1. Great Faith is clear-sighted: The woman saw her daughter was possessed of a devil; that her faculties were under the power of an evil spirit. She was not blinded by maternal partiality. She clearly apprehended the terrible fact. How many parents discern the presence of the proud, unclean and malicious devils in their children?
2. Great Faith is Humble: The woman cried for mercy – she cried after him followed at a distance as unworthy to come too near. She came and worshipped him saying ‘Lord help me.’ She was humble in her conduct and in her temper. When Jesus contrasted Sheep with Dogs, she accepted the title with modesty.
3. Great Faith is Earnest: It will not miss an opportunity. Here was the golden opportunity. Jesus was in the parts of Tyre and Sidon. He was a minister of the Jews but goes to cast a look of pity over the boundary. The woman did not want to miss this opportunity. Many lose their souls by devising opportunities instead of accepting those provided for them by God.
4. Great Faith is Persistent: Great faith refuses discouragement. He knew the quality of her faith. We must not construe delay in answering our prayers into a refusal to answer them. In the very heart of discouragement it finds encouragement. Never for a moment did she lose sight of her great argument.
5. The dogs eat from the crumbs: The word used here is kynarion which literally means puppy. The implication of the woman’s clever reply is that the dogs indeed are fed and satisfied. Behind her saying is that the idea that Gentiles as well as Jews are fed by God.
The attitude of the disciples can be a great lesson for all of us. They wanted to chase her away from the Lord. Even after being with the Lord they have failed to reflect him. The work of disciples (all of us) is to bring people close to Christ but sometimes we might be just doing the opposite. This is the only time Jesus is being refuted by someone. The credit goes to the Gentile woman. For those who are struggling with their faith this passage will be an eye-opener.
The pulpit Commentary
Word Biblical Commentary
William Barclay’s Commentary