Matthew 15:21-28 (The Canaanite Woman’s Faith Part 1)

Mat 15:21        For what reason did Jesus withdraw?  See the previous context and cf. Mat 4:12, 12:14-15, 14:12-13.  What does Jesus’ example teach us about what is the prudent thing to do when confronted with endangering opposition?  Cf. Mat 10:23.  What is significant about the region of Tyre and Sidon?  Think: were these Jewish cities?  What does his withdrawal there under the given circumstances foreshadow about the future spread of the gospel to the Gentiles, and why?  See Act 8:1,5, 10:44, 11:19-20, Rom 11:11.  What does Jesus’ example teach us about the danger to our souls of opposing the truth that would shine light in our darkness and impart life?  See Mat 10:14.  Although God is full of mercy and tarries long with patience not wishing for any to perish but all to come to repentance (2Pe 3:9), will He tarry forever?  What warning does this offer the vast majority of Christians today who are Gentiles?  See Rom 11:17-22,25.  What does Luk 21:24 indicate about the possibility that we are now living in the time when “the fullness of the Gentiles has come in”?

Mat 15:22        From what people was the woman who came to Jesus?  What is the relationship of Canaan to Tyre and Sidon?  See Gen 10:15, and note that these cities were founded by the Phoenicians, another name for the Canaanites, who were the great mariners of the ancient world who founded Carthage in North Africa and other colonies in Spain; cf. 1Ki 9:11,26-28, 10:22.  To a Jew, what is single most significant aspect of the Canaanites?  See Gen 9:25-27.  By what title does the woman address Jesus in Mat 15:22?  What does this indicate about her spiritual understanding, and what must have been a not entirely hidden understanding among the Gentiles from where salvation would come?  Cf. Joh 4:22, Isa 2:3, Act 15:21.  With what was her daughter afflicted?  Are there people today who are “cruelly demon possessed”?  Why don’t we hear of them?  What do we call such afflictions today?  See also Mat 9:32:12:22, 17:15-18, Joh 10:20.  What does the pagan woman’s concern for her daughter teach us should be the concern of every parent, especially in regard to spiritual deliverance?  Are most parents today as concerned about the spiritual well-being of their children?  What was the woman’s plea to Jesus?  Are we so concerned about the spiritual health of our own children that like this Canaanite woman we are willing to forsake the “gods” of our nation, seek out the true God, and cry out to the Lord, acknowledging Him for who He is, and plead for His mercy?  Who, or what, are the “gods” of our nation?

Mat 15:23-28  In what three ways did Jesus put the woman off?  See Mat 15:23,24,26.  How was each one stronger than the previous?  In what way did His comments test her faith?  In what similar ways does the Lord test our faith by seemingly holding back on answering our cries or even putting us off by discouraging words?  What does the woman’s example teach us should be our response in such times?  How would any one of these have caused most people to turn away, and why?  What would the response of a proud hearted person have been?[1]

 


[1] “Is this the Son of David?” (might she have said): “Is this he that has such a reputation for kindness, tenderness, and compassion? I am sure I have no reason to give him that character, for I was never treated so roughly in my life; he might have done as much for me as for others; or, if not, he needed not to have set me with the dogs of his flock. I am not a dog, I am a woman, and an honest woman, and a woman in misery; and I am sure it is not meet to call me a dog.” No, here is not a word of this. Note, A humble, believing soul, that truly loves Christ, takes everything in good part that he saith and doeth, and puts the best construction upon it.”  Matthew Henry

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