Questions and Answers

Why Did the Faith of the Canaanite Woman Win the Lord Jesus’ Approval?

Matthew 15:22–28 record: “And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried to him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, you son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and sought him, saying, Send her away; for she cries after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. Then Jesus answered and said to her, O woman, great is your faith: be it to you even as you will. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”

Why did the Lord Jesus praise the great faith of the Canaanite woman upon hearing her words: “Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table” (Matthew 15:27)?

I got the answer from a book recently. It says, “Why did the Lord Jesus praise the faith of this person? It was not because she was willing to be a dog, nor was it because she was willing to eat bread crumbs. This is all secondary. What was it that the Lord Jesus praised her for? It was that she didn’t care whether the Lord Jesus saw her as a dog, as a person, or as the devil Satan. She didn’t care what He saw her as. The most important point was that she regarded the Lord Jesus as God, and that she affirmed the Lord Jesus to be the Lord, and to be God. This is a truth and a fact that is eternally unchanging. The Lord Jesus was God, was the Lord, was the One affirmed as such in her heart, and that was enough. Irrespective of whether the Lord Jesus saved her or didn’t save her, whether He saw her as someone to eat with together at table, or as a disciple, or a follower, or whether He saw her as a lapdog or guard dog, it was all fine, she didn’t care. In any case, it was enough for her to acknowledge that the Lord Jesus was the Lord of her heart; this was her greatest faith” (“Man is the Greatest Beneficiary of God’s Management Plan”). From this passage, we can see that the Lord Jesus praised her faith as the Canaanite woman was very rational in front of the Lord. Because of her true faith in the Lord, she believed that the Lord had the power to heal her daughter. What’s more, since she regarded the Lord Jesus as her Lord and her God, she didn’t care whether the Lord granted her request or not, or saw her as a dog or a person, she believed the substance of the Lord was God without doubt but had particular faith in Him all the time. Even when the Lord Jesus likened her to a dog in front of His disciples, she could put her own image aside and was restrained by nothing. She was able to stand firm in her position as a created creature and honor God as the greatest in her heart. This is the primary reason why the Lord Jesus praised her.

Compared with the Canaanite woman’s faith and sense before the Lord, I felt ashamed. In these years of following the Lord Jesus, although I read the Bible every day, I didn’t practice them much in real life. When everything went smoothly, I spent a lot and paid much price for the Lord actively, and had faith in the Lord. However, when some adverse things came upon my family or there was a conflict between me and the co-workers, I would lose my faith in the Lord and become depressed. When the Lord provided me with grace, I filled my mouth with happy thanksgivings and praises and my faith in God also increased; while when I encountered some illness or disasters, I blamed God for not blessing me, and even misunderstood and doubted God. … Regarding the reason and faith in God, there is indeed a world of difference between me and the Canaanite woman. So, if we want to win the Lord’s praise, we really ought to learn from the Canaanite woman. No matter how God treats us, whether His work is against our notions or not, we can’t doubt God’s identity and position but still keep to our place as a creation and learn to obey God’s arrangements. Such faith in God is in accordance with God’s will!