Every born-again Christian is in covenant with God to the point where we call the books of the Bible written to us as the New Covenant. We have promises of healing. Now sometimes, we are standing on that covenant, and it becomes hard to keep standing – we get weary of doing good, weary of trusting for our healing, weary of fighting circumstances, and so we need a fresh revelation of God’s love and grace.
Today, I am going to give you that revelation by looking at how Jesus deals with a woman who has no covenant, is not born again, is not righteous, has no right standing with God. Let’s read it together:
21 Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.”
23 But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. “Tell her to go away,” they said. “She is bothering us with all her begging.”
24 Then Jesus said to the woman, “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.”
25 But she came and worshiped him, pleading again, “Lord, help me!”
26 Jesus responded, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.”
27 She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters’ table.”
28 “Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed. (Matthew 15.21-28, NLT)
I love the Bible. I love the riches of wisdom in every single book, it’s like a treasure chest just full of the most beautiful and purest and rarest gems, every time you dip into it you find the most amazing things. This woman has no covenant with God. No deal with God at all.
A woman, not from God’s chosen people, but from Canaan. She was an alien from the Commonwealth of Israel, a stranger to the covenants of promise, without Christ, without hope and without God in the world (see Ephesians 2.12).
She was part of one of the most evil nations in the world. The paganism in Canaan was evil, one of the worst nations and religions in all of history. Everything was against her – there was no reason to show her favour, she has never read her Bible, never been to church, never done anything for God, but somehow she heard of the Lord and His healing power. Maybe it was a neighbour in the street, maybe a family member had been to a meeting, but someone told her about this man from Galilee who was healing sick children. Maybe she heard a story about a pale, sickly baby, brought by a desperate mother and Jesus lovingly touched the baby and the fever left and the baby’s colour returns and the baby smiled. Then Jesus started to play with the baby. This woman found out that Jesus absolutely loves children.
Maybe she asked if Jesus said anything, maybe someone told her that He told the crowds that day that anyone could come to Him, anyone who labours and is heavy laden, and that He would give them rest (Matthew 11.28). Maybe she asked her friend or neighbour “did he say come to me ALL JEWS”, and they answered “No, he definitely said all”. However it happened, she decided in her heart to go and find Jesus. If Jesus said to come, then all would be well.
But she gets to Jesus and all she gets is silence. He just won’t speak to her, not even one word. That must be frustrating – that isn’t the Jesus she heard about, that is not what she expected Jesus to be like. It looks like Jesus is closing the door on her – He tells her that He is not sent to her, but His mission is to the Jews.
That attitude can frustrate some, but it is borne out of pure love. Jesus was trying to encourage her to take her first baby steps. His language to many would appear harsh, unloving, language that might make her return home, he calls her a dog. Now for a lot of us in the West, dogs are pets, we love dogs. We still see the insult in calling someone a dog, but we do not realize how strong the insult is. In the middle East, dogs were the symbol of everything unclean, everything hated, and Jesus was helping this woman see she was far from God.
Her path to healing is far more difficult than yours but she did not give up, when Jesus was silent, she did not give up when Jesus appeared to be insulting her. I have seen many give up on their healing journey if Jesus did not manifest everything instantly, or in a day, or week, or month. Everything had to be in the moment, or they quit. Or if they hear in a sermon they need to change, they need to start believing, they need to quit seeing their healing in the future and see it as a done deal, that they need faith – they are offended at the strong, harsh, mean language and walk away. But this woman had Jesus Himself call her a dog, but she would not quit. She was looking for the real gold here and she knew it was in Jesus, so she never got offended, never got upset, and never walked off in the huff. Jesus saw she was pure – and so He pushed her to see what the reality of her false religion had led her to.
She didn’t respond to Jesus’ words with an arrogant, argumentative pride, but with a beautiful humilty. I have tried to teach Christians, God’s children, the steps they need to take to accept their healing from Christ, the changes they need to make in their imagination, in their speaking, in their acting, to receive the healing, and I have had Christians puffed up in pride, yelling at me, telling me God made them sick, telling me they are hopeless cases, telling me about all the spiritual warfare they know they must do. All that deception and foolishness is stopping them receiving. I tell people sometimes there’s a reason they are in my prayer line and a reason I am not in theirs, I am healed, and they are not. I have a track record of ministering healing, they need it still. But they will not listen because the message sounds harsh, sounds wrong to them, doesn’t sound like the Jesus they expected, they storm off, they get annoyed, they write rude emails. But this woman was called a dog by Jesus Himself, and she stays sweet. Now because she accepted the truth with humility, the grace of God would now exalt her to a high place. If we accept the truth with humility, the grace of God will exalt us to high places, places of victory, places of glory, places of healing and health.
She met the test with such grace. Jesus Christ calls her a dog, a woman without covenant, a woman with no hope, a woman with no hope for healing, and she says “that’s true, Lord”. She agrees that Jesus speaks truth, and she agrees with Jesus’ words no matter how much they offend her personally.
If you want to walk in divine healing, you have to be prepared to hear things that offend your flesh. You have to be able to accept you are sick because your thinking has been sick, that you have been thinking in doubt and unbelief, that you have not been aggressive enough to claim what is yours in faith. If that causes you to walk off, you will miss out, but if you humbly say “truth, Lord”, you are moving yourself to the place where your healing will manifest and quickly.
She responds in the most glorious faith – I might be a dog, healing might be bread for the children, but even a good father makes sure the dog gets fed! Jesus, I am a dog, but you are too good to deny me a crumb of healing for my child. And that is the truth, Jesus could not and will not deny a crumb of healing even to a dog, Jesus reaches out in response to her humility and faith, and heals her child. She gets her crumb!
Jesus says “Your request is granted”. That’s the truth, that’s glorious, and all of that for a dog. Now, you are not a dog. If you are born again, you will never hear Jesus call you a dog, you are a child, you are part of the family. Healing is your bread. Healing is your portion, healing is for you.
Now, you should easily be able to be like this woman and tell Jesus “Healing is my bread”, you should easily be able to hear Him correct your thinking and lead you to that bread so you can receive your healing today. For some of you, just saying “Healing is my bread” is enough to bring you to a place of faith and you can receive your healing right now.
If a woman with no covenant can reach the place where her request is granted, where her daughter was instantly healed, then you being a child of God, with God, with hope, with a healing covenant, a new creation, a healed creature of the Living God, someone who is one spirit with Christ, someone who is alive to God, somene who is in the New Covenant, can easily reach the place where your request is granted, where your daughter, your son, your mum, your dad, your cousin, your friend, your pastor is instantly healed.
Today, have great faith like this woman had great faith – whatever Jesus says to you through whoever He says it through, respond with a humble “You are right, that’s right Lord, yes Lord”. And watch your miracle happen. The woman with no righteousness was healed, you are the righteousness of God – so start to believe that, and start to accept that.