THE WOMAN OF CANAAN

Jesus came unto the borders of Tyre and Sidon, where the people were not Jews, but Gentiles. And there came to Him a woman of Canaan, who cried out to Him, saying, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil." She besought Him to cast out this evil spirit from her daughter. But He answered not a word, and His disciples counselled Him to send her away. Then He told her He was not sent unto the Gentiles, but unto the lost sheep of Israel; meaning the Jews. This was said to try her faith. Then she came and worshipped Him, saying, "Lord, help me." But He said, "It is not meet to take the children's food and to cast it to dogs;" meaning that His help was due rather to the Jews than to the Gentiles. And she said, "Truth, Lord, yet the dogs sometimes eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table;" meaning that, though she was a Gentile, she believed in Him as the Son of God.

Then Jesus answered, and said unto her, "O woman, great is thy faith; be it unto thee even as thou desirest. Go thy way; the devil has gone out of thy daughter." And when she was come to her house she found her daughter made whole and laid upon the bed.

Jesus, with His knowledge of our hearts, knew the faith this poor woman had, and tried it so that it might shine the brighter. Then He granted her the blessing she had asked Him for; and how she must have rejoiced when she reached home and found her daughter quite well and restored to her right mind.


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