Just the other day, I heard a humanist preacher expressing his dissatisfaction over having to preach about the Canaanite woman, who admitted of her lowly spiritual state before the Lord, mentioned in Matthew 15.
22 And a Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed.”
23 But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, “Send her away, because she keeps shouting at us.”
24 But He answered and said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
25 But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”
26 And He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”
27 But she said, “Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”
28 Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once.
For those who try to preach the Bible with themselves rather than God at the center of what was recorded, we then happen to encounter statements like: the woman didn’t care what Jesus had to say, she had her eyes set on what she wanted! This from a Biblical point of view is appalling but such is all preaching which chooses to be ‘man centered’ as opposed to being ‘God centered’.
6 For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
There is truth in saying: ‘A person does not know the nature of trash he/she is living in unless he/she is brought out of it’. The trash I am talking about is our nature to sin, which we received from Adam who in falling received unto himself, his own standard of righteousness that was separate from God. This, Adam passed on to all his posterity through Original Sin, a nature absent of the righteousness of God… a sinful nature! This sinful nature is seen as something so dastardly that it is referred to something as soiled as filthy garments in Isaiah 64:6. This, we neither see nor realize because this is our very nature of life, with each their own standard of righteous.
If we were to consider truth for the sake of truth, we ought to understand that man’s blessed estate is in man’s humility… why? Because, man’s purpose was that he be subject to the will of God espoused in His grace and mercy. But the truth concerning God is that He is the perfect standard, He is good in all that He does and He does as He pleases because He is the lone true standard of righteousness, which we men in our fallen nature fail to see. This implies that just as humility is the right state for man, exaltation is the right state for God. So as it is appropriate for man to humble himself and exalt God, this follows after it being proper for God to exalt Himself and humble man. This precisely is the great faith story of the Canaanite woman recorded in Matthew 15:26-28.
Psalm 116 (God humbles man)
6 The LORD preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me.
Jeremiah 9 (man called to humble himself and exalt only God)
23 Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;
24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.
In looking upon the Second Person of the Trinity, we ought to know the duality of Jesus’ nature. When the Son of God came to earth, He took upon Himself the complete nature of man but without sin. His virgin birth indicated that unlike us all, Christ is not affected by Original Sin. Nowhere in the Bible (KJV, NASB, ESV) will you find a term concerning Jesus as ‘became man’ but theologically He ADDED unto Himself the nature of man as over replacing or emptying himself of this Deity.
Phil 2 (ESV)
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
The Bible teaches that Jesus bears two natures absolutely i.e. the complete nature of man and the complete nature of God. His human nature is what substituted His Church in paying the wages of sin i.e. death, while His nature of God is how He stands in perfection before ‘God the Father’ advocating the case of every elect, just as ‘God the Father’ has willed. The nature of Moses in Ex 32:11-14 in pleading the case of the Israelites before God was a shadow Him (Christ Jesus) who was to come as mediator between God and men (1Timothy 2:5).
Deut 18 (Moses points the Israelites to the human nature of Jesus)
15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen—
Hence we see in the human nature of Jesus (Phil 2:7), the very person we are called to be as ‘people of God’ in our standing before God. The humility of Christ is seen right from Him taking upon Himself total human form (Phil 2:8), being questioned on His righteousness concerning His own Law (Mat 12:1-14), remaining sinless but still subject to every human temptation (Heb 4:15) and to die a humiliating death on the cross (Gal 3:13) and then suffer in hell 3 days with damned souls (Acts 2:31); in all this his human nature made himself nothing before God.
Hebrews 2 (speaking about Jesus’ human nature)
10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.
1 John 2 (speaking about Jesus)
6 whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
Col 1 (speaking about Jesus)
18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
Such a nature of subjection, God gives His Church through Christ (1Cor 8:5-6) who is head over the Church (Eph 5:23-24). This precisely is the nature we see in the Canaanite woman as faith is neither the work nor efforts of men but a gift of God (Eph 2:8) unto His salvation. Salvation, where:
• ‘God the Father’ chooses a people unto Himself from eternity past according to His purposes i.e. by His Sovereign ordination (Eph 1:11)
• ‘God the Son’ accomplishes Salvation by his righteous obedience and sin-atoning death for these people His Father has given Him (Gal 1:3-4).
• ‘God the Holy Spirit’ applies what the Father ordained and the Son accomplished in all God’s elect (Jn 15:26) counting even the Canaanite woman.