The Canaanite Woman (Matthew 15:21-28) Commentary


She was a gentile, but she knew who Jesus was, even enough to call him a descendant of David.
She begged aloud for compassion and the healing of her daughter. Jesus deliberately did not answer. It was the disciples who would acknowledge her, urging Jesus to send her away, because she was annoying them. Jesus addresses her. He says he was sent to only God’s chosen people, descendants of Jacob. She kneels before him and persistently begs. He answers even more definitively, now, saying he won’t take the bread (God’s Word, salvation, providence, Jesus the bread of life) from the children (Descendants of Jacob, God’s chosen people) and give it to the dogs (gentiles, those who did not know God). The woman’s pride did not overtake her. Her motivation was the healing of her daughter. She believed Jesus could do this. He was her hope. She responds, that though not a child of Israel, she still understood the power of God, and she too, needed him to save her. She would take even a crumb of his mercy. Jesus granted her request because of her faith. Humble yourself and be exalted. This woman, Jesus allowed the disciples to respond to. They responded without compassion. Jesus did not rebuke them. He used the opportunity to prove that God’s grace was indeed for everyone. He allowed her to demonstrate her faith, and her belief, so she may be shown to be an adopted chilld of God. It was a lesson, and a preview of the future church Jesus would build, and that his grace would extend to all people.
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