Ellen G. White Writings

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Humble Hero, Page 182

Christ Breaks Down Racial Barriers

This chapter is based on Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30.

After the encounter with the Pharisees, Jesus left Capernaum and crossed Galilee to the hill country on the borders of Phoenicia. Looking westward, He could see the ancient cities of Tyre and Sidon with their heathen temples. Beyond was the Mediterranean, over which the messengers of the gospel were to carry its joyful news to the centers of the world’s empire. The work before Him now was to prepare His disciples for their mission.

“Behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, ‘Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.’” The people of this district were idol worshipers, despised and hated by the Jews. The woman who now came to Jesus was a heathen, and so she was excluded from the advantages the Jews daily enjoyed.

News of Christ’s work had reached this region. This woman had heard of the Prophet who, it was reported, healed all kinds of diseases. Hope sprang up in her heart. Inspired by a mother’s love, she determined to present her daughter’s case to Him. He must heal her child. At times she was tempted to think, What can this Jewish Teacher do for me? But the word had come, He heals all kinds of diseases, whether those who come for help are rich or poor.

Christ knew that this woman was longing to see Him, and He placed Himself in her path. By ministering to her sorrow, He could give a living example of the lesson He intended to teach. This was why He had brought His disciples to this region. He wanted them to see the ignorance existing in cities and villages close to Israel. The people to whom God had given the truth made no effort to help others in darkness. The partition wall that Jewish pride had built shut even the disciples from sympathy with the heathen world. Jesus would break these barriers down.

Christ received this woman, representing a despised race, with the cold and heartless attitude with which the Jews would treat such a case. But the woman did not lose faith. As He passed by, as if not hearing her, she followed, continuing her appeals. Annoyed, the disciples asked Jesus to send her away. They saw that their Master treated her with indifference,

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