A Canaanite woman begged Jesus’ help (Matthew 15:21-28). Or a Syro-phoenician woman. However you put it: Not Jewish. Pagan.
But she recognized the Son of God when she saw Him. She called Jesus the “Son of David.” In other words, the Messiah, the anointed One. [Spanish]
She prayed to Him, with faith in His power. This was no mere man, not just another wandering rabbi. She knew she wasn’t talking to a simple Jew. She was talking to the God of the Jews, the Creator of heaven and earth.
She believed He is God. So she did not hesitate to humble herself. Faith and humility go together. You cannot separate faith and humility from each other, any more than you can separate peanut butter and jelly or Starsky and Hutch.
Then the Lord put her humble faith to the test a little bit. Let’s imagine the whole scene unfolding not in Palestine, but at our local WalMart. She’s in the baby-food section. He walks by, in his blue vest.
‘Lord, heal my daughter!’
‘Not just now, ma’am. They need me on Aisle 3.’
‘No. Please. Have mercy. She’s tormented by a demon, and I know You are the Lord of all angels and demons!’
Oh, I forgot to mention one detail, in this re-imagined version of the story. The woman comes from Dallas. She’s wearing a Cowboys COVID face mask. She’s begging God for mercy through a Dallas Cowboys mask.
Put yourself in the shoes of the Christ. We know His Heart beats with infinite merciful love. But even if you came to the earth to save sinners, you might hesitate.
The Lord put the woman’s faithful humility to the test. He made her beg. He made her grovel. She had to acknowledge explicitly the superior power and dignity of the One with Whom she spoke.
She did the right thing. No one should ever grovel before a fellow human being. We all have equal dignity in God’s eyes. If someone tried to make me grovel for something really important by insulting my allegiances, by saying something like: ‘Ok, you can have what you ask for. But only if you change your mask for this here New-York Yankees mask.’ In such a situation, you would have to stand up for yourself and resist.
But not with God. He made all the Cowboys fans and Yankees fans; He made all the different fans, in the first place. He holds them all in His sway. He knows better than we do what will do us the most good. Compared to Him, we are literally nothing. He made us out of nothing, to give Him glory by being who He made us to be.
The Lord insisted on this kind of humility from the Canaanite woman. She showed it, in full. He insisted on her humility not because He despised her, but because He admired her.
He saw her zealous motherly love. He saw how her focus on her daughter put everything else into perspective, including herself. She did not let her self, her ego, get in her own way.
‘I know I’m no Jew,’ she thought to herself. ‘I know I don’t have any rights in this conversation. I am begging God for pity, for mercy, for kindness.
‘I’ll carry your price-gun to Aisle 3 for you, Lord. I’ll do anything. Just help me.’
She withstood the test of humility and faith. God said: “Let it be done for you as you wish.”
In the beginning of the world, He had said, “Let there be light.” And there was light, because the light was humble enough to let itself get brought into existence out of nothing, by the infinite power of God.
Now He said to the Canaanite woman, “Let it be done for you as you wish.” And the woman’s daughter breathed free. Because the woman knew she was dealing with the same Person, Who had made the light in the beginning. And she prayed to Him accordingly.
Today we have a guest reader for the video version 🙂
(Tenemos lector invitada hoy dia)