Week 70 | Section 78
Today we read a story of great faith, love, and goodness.
21 Jesus went out from there, and withdrew into the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 Behold, a Canaanite woman1 came out from those borders, and cried, saying, “Have mercy2 on me, Lord, you son of David!3 My daughter is severely possessed by a demon!” 23 But he answered her not a word.4 His disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away; for she cries after us.”5 24 But he answered, “I wasn’t sent to anyone but the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”6 25 But she came and worshiped him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 But he answered, “It is not appropriate to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 But she said, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”7 28 Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Be it done to you even as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that hour.
24 From there he arose,8 and went away into the borders9 of Tyre10 and Sidon11. He entered into a house, and didn’t want anyone to know it, but he couldn’t escape notice. 25 For a woman, whose little daughter had an unclean spirit, having heard of him, came and fell down at his feet. 26 Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by race.12 She begged him that he would cast the demon out of her daughter.
27 But Jesus said to her, “Let the children13 be filled first, for it is not appropriate to take the children’s bread14 and throw it to the dogs.15” 28 But she answered him, “Yes, Lord. Yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”16 29 He said to her, “For this saying, go your way. The demon has gone out of your daughter.”17 30 She went away to her house, and found the child having been laid on the bed, with the demon gone out.18
Jesus’ mission, faith, boldness, persistence, deliverance, emotional needs, spiritual needs, demoniac,
- The land of Canaan dates back to the the grandson of Noah (Genesis 10). The region originally corresponds to present-day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Israel and later was known as Phoenicia. The Canaanites were famous for creating purple die for the wealthy, from Murex shells, but also cedar and papyrus in ancient times. As a culture they are credited with the first alphabet, creating the structure of mathematics, and were impressive ship builders. They were not monotheistic but honored many gods including the goddess Astarte and her consort Baal. They had been at odds with the Jewish peoples since Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt and Joshua fought the Canaanites (1250 and 1200 BCE) including the fall of Jericho.
- CR Rom. 9:16; 12:8; Jude 22, 23
- See how word of Jesus’ person, teaching and ministry had spread which allowed her to cast her faith in His power, dominion, and government – even over the demon which tormented her daughter. Her faith was like that of the centurion’s, that she didn’t ask him to return to her home, but trusted that with a word, Jesus could deliver her – and it happened just so, that very hour (vs 28).
- As in the later story of Lazarus, the Lord does not always, nor immediately, comply or answer the requests of his people. His delay and silence causes some to walk away, lose faith, or grow bitter – but to the earnest, the rewards of persistence are nothing less than ongoing companionship with God while they wait, pray, and learn in his presence – and perhaps in God’s good time and purpose he will bring about healing, deliverance, and comfort so that He is glorified.
- The disciples don’t seem to be concerned with her need, but the safety of Jesus – seeking to protect him from harm. Some people suggest Matthew 10:5-6.
- Jesus, as the “high priest” (Heb 4:14-16) was God incarnate so to make satisfaction and atonement for the sins of all peoples thus securing obtain eternal redemption and salvation; but as a Prophet, he was sent by God the Father to the Jews being the “minister of the circumcision” (CR: Romans 15:8; John 4:4-7; 10:16; Matthew 28:18-20; Gal 2; Romans 1:16-17), and fulfilling the prophecies and eternal laws explained to them for justification and sanctification. As the Jews alone knew the signs of the Messiah; the prophesies called for their very rejection and hanging of the Messiah; and so his life bore proof of his true identity, purpose, and power. Yet the signs were known even among the gentiles, and to this woman, who’s faith and motherly compassion would overcome cultural boundaries and allow her to cry out to Jesus.
- Despite through all discouragements and reproof her faith grows stronger, and in such sincerity she is allowed to taste “the bread of life” CR John 6:38-40.
- As we identified last week, Jesus was in Galilee, probably Capernaum (Section 77) and traveled NE about 35 miles. See Harmony Bible Map, Section 77-78.
- The region most likely not the cities themselves.
- Literally the name means “rocky place”. Tyre was a wealthy commercial city of Phoenicia. CR: Sec. 58 Mt. 11:21; Sec. 78 Mt 15:21 / Mk. 7:24; and also Acts 21:3, 7.
- One of the oldest cities of Phoenicia, whose name means “fishery”. CR: Sec 52 Mk. 3:8; Sec 54a Lk. 6:17; Sec 58 Mt. 11:21; Sec. 79a Mk 7:31; and also Acts 27:3.
- A Syrophenician, is a native of northern Phoenicia bordering the region of Syria.
- The Jews
- Jesus ministry of word and miracles
- A Jewish slang term for all those who were gentile, not Jews
- She didn’t take offense, or let the common vernacular term dissuade her
- At his word the demon was gone. Like every other circumstance, but especially similar to the centurion.
- CR James 5:16