St. Joseph Anglican Church

The Faith of the Canaanite Woman

She is from Canaan, a bitter enemy that is referred to as “the dogs”

This is in effect the first Missionary Trip …. To the Gentiles, to Tyre, and she is Pagan background, including child offerings … and her child is possessed …. Unclean … by Old covenant terms.


Her persistence here is key to this drama. She recognizes Jesus as “Son of David”  … and worships him.

She cries out, “Lord, have mercy.” “Kyrie, eleison,” is the way it reads in the Greek. That’s the cry of the church in all ages. We say it at during our Prayers, the Litany, don’t we, in the Kyrie: “Lord, have mercy upon us. Christ, have mercy upon us. Lord, have mercy upon us.” Kyrie, eleison! The Kyrie is the church calling on her Lord and asking for his mercy. We come before God with all these needs, you see. All kinds of suffering and misery in our lives and in the world. We need God’s help, we need his mercy.


He says Israel “First” which hints at “Priority” a chance or “Hope”


She has no right to His Blessing

God is not obligated to Act here or anywhere, God is God whether He Acts here or not!

God’s Grace is given freely and without merit from us.


Kuan = dog ……. Kuanarios = Pet

Bread is not table food here …. The BREAD of LIFE!


She reflect Humility, and accepts his premise of “dogs” without rebuttal, and in effect uses Christ’s terms ….. and understands that children come first.

She seeks inclusion into God’s blessing … to experience blessing … Christ is seeking her Heart, and left the door open, she came in through that opened door humbly and with humility. Christ confirms his teaching in the first 23 vs of this chapter.

Look at the Altar though the Prayer of Humble Access …WE do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We are not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord, whose property is always to have mercy:

The Canaanite woman did not give up. And Jesus commends her faith: “O woman, great is your faith!” Jesus grants her request. Her daughter is healed. How is Jesus able to do that? What gives him that authority? Because he is the author of life. Christ is the victor over sin and death and the devil. He has authority over the demons of hell. Jesus, our Savior, won that victory for us in a most mysterious way. Moved by his divine mercy, the Son of God came down into our mess and suffered our misery with us. He entered into it, fully. He suffered the anguish of all the ravages of sin when he was nailed to the cross. Jesus himself suffered the silence of God, when he cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

The demons must have had their laugh when Jesus was crucified. But their laughter was short-lived. For by dying as the sacrifice for the sin of the world, Jesus took away the power of the devil. The devil was shorn of his strength by the death of Christ. And God then vindicated his Son by raising him up from the dead. God has shown his mercy in the greatest way. His mercy in Christ forgives our sins, delivers us from the power of the devil, and gives us the sure hope of everlasting life. His mercy endures forever.

Today, my friends, God is strengthening you in your faith. He is building in you a faith that perseveres. Faith like that of the Canaanite-- woman, who was willing to come like a little dog to eat at the Lord’s table. Great was her faith because great was her Lord, the one who called forth that faith. He is a Lord who has mercy on us, even when it looks like he doesn’t. Persevering faith in a merciful Lord. Kyrie, eleison.


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