The Syrophoenician’s daughter Healed
Matthew 15:21-28 – Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. 23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. 24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. 26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. 27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. 28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
Mark 7:24-30 – And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid. 25 For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet: 26 The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter. 27 But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. 28 And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs. 29 And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter. 30 And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.
A. After Christ had crossed the Sea of Galilee with his disciples, and healed many people at Gennesaret, he returned to Jerusalem, where he had discussions with the Pharisees about his disciples washing with unwashed hands, which was contrary to the laws of the Pharisees.
B. Jesus warned the people about listening to their false theology, then departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon, where the woman of Canaan came to him, beseeching him to heal her daughter, who was demon possessed, and tormented by that demon.
II. The woman.
A. A general name (Mark 7:26) of a female inhabitant of the northern portion of Phoenicia, popularly called Syrophoenicia, by reason of its proximity to Syria and its absorption by conquest into that kingdom.
1. Her name is never mentioned. There are a lot of people unknown to us who are known to God. You could be one of them.
2. There was a lot she didn’t know, but she knew about love, grace and mercy. It is likely personal study taught her what Jesus would do.
3. Greek - Gentile
4. Syrophenician - lived in the original Canaan on the border of Syria.
B. She had not chosen the trouble she was in.
1. The trouble she was in led her to a place where she received a blessing she would not otherwise receive.
2. This woman admitted her little daughter had a devil. She was perfectly honest, therefore received a good answer from God.
3. The lessons she learned would probably never have been learned if it hadn’t been for her demon possessed daughter.
III. Came to Jesus Christ when even the disciples thought there was little hope of getting through to speak to Him.
A. Jesus went to Tyre to hide.
1. Apparently, Jesus did not want people to know where he was, as he was desirous of rest.
a. He could not be hid, however, because the Syrophenician woman found him and desired him to heal her daughter.
b. Mark 6:31 begins with the words, And again… revealing that another reason Jesus could not hide himself was because “they” brought the deaf and dumb man to Christ.
c. The word of God is always great, as there are always people that need help – if we would be willing to help.
2. Why would Jesus want to hide himself?
a. He was tired, because he was all man – as well as being all God.
b. He had just fed the 5,000, then prayed all night, then walked on the water to go to the disciples who were toiling with rowing, then returned to Jerusalem where he was met with much opposition, and misunderstanding from his disciples.
3. The two ways Jesus hides himself.
a. John 8:59 – Jesus hid himself in the midst of the people when the unbelieving Jews tried to kill him before his time.
1.) Jesus so hid himself among the people that unbelievers could look directly at him, yet never see him.
2.) When people do not want to believe the truth, they can look straight at it, and never see it.
b. In Mark 6:25 and 31, Jesus hid himself from those that wanted to find him.
1.) In this case, Jesus was very easily found.
2.) Whenever we need Jesus, we can easily find him, even though he hides himself from those superficial believers.
B. We should come to Jesus even when people say there is little hope of getting through to Jesus.
1. People can be saved when they come to Jesus Christ, regardless of who they are, what their circumstances are, or how old they are.
2. Christ can answer our prayers regardless of what they are if we will only submit ourselves to Him and realize He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings.
3. Mark 7:25 – She fell at the feet of Christ.
C. She must have asked repeatedly.
1. Matthew 15:22 – The woman first cried out to Christ to heal her daughter, but Christ did not answer her a word.
2. Matthew 15:23 – Apparently, the woman then turned to the disciples, who came to Christ, desiring him to send the woman away because she was crying out after them.
a. Luke 18:1-8 – the widow woman cried out to the unjust judge for justice, and was granted justice because she continually wearied the judge.
b. We should continually “weary” Christ about our loved ones, and he will hear and answer our prayers.
3. Matthew 15:24 – Jesus answered the woman by telling her he was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, not to the nations of the world.
a. The woman had no other place to go, therefore she did not go anyplace.
b. John 6:66 – When many of the disciples of Christ left him because of his hard teachings, the disciples had no place to go.
c. Where will you go except to Christ?
4. Matthew 15:26 and Mark 7:27 is then stated.
a. Matthew 15:26 - But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.
b. Mark 7:27 - But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.
IV. Didn’t ask for herself, but for her daughter.
A. Total respect for Israel.
1. She didn’t ask what Israel was getting, but some of the “little” blessings that would slip through Israel’s fingers.
2. She did not ask because of what he had done, or who she was – she knew she was nothing and did not deserve any of the blessings of God.
B. She was completely trusting Christ - that is faith.
1. She recognized her complete worthlessness.
2. She was not offended when Christ called her a dog, but knew that was true.
3. She desired only a crumb which fell from the rich man’s table.
4. Compare to the Lazarus in Luke 16:21.
a. He was a beggar, who desired the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table.
b. Lazarus received eternal life – which is a far greater gift than crumbs of bread.
C. Mark 7:29,30 – her daughter wasn’t with her.
1. She did not bring her daughter with her and show her to Jesus so he would have pity on her.
2. Verse 29 - She believed the Word of God - without seeing the result.
a. The lost (and saved) need to believe the Word of God - without seeing the result.
b. It is the Word of God that will bring forth the result, not the other way around.
3. The saved need to believe the Word of God and live like the Bible teaches.
a. This is faith. It isn’t faith when you see, then believe.
b. Acts 3:6,7 - Peter took the impotent man by the hand because Jesus had already told him that miracles, signs and wonders would accompany their ministry. This is faith.
D. She wasn’t wanting to see a miracle.
1. She wanted the result of God’s touching her daughter.
2. Mark 7:30 - “was laid” - someone was taking care of her baby.
E. Ephesians 3:20 - God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.