The Faith of the Canaanite Woman
If we opened our Bible in search of a, “Diamond in the rough,” we would only have to turn to Matthew 15:21-28 and the story of the unnamed and unashamed Canaanite woman.
The rough starts with: John the Baptist doubting. John the Baptist, the one that Jesus said, “I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater…” (Matthew 11:11
Moves to the disciples doubting if there is a way to feed the crowd with five loaves and two fish
Continues with Peter doubting if he can walk all the way to Jesus.
Next the Religious leader express their doubt by continuing to challenge who Jesus is.
Followed by the refusal of the Apostles to see and understand who Jesus is. Jesus says to his most faithful followers and students, “Are you still so dull?”
And now the diamond. An unnamed, unashamed, non-follower, non-Jew, non-theologian, non-Apostle asks Jesus for help. She has a pressing need to save her daughter. She says, all she needs to say when she says, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me.”
At first Jesus does not answer her. I think it is because he is in awe. Her words have sat him back on his heels. His silence is there to give an opportunity for everyone around him to soak up her words. Up until this moment he has been inundated with doubt and questioning of who he is, where he is from and why he is here and now, like a lightning strike on a clear sunny day, Faith shows up.
He questions her, just once. He reminds her why the crowd and the Apostles think he has come. He is speaking to get their attention. It is if he is saying, hey listen up, it is one more chance for you to gain real understanding.
She is so beautiful in her boldness. She stands up face to face with the creator of the universe and says, Look! I know who you are. I know why you have come. I know where you came from and I know what you can do. Yes, she is saying, I am the less of the less but I only need the less from you, and your less on my daughter is more than all of everything else put together. She says, Lord just the smallest crumb of your love on the smallest of your creatures is enough to bring healing and new life.
The Canaanite woman, the dog, the less of the less has no doubt, no dullness, no shame and no fear. She has everything she needs. She has FAITH.