UPDATED! (In response to a question left in the comments area)
I have learned so much from the woman of Matt 15:21-28
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.
Here is my view on this interaction…
V22 she comes begging for healing for her daughter
v23 Jesus ignores her
If God ignores you, you should give up shouldn’t you?
V23 His disciples took the gap and rebuked her, asking Him to send her away.
V23 She keeps crying out, bothering everyone
v24 Jesus shows her the error in her theology!
Mate, if there is an error in your theology… And GOD shows it to you… And His hand picked crew oppose you… And He is ignoring you… Do yourself a favour, get the hint!!!
v25 Or not! 🙂 she begs again
v26 Jesus again shows her how her theology is wrong, its the wrong people and the wrong timing!
I imagine the crowd and the disciples are fed up by now. God Himself has ignored her, then corrected her theological flaws TWICE and surely she will leave now?!
v27 she persists by saying ALL “pups” get to eat
v28 He says she has GREAT FAITH and grants her wish!!
The reason for His change is not her stubbornness, its her understanding of Gods love for everyone.
This same miracle of the Greek Syrophoenecian woman is retold in Mark 7:25-30
25 Instead, at once, a woman whose little daughter had (was under the control of) an unclean spirit heard about Him and came and flung herself down at His feet.
26 Now the woman was a Greek (Gentile), a Syrophoenician by nationality. And she kept begging Him to drive the demon out of her little daughter.
27 And He said to her, First let the children be fed, for it is not becoming or proper or right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the [little house] dogs.
28 But she answered Him, Yes, Lord, yet even the small pups under the table eat the little children’s scraps of food.
29 And He said to her, Because of this saying, you may go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter [permanently].
30And she went home and found the child thrown on the couch, and the demon departed.
So this woman was a Syrophoenecian Greek/Gentile in a Canaanite (unclean) area. Everything seemed set against her – except for one thing… she understood God’s heart. She is an example of someone who understands that grace and mercy came through Jesus Christ, trumping and defeating and ending law. Jesus hadn’t yet gone to the cross – ending law – but somehow she knew that He had grace and mercy for her.
Even Peter “the rock” didn’t understand until much later (Acts 10:34-35) that Jesus had cleaned everyone and everything (Acts 10:10-16) and was sent to everyone. This woman knew He was sent to everyone. She knew God loves everyone, her theology was correct! She was rewarded.
What if you knew that Jesus is the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the whole world. What if you knew He died in the place of everyone – because the bible SAYS so. What if you read that the bible says He “put away and abolished sin ” (Heb 9:26) and annulled/set aside death (2 Tim 1:10).
Now… what if you believed this but God Himself ignored you?! What if His chosen hand-picked disciples rebuked you?! What if He pointed out theological flaws – TWICE!? What if He said the time is not right? Would you give up, or would you persist, because you know that you know that He did what He said He did, you know He died for the world! Would you persist and hear the words “O woman/man great is your faith. Be it done as you wish.
Persist. He is faithful to His words. Don’t listen to the nay-sayers, they will get it in the next book, the book of acts! 🙂