Matthew Lesson 16 Day 4

Matthew Lesson 16 Day 2, Matthew Lesson 16 Day 3,Matthew Lesson 16 Day 4, Matthew Lesson 16 Day 5

Matthew Lesson 16 Day 4

Matthew 15:21-28

A Gentile shows her faith.

9a) Jesus takes his disciples into Gentile territory.

The NIV uses the word region in Matthew’s account and vicinity in Mark’s account. Both accounts are somewhat ambiguous about the exact location leaving some debate about whether Jesus actually left Israel or just went near the non-Jewish region that is now Lebanon. It may be ambiguous because the border was not clearly defined.

All that said, I think Jesus took His disciples to that region because it was no longer safe to remain there (probably in Capernaum) where the Pharisees became so grievously offended at Jesus. And because he prophetically said this in Matthew 11:21—(If the events in Matthew are in chronological order.)

“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

b) Lord, Son of David

The Canaanite (Gentile) woman called Jesus, Lord, Son of David. She must have previously heard that Jesus healed the sick and set free those who were possessed by demons because she sought him out when she heard He was nearby. She also heard what others called him and the miracles He performed, so she addressed him in the same way.

Or she may have heard the Jews expected a Messiah and presumed Jesus was the one. After all, performing miracles was intended to convince others that he was the Son of God. If this was the case, calling him Lord, Son of David may indicate she believed and understood his calling. She was desperate, without another option, and humbly believed the stories she had heard—unlike the Pharisees and the people from Jesus’ hometown.

In either case, I believe that when she got home and found a changed daughter, she knew for sure.

10a) Here’s what happened 

A Canaanite woman cried out to Jesus saying, “Have mercy on me . . .”

Jesus didn’t respond at first.

His disciples urged him to make her stop. He said to them, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”  And she was not of the house of Israel.

But then she came to Jesus and worshiped him saying, “Lord, help me!”

b) Jesus defines his calling.

After Jesus defines His calling, she remains bold, identifies with the derogatory name he called her, and humbly appeals for Jesus to drop a crumb.

I don’t know if she thought it would work, but she knew what would happen if she didn’t try. For someone racially and culturally reviledespecially a woman—her boldness and persistence are remarkable, even greater than that of the centurion.

  • The woman was Greek
  • Jesus said, “First let the children eat all they want,” before He said, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
  • She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon was gone. — The miraculous outcome is confirmed.

Don’t you wish there were more follow-up accounts—where are they now stories and how did their lives change?

11a) The Gentile woman of faith.

  • Sought out and found Jesus.
  • She was humble and bold.
  • Stated her request and didn’t doubt Jesus could do what she asked.
  • Pleased God with her faith.
  • Didn’t try to convince Jesus she was worthy.
  • Focused on Jesus’ ability and appealed to His compassion.

The woman demonstrated humility by falling at the feet of Jesus. She also had enough humility to visualize herself under the children’s table—hoping for a crumb!

Her answers showed she was smart and quick. When Jesus said it wasn’t right to toss the children’s bread to the dogs, she replied, “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

She had faith Jesus could work a miracle and didn’t try to prove she was worthy in some way. She believed it would only take a crumb—perhaps the size of a mustard seed—to set her daughter free.  When Jesus told her the demon had left her daughter, she took Jesus at His word and went home.

b)  Perhaps she heard of Jesus and knew someone he healed.

When the disciples encouraged Jesus to send her away, He spoke to her instead. Women weren’t usually allowed to enter the same area where the men were sitting. And being a Gentile made it even less appropriate. Jesus didn’t react in the usual way. She may have looked into His eyes only briefly, but I believe she saw compassion rather than disdain or condemnation.

Her persistence lasted a relatively short—although intense—time. I can’t think of a time where my prayer for a matter of this magnitude was answered quickly. While I persist in praying, I’m ashamed to admit, there are many moments I’ve grown discouraged.

What a wonderful lesson!

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1 used by written permission.
2 AWM Living Commentary used by written permission.
3 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations from *The ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
4 Strong’s Concordance, public domain.
5 *Spirit Filled Life Bible®copyright © 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. (The Holy Bible, New King James Bible) copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
6 Ellicott’s Commentary, public domain.
7 Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, public domain.
8 The Names of God Bible (without notes) © 2011 by Baker Publishing Group.

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My answers, research, and notes for BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Matthew Lesson 16 Day 4