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29. The Healing of the Daughter of the Canaanite Woman.

One day Jesus Christ went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. There came to Him a Canaanite woman of pagan faith, and she began to cry out loudly, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely possessed by a demon."

Wishing to show His disciples the strength of the faith of this woman, Jesus Christ did not answer a word to her.

Then, the disciples began to beg Him saying, "Send her away, for she is crying after us."

But Jesus answered, "I am sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

But she came and knelt before Him saying, "Lord! Help me."

Jesus Christ said to her, "Let the children first be fed, for it is not right to take the childrenís bread and throw it to the dogs." He said this because the Jews considered themselves the children of Abraham, children of God, and sons of the Kingdom of Heaven, and they looked upon the Gentiles as dogs. Therefore, the Saviour was intentionally addressing the Jews in this instance and equating a dog to this woman, wishing to show the Jews all the incorrectness and injustice of their attitude toward the pagans. Among the pagans, He found strong faith such as did not exist among the Jews. He called them "the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Moreover, by these words, the Saviour showed the woman that He must live and do His work first of all among the Jews as they believed in the true God. Most importantly, the Saviour saw the believing heart of this woman and rejoiced that in her there was an example to show all people what faith must be.

The woman humbly answered to this, "Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the childrenís crumbs." With these words the Canaanite woman demonstrated not only her great humility and consciousness that a pagan person could not be as close to God as those in the true faith, but conveyed by this her great faith that the merciful God extends mercy to all people.

Then, Jesus Christ said to her, "O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire." And her daughter was healed instantly. Returning home, the woman found her daughter restored to health and peacefully lying in bed.

Note: See the Gospels of Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30.

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