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This week’s Pastor to Person was written by Pastor Caleb Beller.
“[Mat 15:23 NIV] 23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”
We have all experienced that moment of frustration where the person you are trying to reach is not picking up. Is it my phone? Are they busy? Are they mad at me? It is easy to take something personally when the situation is urgent, and people seem silent.
This woman is desperately seeking Jesus’ help and it could seem at first that Jesus’ response was not very compassionate. Let us jump to the end and see that Jesus heals the daughter and commends the mother for her faith. In light of this, I think what does this passage teach us?
I believe this passage teaches us two things about prayer. Jesus’ response is going to engage the Canaanite woman to express her faith and show her persistence in prayer. It also to reveals her posture of humility as she acknowledges Jesus’ authority in the situation.
Jesus himself experienced silence when He prayed in Gethsemane those three times. We know that the Father was not mad at Jesus and that Jesus had not done something wrong. On the contrary, the Father’s silence was rooted in His love and perfect will. Jesus teaches us this as He finishes, “not my will but thy will be done.” God’s closed doors and open doors are both rooted in His perfect love.
When we are struggling with prayer. Let us remember, like this woman, that we are to be persistent, to pray without ceasing. We must also remain in a posture of humility not demanding but trusting in Christ’s character. We can have faith in the promise of His love for us as we say, not my will but thy will be done.