Yesterday, I told you about the series on prayer I’m listening to. I shared my thoughts with my dad and he must have sensed how desperate and strung out I feel because he sent me this great interpretation of a story in Matthew, inspired by the idea of “storming the mercy seat.” So, I didn’t write this. That’s why it’s so polished and theologically sound. Sadly, you’ll have to go back to suffering through my own humble ramblings tomorrow.
In Matt 15:21, we see the story of the Canaanite woman with the demonized daughter. She was not an Israelite and therefore not part of God’s people to whom Jesus was sent. She had no right to ask what she was asking. She should have left. But she didn’t. Instead, the Scripture says that she came to Jesus and began to cry out. That she “began” to cry out indicates a process. She did not do this once and stop because she was discouraged.
Instead, she saw him as her only real hope and was not about to let that hope slip away. She didn’t turn around and leave because her plea was not accepted. She continued to cry out. This is clear from the passage because the disciples ask Jesus to send her away because she kept shouting at them. She kept what?!? She wasn’t asking meekly. She kept shouting at them! She was continually crying out for mercy. She should have left. But she didn’t.
Finally, Jesus turns to her and tells her that she does not qualify for mercy under his ministry. He was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. She should have turned around at that point and left. But she didn’t. Instead, she threw herself at his feet and begged him, “Lord, help me.” She should have left. But she didn’t. Then Jesus tells her something that contains two important points. First, the children have bread from their father, in this case, deliverance and healing. This is what their father provides for his children. We are his children. Second, he tells her it is not good to throw that bread to the dogs, i.e., the Gentiles. She should have gotten up and left indignantly because of the way he was referring to her. But she didn’t. She humbled herself even further. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”
She should have left but she would not; she could not. He was her only hope. Finally, Jesus is broken down by this onslaught of faith and perseverance. Her daughter is healed. There is a lesson here for us. We need to persevere in prayer for our loved one until the onslaught (the storming of the mercy seat) prevails.