And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto 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 unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour. – Matthew 15.22-28
Here is an interesting story. A Canaanite woman came to Jesus and called out ‘hvve mercy on me and take away my daughter’s demon.
Jesus’ response was a little surprising to say the least.
He ignored her. And the disciples tried to send her away. Jesus followed up by saying ‘I am sent to the lost sheep of Israel! It is not right to take the children’s food and give it to the dogs.’
But she persisted ‘even the dogs eat the crumbs from the table.
Then Jesus said ‘Woman, your faith is great, your prayer is answered.’ And he daughter was made well.
What are we to make of this story? Was Jesus really that hard and calloused? Did He really not care?
I think the point was different. Yes, the Old Testament said that Messiah was coming for the Jews, but Jesus pointed out with this lesson that anyone could avail of the blessing of salvation. Just as healed this Gentile woman He will bring salvation to all who seek Him.
But I think there is also a lesson here about persistence in prayer. This woman had the faith to keep praying even when the first response was ‘no.’ She just kept praying and eventually she got her answer because of her great faith.
Keep on praying. Keep on persisting. Keep on trusting.