February 11, 2023 • Life for Leaders
Scripture — Matthew 15:28
Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed instantly.
Courage stands firm in the dignity of her humanity. Courage stands in solidarity on behalf of other bodies, in this case, the Canaanite woman’s daughter. Courage risks rejection. She was in fact, rejected twice in this conversation. However, her courage was repetitive and persistent.
Yesterday we considered the courageous actions of the Canaanite mother in this story. She believes in the identity and authority of Jesus to heal and she asks for mercy. In the previous verses from our focal verse, we see an incredibly tense and controversial conversation. The socio-political wounds between two peoples come to the surface—the lack of mercy and patience from the disciples who want to send this woman away because “she keeps shouting at us.” They see her body, but did they see her humanity? Did they hear about her need?
This mother fights like a lioness mother stronger than any socio-political border or any order of purification. Two times she begs. Two times she insists and persists. It is as if she is saying, “Yes Jesus, your disciples want to send me away, there is bad blood between our peoples, but I know who you are, I know you got mercy, and I’m not leaving here without it.”
Courage stands firm in the dignity of her humanity. Courage stands in solidarity on behalf of other bodies, in this case, her daughter’s. Courage risks rejection. She was in fact, rejected twice in this conversation. However, her courage was repetitive and persistent.
If Jesus heals her of this demon, is this a sign that he can heal inherited hate? If Jesus heals her of this demon, can his mercy heal hostility among enemies? This Canaanite mother, this dreamer, has bold and audacious faith. In spite of the tense conversation between her and Jesus and his disciples, Jesus sees her humanity and praises her faith. She gets the last word in the story. Not only does Jesus praise her faith, but grants her wishes for mercy and healing. Let it be done for you as you wish. And her daughter was healed instantly.
What parts of this story are uncomfortable for you? What parts of this story point you towards hope and healing?
Consider the hope and the healing in this story and how it speaks to contemporary issues of our day or conflicts near/around you.
God of healing, thank you for sending your son to dispense mercy on our old wounds. God who exposes wounds in order to heal wounds, grant us patience to do the work of healing. Grant us grace towards ourselves as we seek healing within ourselves, healing between fractured relationships, healing between fractured communities. You are still the God who heals. Have mercy on us today. Amén.
Banner image by Michael Schofield on Unsplash.
Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the High Calling archive, hosted by the unique website of our partners, the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Banishing Bigotry With Christ.
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