The Faith of the Canaanite Woman

“Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great [is] your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour”. –Matthew 15:28


It must have been very difficult for a mother to see her child suffering from a certain illness. She would do everything possible within her means to find a cure. It could be very unbearable if she could not find anything to relieve her child of the pain.

In our text, we can see a Canaanite mother who went to the Lord Jesus for the healing of her child. She must have heard about the miracles the Lord has done from all over the city so she has boldly come to Him for the healing of her child.

Now, at first we see that the Lord Jesus is not responding to her screams. It must have been very discouraging on her part because she needs help very badly and immediately. The disciples have even called the Lord’s attention but the Lord has said that He has come only for the Jews.  However, the woman has been persistent. The Lord then has answered that it is not good to give the food intended for the children away to the dogs. Yet the woman has not doubted that the Lord Jesus will give what she is asking. She says, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” The Lord has been impressed with how she has acted in faith. The Lord has commended her faith and has healed her child that very minute.

Many times, people get discouraged easily when the Lord seems to take time in answering their prayer that they stop praying. Here, the faith of the Canaanite woman is a demonstration of absolute trust and confidence that comes from genuine worship.

There are two things that the Canaanite woman has displayed:

  • She worships the Lord “Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” (v.25). She has acknowledged the Lord’s deity. She has bowed before the Lord, which means that she has made him the ruler over her life. She has shown a genuine submission.
  • She has shown humility “And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” (v.27). She has approached the Lord not as one who deserves to receive from Him but as one who appeals for undeserved mercy. She is not a Jew and is therefore not a legal recipient of God’s grace but she rests on God’s mercy, and God has granted her urgent request.

How is our faith? Do we have the same persistence and confidence like that of the Canaanite woman? As Christians, may we be able to show a true and genuine faith.

Digested from: Sermon by: Sis. Andrea Agovida, Apprentice Pastor, Lagro, United Methodist Church, August 14, 2011, based on Matthew 15:21-28

Image above courtesy of: