The Deliverance of a Canaanite Woman’s Daughter


In our daily meditations, we are continuing to think about the supernatural acts of Jesus while He walked this earth. Today we come to the casting out of a demon from a woman’s daughter:


21Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession." 23Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us." 24He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel." 25The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said. 26He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs." 27"Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." 28Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour (Matthew 15:21-28).


The disciples complained about the Canaanite woman’s unceasing cries. They said to the Lord, “send her away, for she keeps crying out after us” (v. 23). The disciples showed no desire to help her, so she came to Jesus. I know it seems strange, but the Lord didn’t say a word, choosing to remain silent and see what kind of faith she had. The woman sought help for her demonized daughter; both were not from the house of Israel. Jesus said to her that His primary mission was to go first to the Jewish people. When prayers are unanswered, it is wise to persist. When the Lord did not respond to her she did not give up but came closer—Jesus was her only hope. “The woman came and knelt before him” (v. 25). She would not depart without her need being met. She would not be put off!


She must have been even more deflated when Jesus told her that it was not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs (v. 26). I believe there was a twinkle in His eye and a loving smile on His face when He made the statement because she responded with great faith. Undoubtedly, this kind of persevering faith was the very thing for which he was looking. Faith honors and pleases God more than anything else (Hebrews 11:6). How delighted He was at her faithful response! Her daughter’s deliverance and healing were given at that very instant. I wonder how often we don’t get what we want from Christ because we don't persist in going beyond seeming barriers to what we need from God.


To what was Jesus referring to when He talked about the “children’s bread?” (v. 26). Bread is a word in Scripture to describe the staple food of the day. “Give us this day our daily bread” is what we pray in the Lord’s Prayer. Perhaps, if Jesus had been teaching the Lord’s Prayer to Asian people, He might have said, “Give us this day our daily rice.” How do we interpret what Jesus said to the woman? He is intimating that the supernatural works of power, deliverance, and healing are the staple bread of children of God. She wasn’t a child of God because she was not born an Israelite, although, since the cross, any Gentile (non-Jew) can become a child of God through faith in the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. The woman didn’t qualify for the blessings of the children’s bread, i.e., the staple food of being in covenant relationship to the King of Heaven.


If you are a child of God by faith in Christ, you do qualify for the children’s bread! You are under the covenant of God. The manifestation of the Spirit’s work is available to each blood-bought child of God. If this woman, one outside the family of faith, can appeal to the King of Kings for the miraculous power of God for her daughter, how much more should the child of God ask and receive? The problem is not on God’s end. Demons shudder in fear every time a child of God begins to pray, asking God to move supernaturally. When you pray, all hell breaks loose to hinder your prayer life, but we must persist in prayer as the woman in the story did. Power and authority over demons is our right as children of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Keith Thomas


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To study more about our authority in Christ, you might like to read study 7, Jesus’ Authority over Demons, in the Gospel of Luke on the All Studies box on the Home Page.