A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
A couple of years ago, I visited the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada, which at that time was the world’s tallest building. In fact, I managed to visit twice in the space of a month, with a quick visit to Sussex in between! On my first visit, with my friend Clive, we took the lift to the top, where there is a glass floor, through which one can see the enormous drop down to the ground below. It was quite terrifying. Eventually, I plucked up the courage to step onto the glass and lived to tell the tale. As I stepped across, I had to have complete faith that the glass would not break under my weight. Luckily it didn’t!
In today’s reading, a non-Jewish, pagan woman from Canaan, approached Jesus. Even though Jesus had primarily ministered to the Jewish community, news of his amazing abilities had clearly reached her. Her poor daughter was possessed by a demon and was suffering terribly, but she believed completely that, if Jesus wanted to, he could save her daughter from the demon. She had complete faith in this man she’d heard all about, and was wiling to risk making a fool of herself in front of the assembled throng if it meant saving her daughter.
Jesus clearly admired the woman’s faith. He remarked on her great faith, and rewarded her by answering her request. He told her that her request was granted, and her daughter was saved from the demon straight away.
Jesus looks for faith in all people. If we have complete faith and put our trust wholly in him, he will grant our requests and answer our prayers. We must have the same “great faith” of the Canaanite woman, however, and be willing to step out in faith and approach Jesus. He knows our heart, and he knows whether we really have faith or not. Let’s pray today that God will help us to have total faith in Christ, and total confidence in his promises.