The Silence of Jesus

“But He did not answer her a word.” (Matthew 15:23a)

Most of us can relate to this episode of the silence of Jesus. Like the Canaanite woman here in Matthew 15 we have experienced times when something is bothering us greatly: “my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed.” How horrific; to endure that kind of suffering in your child. This mother wanted relief for her daughter. She wanted help from Jesus. But inexplicably, when she came to Him, “He did not answer her a word.”

We experience times like that too: when something is greatly bothering or perplexing us — and we bring it to Jesus, but like with this woman it seems like “He does not answer us a word”!

But this incident was apparently a test of this woman’s humility, persistence and faith. Would she humble herself when Jesus basically called her a “Gentile dog” in :26? Would she be persistent in the face of initial rejection? Would she continue to show faith regardless?

The answer for this woman was “Yes”.  She did. She continued to have faith and seek Him, even when all she got from Him initially was silence. Often the silence of Jesus is a test for US too. Does the Lord not seem to answer your prayer? Is all you are getting from Him in the face of some horrible or perplexing situation in your life just silence — “not a word”?  Then let this Canaanite woman be a model for you. Continue to seek Him anyway, in humility, persistence, and faith. Because after His initial silence Jesus ended up telling her: “‘O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.’ And her daughter was healed at once”!

About Shawn Thomas

My blog,, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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