Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
Only twice in the Bible does Jesus call someone’s faith great. Was he talking about Peter or James or John on those occasions? Actually, when addressing his closest disciples, we hear him often say, “O you of little faith.” When he was highlighting great faith, he once was referring to a Roman Centurion. The other time he was talking to this Canaanite woman.
The woman’s daughter was demon-possessed. Doctors and home remedies were of no use. Only Jesus could help. Here’s where the “great faith” comes in. The Canaanite woman was humble. She realized she wasn’t entitled to good things from God so she offered a heartfelt plea, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me”… and knelt before him. “Lord help me!” She was persistent. Even when the disciples wanted to send her away, she continued to stand by Jesus. And most of all, she was dependent on Jesus. After all, it wasn’t her faith that healed her daughter. It wasn’t some kind of internal personal energy that drove her daughter’s demon away. It was Jesus, and Jesus alone. The Canaanite woman showed great faith by having a great dependency on Jesus.
What circumstances will challenge your faith today? What burdens are hard for you to carry? What worries occupy your inmost thoughts? Doctors and home remedies can sometimes help, but they have limitations. Only Jesus will walk with you every step of the way. Only Jesus deserves to be on the receiving end of your humble pleas, your persistent prayers, and your total dependency.
Do you have great faith? There’s no gauge or scale to measure that. In fact, the question is a bit misleading. It implies an emphasis on us. Instead, as you face today and whatever challenges that arise, be dependent on Jesus. He is great. His love for you is great. His interest in your life is great. His ability to bless you even when things look bleak is great. You are in great hands.
Dear Jesus, strengthen my reliance and dependency on you. When I am weak, make me strong. When I am lonely, assure me of your presence. When I am down, lift me up with your promise to love and forgive. Amen.