In this chapter we see that the Pharisees are not listening with their hearts. They are thinking about their traditions and rituals. Without these they felt lost. Jesus calls them, “blind leaders.” In this passage Jesus reminds us to keep our hearts and minds open to Him. Distractions are inevitable, but we must not allow media, gadgets, traditions, and other man-made things to distract us from what is real and ultimately important. We must to be open to the guidance of the Spirit of God.
Jesus meets the Canaanite woman and first speaks to her in a way that a Jewish man would speak to a Canaanite. He speaks to her in a way that she, an outsider, expected. Jesus did so to test her faith. Did she really believe that He was the Messiah? Her response to Jesus shows her open heart, and her desire for her daughter to be healed. She cries out to Jesus, “Lord, help me!” Jesus can read the mother’s heart and that she really believes in Him and His power. Therefore, her faith and hope led to a miracle. Her Faith in Jesus brings healing to her daughter. What an amazing promise by Jesus, “Let it be as you desire.” When we allow our hope and faith in Jesus to be that strong, we too will witness great miracles. Jesus is making a statement to the Jewish leaders also. His love and provisions are for everyone who will be open to Him.
I have never fasted for more than a day. I can’t imagine the crowd going without food for three days just to be near Jesus. But when you are in the presence of the Son of God, obviously that is a whole different experience. I can just imagine how they listened intently to words about perfect love and perfect freedom through Jesus. This was the message that they had longed to hear. Men, women, and children from all backgrounds followed Him and were totally engaged in His words. After three days Jesus fed the multitudes by performing a miracle. He takes seven loaves of bread and a few small fish and prays to His Father. The food multiplied and not only were all the people fed, but they had seven baskets of leftovers. Once again, and by no small means, we are reminded that Jesus cares for our physical needs as well as our spiritual needs. He is the One we need.
Joey Norwood Tolbert
M.A. in Religious Studies