This Mother’s Day, I’ll be preaching from Matthew 15:21-28. My mind was intrigued by this passage almost 20 years ago as I was reading Jonathan Edwards “On Knowing Christ”. I decided to read it again and was stunned by it once again. Edwards writes:
How did Christ humble the woman of Canaan, or bring her to the exercise and expression of a sense of her own unworthiness before he answered her, and healed her daughter! When she continued to cry, after he answered her not a word, and seemed to take not notice of her, and his disciples desired him to send her away, and when she continued crying after him, he gave a very humbling answer, saying, ‘It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.’ And when she took it well, as owning that being called a dog was not too bad, and owning that she was therefore unworthy of children’s bread, she only sought the crumbs, then Christ answered her request. And the experience of God’s people in all ages corresponds with those examples. It is God’s usual method before remarkable discoveries of his mercy and love to them, especially by spiritual mercies, in a special manner to humble them, and make them sensible of their misery and helplessness in themselves, and of their vileness and unworthiness, either by some remarkably humbling dispensation of his providence or influence of his Spirit.