If you know the heart of Jesus, you will know how keen he is for us to be well and how it’s just not his nature to ignore us. So how do you explain the story of Jesus and the Canaanite woman whom he disregarded?
The story always baffled me as it appears to contradict the willingness and generosity of our beautiful Saviour.
Close inspection reveals that Jesus wasn’t ignoring the Canaanite woman. He was setting her up for her breakthrough.
I love this as it simply shows how we can approach Jesus when we too are believing him for a miracle.
This woman was ‘unqualified’ in the sense she wasn’t a jew but after a lot of ‘resistance’ Jesus heals her.
Jesus healed this amazing woman because of His love and goodness, not hers.
But there are simple healing truths that we can apply to our own journeys to increase our capacity to receive.
1. THE CANAANITE WOMAN SHOWED JESUS AUTHENTICITY
The Canaanite woman initially approached Jesus as though she was a jew, calling him Son of David (a term only jews knew).
Do you remember how initially Jesus ignored her? It was only when she was authentic, that Jesus took notice of her.
Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely demon-possessed.” But He did not answer her with even a word.
I love this revelation. The key ingredient here is authenticity. Jesus wants us to come to him as we are. What a relief!
We don’t need to pretend we’ve got it altogether. Sometimes I hear people pray and I wonder if this is really what they think or feel or whether they’re saying what they think God wants to hear. It’s just not real.
It’s ok to be sad, to be angry, to hurt….
God invites us to come to Him as children, without filter. He is our Abba Father, daddy God. He knows when we’re in denial or trying to be strong.
As children of God, we can approach Jesus with confidence. You are accepted, forgiven and worthy. We don’t need to plead or beg him to heal us. This to me is being authentic.
The brave Canaanite woman who met Jesus was a Gentile. This meant that she had no entitlement or qualification to even approach Jesus, never mind expect anything from him.
Yet He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” And she said, “Yes, Lord; but please help, for even the dogs feed on the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.
Jesus was looking for humility when he tries to discourage her from her request. She didn’t take offence by his ‘seemingly reluctant’ attitude. This woman only had hope in the goodness and grace of God.
God heals you and I because of Jesus and His sacrifice, this is our qualification. There is no room for pride when we are in relationship with Him.
If you think that God owes you something because of your obedience; how much you pray, read your Bible or are good to others, then this is an attitude that will hinder your receiving.
This woman knew the love of God was more powerful and stronger than her disqualification.
I love how the Canaanite woman who pleaded with Jesus was so persistent. Her obstacles did not stop her approaching Jesus.
Even when Jesus seeming ‘ignored’ her and then appeared ‘reluctant’ to respond to her request, she kept on persevering.
This is so encouraging (and challenging) for us. How many times do we feel like giving up when we don’t receive the healing in our time scale?
I remember being continually disappointed by the failure of medical treatments. Approximately 20 procedures failed. Each time I was convinced that God would heal in this way.
It was so tempting to give up believing after each setback.
I believe God gives us the faith and grace to persevere and overcome every hurdle.
It’s so tempting to stop believing when we take our eyes off Jesus and onto all the obstacles that stand in our way. This story shows how God honours those who don’t give up.
4. FREE FROM CONDEMNATION
Being a Gentile, the Canaanite woman was ignorant of rules and laws that Jews were living by.
When we’re aware of our sins, the guilt that accompanies them causes our nervous system to react, our hearts can condemn us.
Cortisol is released into our system amplifying the symptoms in our body. This is the last thing we want.
When we feel guilty our faith is diluted.
Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck.
1 Tim. 1:19.
This woman was so unaware of sin in her life, she had confidence before Jesus. Her eyes were on Him and not any wrongdoing. Jesus answers her by saying “O woman, your faith is great…” Matt 15:28
Do you feel bad about yourself in any way? The Bible says “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” Rom 8:1
5. THE POWER OF INTERCESSORY PRAYER
This woman wanted a healing for her daughter. Just like the centurion who wanted healing for his servant. The ‘sick’ people in these instances weren’t present or the ones believing for the healing.
Those who intercede for others stand in the gap when the person in question cannot pray for themselves. They will not give up.
Supplication with travailing intercession is the kind of prayer that will not take ‘no’ for an answer-it storms the battlements of heaven and brings confusion and defeat to all the powers of hell – even death itself’
The Gate Church: Frank Damazio
The Canaanite woman interceded for her daughter, just as Jesus intercedes for us. “He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf!” Hebrews 7 v25
Who is standing with you during this season of illness? Who are you praying for?
This amazing faith filled woman reminds me of my own mother. She will do whatever it takes to see her daughter well again, such is the love of a parent.
How much more the love of our Father in Heaven?
As we continue on our healing journeys, what difference would it make, if you and I adopted the above characteristics of this beautiful Canaanite woman?
If we committed in prayer for ourselves and those we know who need a healing touch? Our eyes would be completely on Him and not any disqualification or obstacle.
I believe that our relationship with Him would be more authentic as we draw close to the only one who can help us now.
I continue to pray for anyone reading this who finds themselves needing a miracle from heaven. Don’t give up. God loves you and wants you well.
I hope this encourages you today.
If this has helped you today, why not read