By Pastor Ted R. House
Today, we will look at the graciousness of Jesus. John 1:14: says: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." One of the attributes of Christ is that He is full of grace. In Matthew 15:21-28, we find the account of the Syrophenician woman. "Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master's table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour." This woman was a Gentile woman, she was not a Jew.
Mr. Scofield said in his notes about Matthew 15:22: "Addressed by a Gentile as Son of David, He makes no reply, for a Gentile has no claim upon Him in that character. Addressing Him as "Lord,” she obtained an immediate answer" (Scofield 1945,1020). Jesus said that He was sent unto the house of Israel. John 1:11 tells us that He came unto His own. Romans 1:16 says: "...to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." At the time when the account of the Syrophenician woman took place, the kingdom that was being preached was a kingdom that could have been fulfilled on earth right then. The message was not to the Gentiles at all. Jesus had no obligation to talk to this woman, but, when she addressed Him as Lord, He responded. Jesus’ initial response did not sound very gracious, but it was the truth. He is full of both grace and truth. When she humbly answered His response, He graciously said: "O woman, great is thy faith..." and He granted her request. Her faith engaged His grace. The gospel was not opened to the Gentiles until God showed Peter the vision of the sheet in Acts 10:9-22 and Acts 11:5-10. It was only through the grace of Jesus that this woman's daughter was healed.
The time of the Gentiles had not yet come! In John chapter 4, we find the account of the Samaritan woman. She was both Jewish and Gentile. Jesus was waiting at the well when this woman of Samaria arrived there, and He asked her for a drink. John 4:9-10 tells us: "Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water." This woman was a social outcast. She had been married five times and was now living with a man that was not her husband and she was a Samaritan! Jews did not associate with Samaritans! But, Jesus had compassion on her. He was gracious to her. John 4:13-15 says: "Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water..." And He did. He told her that He was the Christ, she believed, and put her faith in Him. Will you?