Note: Devotional taken from last Sunday's sermon on Matthew 15:21-28.
And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil (Matthew 15:22).
Mathew 15:22 describes Christ’s encounter with a Canaanite woman, who cries out in prayer. Notice:
First, she offers a heartfelt petition for the Lord to bestow mercy. Grace has been defined as when we DO get what we DO NOT deserve. Mercy, on the other hand, has been defined as when we DO NOT get what we DO deserve. The request for mercy at the hand of God comes from one who knows she is a sinner, deserving God’s wrath and punishment.
In Luke 18 Christ tells a parable contrasting the prayer of a self-righteous Pharisee and a publican (tax collector). The latter, knowing he is deserving of God’s wrath stands “afar off,” without even lifting his eyes to heaven, “but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner” (v. 13).
Second, she addresses Christ as “Lord.” This Greek term kurios has a double meaning. It can mean Sir or Master. But it is also the word that was used in reverence to refer to God. The earliest Christian confession was likely the simple statement: Jesus is Lord (cf. Rom 10:9; 1 Cor 12:3; Phil 2:11).
Third, she addresses the Lord Jesus as the “Son of David.” This title is given to Christ in the first line of this Gospel (1:1). What is striking is that she as a Gentile acknowledges the Lord Jesus to be descendent of David. Though a Gentile, she looks to the God of Israel and the seed of David for deliverance.
Finally, she intercedes not merely for herself but, most importantly, for her demon possessed daughter: “my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.” It has often been observed that one mark of spiritual maturity is that one prays more for the needs of others than for oneself. Surely godly parents will intercede for their children when they are in distress.
Let us learn from this woman’s example when we cry out to our God in prayer.
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle