Second Sunday in Lent (1891
Matthew 15:21-28 The Savior says, "Whoever comes to Me I will not cast out."1 This He has proved in the days of his flesh to countless people who sought help in their troubles from Him. This He has also proved to the Canaanite woman in our Gospel today, which he finally promised the answer to her request. Nevertheless, the conduct of the LORD towards this woman is one which seems strange at first sight. Christ's wonderful conduct towards the Canaanite woman; 1. wherein this conduct was wonderful, namely the fact, a. that He, the friendly Lord, who usually heard the cries of the poor equally, answered her not a word to her request2, b. that He, who otherwise so readily accepted petitions, rejected the disciples petition for this woman3, c. that He finally broke the as yet observed silence against her on her renewed request, but only in order to tell her that hard-sounding word.4 Christ still behaves in a similar way towards His own in their distress; 2. the reason for which Christ thus behaved; a. not in order to push her away or to scare her away from Him; He attracted her instead through His Spirit, to continue with prayers and supplications and not to let off; He Himself taught her to pursue the right procedure and to find the Word, with which she finally overcame Him, while He fought externally with her, He held her heart captive to Him; while He externally confronted her so hard and seemed to discourage her, inwardly He dragged her to Him; b. but in order to allow her faith to be great5, . she probably had a good confidence in the Lord Jesus as their petition demonstrates; but her confidence in Him and confidence in His mercy that she had heard extolled would not be so great and become not so entrenched if He had been hearing her request immediately and helped; . she probably did not mean that the Lord Jesus would help her guilt, but trusted in His grace; she would hardly have learned to throw away so completely all thoughts of her own worthiness or merit and, letting everything else go, to hold onto His grace alone, if He had not reminded her of her pagan origins; . she probably relied on the word and good rumor which she had heard about the Lord Jesus; but
John 6:37. Matthew 15:23. 3 Matthew 15:23-24. 4 Matthew 15:26. 5 Matthew 15:28.
she would not have learned to hold onto it so firmly if He had not fought with her through His statement, "It is not good" etc. Even Christ will make our faith great when He confronts us as here against the Canaanite woman. If he remains silent in our call in time of need, then He will thus provoke us all the more earnestly to cry out, and to kindle our trust. If He will linger a long time with help and even will not soon hear the intercession of our friends and fellow Christians to Him, He wants to remove us from all thoughts, as we Christians could make claim as right, merit or worthiness before Him and He was the help of our guilt for the sake of our Christianity and our piety; we ourselves must turn to His great mercy alone. If He is allowed to come in addition to external distress as well as to inward temptations because of our sin, He will give us the effect that we speak with the believing Canaanite woman: "Yes, Lord, but ...". While Christ fights externally with us and arises hard against us, He draws us inwardly through His Spirit to Himself and stimulates us to continue with prayers and supplications and to keep His word to the firmest. Thus our faith becomes great. Chr. K.