Although almost an entire chapter separates this Sunday's text (Matthew 15:21-28) from last Sunday's (Matthew 14:22-33), there is an extremely close connection. At the end of the first text, the disciples worship Jesus, since he just calmed the storm. Near the middle of this Sunday's text, there is the very next occurrence of 'Jesus worship'. The Canaanite woman worships him.
It is not an easy thing to spot. Verse 25 of the (ESV) text reads: "But she came and knelt before him saying, 'Lord, help me.'" The phrase 'knelt before' literally is to worship.
Jesus' 'worshipfulness'--if that is a word--was not an easy thing to spot. He did not look like he should be worshiped. This gospel account emphasizes his manliness--now THAT is a word. But I do not think Jesus went around looking like a body builder. The verb 'to worship' literally means 'to kiss toward'. It was frequently used when someone went before a king. One would kiss the hem of his robe, or perhaps the ground (yuk!). But if the man who was the king did not like you, you would be in big trouble!
Compared to the other gospel accounts, there are a LOT of people worshipping Jesus within these chapters. It starts with the magi in chapter 2. That word magi could be translated as 'magician', so those people would not be too highly regarded. The next person to worship Jesus is the leper in chapter 8. People usually stayed away from lepers, but Jesus stretches out his hand and touches him. A ruler comes to Jesus and worships him in chapter 9. Another group of people in high regard (relatively speaking of course!)--Jesus' disciples--worship him in the boat.
After the text for this Sunday, another woman comes and worships him, the mother of the sons of Zebedee (20:20). That time the word is in participle form. That means 'she came, worshipping him'; here the action of worship is secondary. It is interesting that the next occurrence of worship is in the last chapter of Matthew. There the action of the women coming to Jesus is in participle form, and the holding onto his feet and the worship is a normal verb form.
The final occurrence of the word is almost at the end of the account, where the disciples, seeing Jesus, worship him, but the text says that some doubted. The doubting of Peter on the water and the doubting here are the only two times that word appears within the entire New Testament.
Looking over this list, there is a great variety here. Lots of different people are worshipping Jesus. But the most common action of worship is by those people who are not very highly regarded. Or often there is something that indicates another problem at hand.
The use of the word 'worship' indicates that something important is going on. Jesus connects to that word. Jesus should connect to that word--if he is the Son of God! The word was obviously important to the writer as well. He is trying to connect us to Jesus.
Jesus is before us, ready to be worshiped. And we are in good company--with the Canaanites and others. And there are certainly some problems at hand. But, again, we are in good company.