Atomic Jesus Supernaturalist

The Canaanite Woman
From around the ancient cities of Tyre and Sidon came a Canaanite woman whose daughter was vexed with the evil power of Satan’s dominion in flesh. 

This woman begged Jesus to have mercy on her plight but Jesus "spoke not a word." The woman kept on and disciples of Jesus advised him to "send her away." He answered their advice with, "I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." But he allowed the woman to remain. 

She continued to plead with this man she’d heard of in rumor; how a word from his mouth caused "miracles" to happen. She was courteous but insistent. She continued: "Lord! Lord, help me!"  The answer Jesus gave this woman is not inspiring but rather infuriating: "It’s not fair to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs."  

Sweet, gentle Jesus was referring to the woman, her daughter and all the citizens of the Canaanite nation as dogs; people who are not only left out of His plans but thought of as "dogs" in the bargain. The woman said, "Truth, Lord. Yet the dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table."

Her insightful saying must have stopped Jesus in his tracks. Instead of outraged fury over a public insult in a land where such humiliation is cause for blood-letting, this mother of a demon-vexed daughter answered the Lord's hard dismissal not with her own venom but with humble acceptance and hope. Jesus responded to her amazing humility with genuine wonder: "O woman! Great is your Faith. Be it unto you as you will." The woman’s daughter was "made whole from that hour."

People in today’s world, including many who call themselves "christian," don’t have much Hope or Faith when they encounter these scenes from the earthly adventures of God’s Christ. People are apt to follow their first instinct into the darkness of doubt. Few have the courage and presence of mind to exercise the hopeful restraint exhibited by this Canaanite woman.  Few indeed are willing to wait for God to take action as He will.

Jesus of Nazareth put this woman’s Faith through a difficult trial. He called the woman and her people "dogs" but never questioned her Faith. When she squelched the urge to answer the Lord’s insult with an insult of her own, her petition was instantaneously answered in the affirmative.

This Canaanite woman surely must have been tempted to scream filthy obscenities at the arrogant young Jew. Jesus could have said, "So be it," at the outset. But instead, he had given her a cutting, personal insult. What a monumental internal conflict must have taken place between her desire to blaze with hot anger and her hope to have a daughter’s health restored. In spite of the insult Jesus had given, she continued to plead with humility.

A "measure of Faith" has been precisely measured into the earthly life of every living Soul. The apostle writes, "Without faith, it is impossible to please God." Jesus asks, "When I come again, will I find faith in the earth?" The earth Jesus speaks of in that question most certainly includes the earthy atomic structure of flesh. Flesh is most certainly made from the atomic dust of the earth: "Dust you are and to the dust you will return." God’s Christ Jesus of Nazareth, alone, is the author and finisher of Faith in this dust.

Unlike a great many people today, the Canaanite woman was absolutely determined to have her prayer answered. One may say that "being there with Jesus" as she was, might make it easier to eat crow and swallow pride. That’s a weak excuse. Jesus says, "I will never leave you or forsake you or in any wise cast you out." The visibility or invisibility of God has no bearing on His power to command as He will. God is God.

Jesus of Nazareth put this woman’s measure of Faith to a hard test. Somehow, through the mysterious process of her Faith-in-action, she swallowed her pride and continued her petition. In an instant, God’s Christ did what only He can do:  He added the infinite measure of his Faith to her small but precise measure of that same Faith. 

Did the woman live the rest of her days on earth learning more of life through her increase of Faith? Did she soon revert to those tempting old ways of ignorant self-aggrandizement? 

It will be interesting to discover, in the coming kingdom, how this outlandish woman finished the great journey she began, not so long ago, in one timeless instant of Faith.

This page was created on June 23rd 1998