Main point summary
Persistent faith leads God to act in ways that He wouldn't, otherwise.
g And Jesus went away from there
and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon.
And behold, h a Canaanite woman from that region came out
and was crying,
i “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David;
my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.”
But he did not answer her a word.
And his disciples came and begged him, saying,
j “Send her away,
for she is crying out after us.”
k “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But she came and l knelt before him, saying,
“Lord, help me.”
And he answered,
“It is not right to take the children’s bread
and m throw it to the dogs.”
yet even the dogs eat n the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”
Then Jesus answered her,
“O woman, o great is your faith!
p Be it done for you as you desire.”
q And her daughter was p healed instantly. 1
It is easier to send the needy away than to meet their need.
This story often comes to my mind as one of the harder to understand in the gospels. The tone of Jesus seems utterly incompatible with a kind, loving Savior. However, I think this passage highlights some important truths: 1) Jesus admits that he was sent only to "the lost sheep of the house of Israel," yet consistently responds to either faith or desperate need among centurions, Samaritans, and Gentiles. 2) The woman acknowledges that the "crumbs" she desires were not hers by right, but rather only through the master's mercy.