And behold, a Canaanite woman came out from that region, and began to cry out, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed.” But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came to Him and kept asking Him, saying, “Send her away, for she is shouting out after us.” But He answered and said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” And He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” But she said, “Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; be it done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once. (Matthew 15:22-28 NASB)
The setting is in what is now Lebanon, north of the border of present day Israel. Why our Lord went there I do not know. It was a place mostly inhabited by a people wanting nothing to do with the God of the Hebrews. It is as if these seven verses describe a sort of side trip outside of the usual routes of travel Jesus took. Knowing that He does nothing from mere whimsy, it is as if He went there for the very purpose of coming to a woman desperate for all that He is. Does He not do the same today, always drawing near to those who cry out to God for mercy and help with passionate sincerity?
Note too, her plea. The asking of mercy is for herself although it is her daughter that is cruelly demon possessed, not the mother. It might as well be, though. For isn’t the heart of motherhood such that it takes upon itself the trials and sorrows of her children? And in doing so, reflects the heart of God towards we who are his children.