able to touch and move Jesus. It is so true how this gentile woman who was not in a position to receive blessings was able to receive blessing is something extraordinary.
The story goes on like this. She comes to Jesus and begs him to heal her sick daughter. He refuses her here. Then she clings onto him and continues to earnestly beg him. However, he still earnestly rejected her. There is a reason why he rejected.
As we walk this path of faith, we also experience this. There are times when we can feel that when we ask something from our Lord, it seems as if he is rejecting us. We hope that we will be the ones that at this time and we realize that there is a reason why we are being rejected.
This is a story of a very deep world. Jesus replies to this woman and says that it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs. In other words, he is treating this woman as a dog. To this woman who was begging for mercy, Jesus is spitting out such harsh words. He is saying that I cannot give it to dogs.
This is the greatest test. This is insult. Usually, at this point, so many people collapse. They are not willing to stand in the position where they are insulted. We have to overcome and be victorious at this moment. In here, there is a truth and a paradox. Why did he do this? This is a story of a very deep world. This is a paradoxical truth.
Truthfully, when you look at it, man first turned away from God. Because we first threw away, it will truly be recovered when we turn toward Him even when the Lord turns us away. This Canaanite woman was able to recover this.
It is true how we don’t deserve to say that everything we ask for should be granted. Even when we are thrown away and rejected we need the kind of faith that never changes. We should never lose our faith. We need to realize the truth that this is when a new world opens up. When God throws away and keeps a long distance from us and insults us to put us into suffering, we have to remember this is a position to be blessed.
What is inspiration? How are we touched and moved? It does not come from the ordinary. This woman, when insulted, was able to deeply move Jesus. This woman can be greatly compared to the Jews.
How were the Jews? The Lord truly loved them so much. Although he loved them, they rejected him and did not love him. But this Canaanite woman was that although rejected and insulted by the Lord, loved and followed him. This is a very surprising and astonishing event.
There are times when we are at church and we experience these kinds of things. Let us be the ones to experience greater faith and therefore greater blessings. As we live on, we have to overcome and pass through these insults and experiences. For us to be true gold, we need to go through the fiery furnace to be refined as true gold.
By looking at this Canaanite woman, we can see what kind of faith we should truly have. We are not supposed to see that we are supposed to and qualified to receive love. This woman said yes Lord, am I truly qualified to receive the precious love? No I am not. She was in this very humble position. But the Jews thought they were qualified to receive love. They were in this very arrogant position.
Instead thinking that I am qualified to receive the love, when we think like this Canaanite woman who thinks that I don’t deserve anything, when we stand in this humble position, we are truly able to gain and receive salvation. This woman said yes Lord, I am a dog, but don’t dogs eat crumbs from the table of the owner.
This place should be the starting point of our faith. She was a woman who went so low receiving these insults. However, at that moment, this woman said that I deserve to receive this kind of insult. I deserve and I should start from the very bottom. If our faith starts at this starting point, we will truly succeed and win. If we start at this point, there is nothing we cannot do. If we start our faith at this position, God will truly be surprised.
There is a purpose and motive of Jesus about why Jesus asks her this question. To this woman who asked to give me blessing, there is a reason why Jesus is asking are you truly qualified to receive this blessing?
It is true that we do not receive blessing because we are qualified to receive the blessing. We do not deserve this blessing and we are not qualified. Although we are not qualified, God gave us this blessing through His grace. We need to remember this. When we forget this, that is when we become arrogant and fall astray. When we think that I don’t deserve, that is when we can start my faith right and succeed.
Actually, this Canaanite could have replied differently. She could have said, how could you have said such a thing? How could you have said such a thing to me who is asking for salvation? You are not even the true Christ. She could have just said this and left. This is such great insult for a person. She could have said what kind of Christ is like this? If he is the true Christ, he is supposed to give love, how can he give such great insult? She could have thought like this.
Most people are tested and fall at this point. If this woman had fallen at this point, she would not have been remembered and loved as the woman of faith. This woman stood her faith up and became absolutely one with the heart of Christ.
This woman was a gentile. There were chosen people to receive love first. There were people who were supposed to be called first. Although there are other people who are supposed to receive the love and called first, I am at this point right now. Although I am a gentile, I was able to stand at this point and be at this place. Although my life was so low and undeserving of any blessing or grace, I have come to this place. This woman knew this.
Truthfully, we are also like this. There are so many people who are prepared before us and chosen before us. There are so many people who are better than we are. Actually, it is true how these first prepared and chosen ones to receive more blessing and love. But even so, I was stood up at this position.
This woman knew the heart of Jesus. She knows that this love was the love she was not supposed to receive first. This woman truly knew the heart of Jesus the way he wanted to give love to the chosen people first.
When we have this heart of this woman who understood the heart of Christ, this new world of blessing and grace will be opened up to us. Whenever we are insulted, let us be like this great woman who says that is right, I deserve this kind of insult. In this woman we are able to find the way of Jesus. In this woman who truly lowered herself, we find the way of Jesus.
Truthfully, didn’t the Lord lower himself? This sinless Jesus lowered himself greatly. Is it so hard for us as sinners to lower ourselves? In this humbleness of this woman, we are able to see the humbleness of Christ.
In the walk of faith, this kind of situation always comes to us. We need to become victorious and win with great faith at this moment. Even when we looked at Jacob, the reality of the blessed one was the desert. The reality of the blessed one was in the desert sleeping on the stone pillow. It was the position of being thrown away and rejected. At that point, Jacob was able to meet God.
For us, although outwardly, it looks like the position of being thrown away, let us look at the paradoxical situation where we will be able to meet God. There are times when we feel, why do we have to walk this kind of path? Let us always remember that through this kind of process of going through the fiery furnace, the true gold will come out.
Although all the chosen people failed, this Canaanite woman was able to become victorious. It is because the starting point of this woman’s faith was this humble position. When Jesus said is it not right for me to do this? She said yes Lord. Jesus said, is it not right for me to treat you like a dog? The woman said yes Lord.
We need to have this kind of faith. We need to say yes Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the master’s table. If we have this kind of faith and start this faith at this lowest level where we can’t go lower, then we have nothing to fear.
To the ones who start this faith at this level, Satan cannot touch and make this kind of person fall. I wish that we will all have faith like this Canaanite woman and become victorious in faith. I wish that we will have this great faith in this Canaanite woman that surprised Jesus. Let us be the ones who always remember this great and amazing story of faith.