Dave preached from Matt 15:21-28 on the faith of the Canaanite woman last night, in a sermon that continued the theme of obstacles or barriers and how faith is needed to overcome these. In this passage, Jesus appears abrupt and unwilling to help the woman who comes to him for healing for her daughter. His primary mission is to the Jewish nation and Jesus appears to want to dismiss her without helping. We see in this woman someone who overcomes all kind of barriers between her and her goal. She is the wrong nationality or race. She is not Jewish. She is a woman. The other disciples treat her with scorn and derision; they want to get rid of her and be on with other more ‘worthwhile’ things. She has to swallow her pride and take the insults (even being likened to a dog!) if she is to receive what she longs for.

None of these obstacles or barriers prove too much for her. No wonder Jesus comments that she has great faith! She persists in approaching Jesus, secure in the knowledge that only He has the answer to her problem. Faith motivates her and leads her to overcome all the obstacles, leading to salvation and life. Overcoming obstacles comes through faith. No human barrier can stand before God. God cares for us, even if initially it seems as though He does not. This woman shows us how to approach God persistently, with courage and with faith.