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JESUS HEALS THE SYROPHOENICIAN WOMAN’S DAUGHTER
21 Jesus then left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
Now our Lord leaves the land of Israel for the first time during His public ministry.
This is interesting because He came to Israel as her King.
When He sent His disciples out, He instructed them to go into the cities of Israel but not beyond her boundaries.
Then the Lord was rejected by Israel, and there arose conflict.
The breaking point between Jesus and the religious rulers came only a few verses ago.
Jesus Himself steps over the boundaries of Israel and lays down another great principle.
He will now receive the Gentiles.
His invitation is, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest
22 A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter has a demon in her, and it is severely tormenting her.”
23 But Jesus gave her no reply—not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. “Tell her to leave,” they said. “She is bothering us with all her begging.”
The Syrophoenician woman was a mixture of several races and she was a true Gentile.
She had no claim on Jesus as the Son of David, and when she addressed Him as such, He answered her not a word.
The disciples said, “Send her away, for she crieth after us.”
She was causing a disturbance and probably a little embarrassment and they were getting worried.
24 Then he said to the woman, “I was sent only to help the people of Israel—God’s lost sheep—not the Gentiles.”
This seems to be a harsh statement, but it was a statement of fact.
Jesus was offering Himself first as the fulfillment of all the prophecies concerning the coming of the King in David’s line.
He was forcing this gentile woman to recognize that fact.
Jesus came as King of the Jews.
He died with this superscription written over Him on the Cross:
THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Now listen to this gentile woman—
25 But she came and worshiped him and pleaded again, “Lord, help me!”
When she addressed Him as the Son of David, He said, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
She as a Gentile had no claim upon Him as the Son of David.
However, now she comes and worships Him, calling Him “Lord”, and asks for help.
Now she will get help, as we shall see.
26 “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs,” he said.
That is a very strong statement!
Such a rebuff would have driven many of us away.
We would have turned on our heels and said, “You can’t talk to us like that!”
But you see, Jesus who is all knowing, all ready knew that this woman had strong faith!!
Now He was going to give those weak faithless disciples of His a lesson, now listen close!
27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, I know that I am a dog, “but even dogs are permitted to eat crumbs that fall beneath their master’s table.”
You remember that our Lord told of a poor man who ate of the crumbs that fell from a rich man’s table, and the dogs came and licked his sores.
The Israelites used the word dog in reference to
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