Jesus sees us and knows what we’re facing. He seeks to save those who are lost, are losing heart or have lost their way. Luke 19:10 states: “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”
In Matthew 15:22-28, he saw and heard a woman who cried to get his attention. She wanted her daughter to be healed and desperately needed his attention. Initially, though, Jesus did not respond. That’s right, I wrote that He did not respond.
In our desperation of experiencing planet Earth’s pandemic, many people are praying. They’re crying out to God. Perhaps they are losing heart, losing jobs, losing loved ones or losing normalcy. The woman who came to Jesus seemed to be where many people are now: at the end of everything she knew to be true. You see, her daughter needed to be delivered from demons. This woman must have heard that Jesus had healed many people and came looking for him.
In the book of Matthew, Jesus traveled out of Galilee, where he had done the very early days of his ministry. In Matthew 15, he travels north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. It is in this setting, where Matthew records this encounter with the desperate woman who needed Jesus’s attention. Jesus being fully human and fully God, knew that this woman would have a need. He intentionally traveled to a new geographic area. During the Biblical times, due to cultural standards, Jesus as a Jewish man would not normally have talked to a non Jewish woman. The Bible identifies the woman as Caananite. So, it was culturally unacceptable for Jesus to talk to this woman, but Jesus wasn’t deterred by man made customs. He was concerned about her need.
The Caananite woman demonstrated faith to even seek for Jesus and ask Him for a miracle. Eventually, He responded. When we cry for help, I know that I typically desire for Jesus to act now, not eventually. I have to believe and have faith, like she did, that He sees me in my condition and can make a way where there seems to be no way. No matter where we are on planet Earth, the Holy Spirit, also comes near to us and is ready to listen when we’re ready to cry out and have faith.
The woman’s faith grabbed Jesus’s attention.
Her faith led her to see Jesus and seek His help. She saw at one point only her sick child but decided to seek the One who could heal. She saw the chaos in her own child, in her home, in her world, but sought the peace that she knew Jesus had. She saw a cultural barrier, but sought Jesus anyway.
She cried, “Have mercy on me!” Her need was for her child but she realized that she needed the mercy of a Savior. Her daughter needed to be healed. After Jesus did not answer, she asked in three words, the same words that many people are praying now: “Lord help me.” Oh how I love what happens next. He acknowledged her and had a conversation. Keep in mind, he had traveled to her location and made himself available because of her need.
Just as He saw her, He sees us too. His Holy Spirit in our time moves to where we are and is waiting for our response. I love this part of the woman’s story so much because it was her faith in Jesus and her cry for help which changed the outcome. Jesus sought her and found her. At first, Jesus did not answer her but He was listening to hear her expression of faith. She kept asking and He answered by stating, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” Her daughter was healed at that moment and delivered from the demons.
He is still coming to us now, moving among us, seeing us, and seeking for a moment when we will choose to talk with Him. In another Bible verse, James 4:8, we are told this: “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.”
I have wondered what happened in the woman’s life after this recorded moment in the book of Matthew. How did she live after this? Just as she knelt at the feet of Jesus to ask for His help, did she stay in a position of submission to Him? Did she have faith to keep praying? Did her daughter realize her mom’s faith changed the direction of her life? I don’t know, but I know that Jesus had great mercy on this woman. I hope she remembered and that it changed her forever.
These are troubling times. All I know is to learn from this special story that we should not be hindered by any barriers. Just talk to Him. Jesus sees our lockdown, our concerns and our desperation. He seeks you and looks for your response. What will you tell Him today? Whatever it is, trust Him to reply and answer. He may not respond immediately like when He didn’t answer the woman right away. Just as she kept asking, we can keep asking and believing.
It would have been easy for this woman to have given up because her need seemed hopeless. Her need required transparency. Our needs also may look overwhelming, hopeless and too much. Keep asking and believing Jesus to answer. When our situation weighs our hearts down and makes us want to withdraw away from God, resist it and run to Him.
Seek Him and you will find Him. He is already near to you, ready to listen and help. Wherever you are, speak the name of Jesus. Have faith in God. The desperation of the Caananite woman reminds me so much of where many of us are in times of loss, times of stress and times of heartache.
Heavenly Father, I know you see us. I know you hear us. I have faith that you will supply all of our needs according to your riches in glory. I know that you are a merciful God. You granted the Caananite woman’s request. We humbly bow at your feet, knowing that our help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth. I praise you for who you are. You performed miracles when you walked on Earth as a man. You traveled to places with the intention of being strategically placed so that people who needed you would find you.
We need you now, God, through the power of your Holy Spirit, to help all of those who are sick. Please comfort them and heal them. The ones who are caring for them are weary and worn out. Please renew their strength and let them not grow weary in well doing. You, oh God, know the intricate way that you knitted each person together in their mother’s womb. You know the end from the beginning. Please have mercy on the world that you made. Please protect us from harm. Please provide for all of those who have lost heart and seem to have lost everything. Please provide supernatural assistance to support parents who are home with children all day while working and are overwhelmed by this responsibility. Please protect the children from harm as they are the ones who you told us to model our faith after. You said in your Word to not prevent the little children from coming to you for such is the kingdom of God. The children are looking to the adults to care for them and we as the adults, cry out to You to have mercy on us and help us.
Thank you in advance for your mighty acts and merciful hands. Help us to know how to help those who are hurting and feel lost at this time. You gave each one of us a gift to use so let us all use these gifts that You provided in our minds to glorify you.
Please attend to our prayer. When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. The Psalmist prayed these words and I pray them now. I am overwhelmed. I need your mercy to help me, help my family and guide every step. And now, let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight O Lord my strength and my Redeemer.
I honor you and praise you. Like those who shouted Hosanna as you entered Jerusalem prior to your crucifixion and resurrection, I also praise you with my whole heart. Hallelujah! Hosanna to you, Jesus, my Savior.