Summary: Our un-named Syrophoencian woman (Although called “Justa” by Constitine as early as the end of the 2nd century) had a lot going on. She was a woman, Gentile, desperate because her daughter was demon possessed.Scripture tells us she “cried out.”
A 21 Jesus went away from there, and withdrew into the district of Tyre and Sidon.22 And a Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed."23 But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, "Send her away, because she keeps shouting at us."24 But He answered and said, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."25 But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, "Lord, help me!"26 And He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs."27 But she said, "Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters' table."28 Then Jesus said to her, "O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed at once. Matt 15:21-28 (NASB)
1 Our un-named Syrophoencian woman (Although called “Justa” by Constitine as early as the end of the 2nd century) had a lot going on.
a She was a woman, Gentile, desperate because her daughter was demon possessed.
aa There was a racial divide in the land of Israel just as today.
bb Arab & Jew (Muslim & Jew)
b Scripture tells us she “cried out.”
aa She was disruptive, disturbing to the point that the disciples asked Jesus to do something to get her to shut up.
bb Jesus had been “ignoring” her. He didn’t say a word to her!
cc If you can imagine approaching a pastor today and simply being ignored.
2 Jesus had her ignore because He came for all mankind, but His mission was to offer salvation to the “House of Israel” first, before anyone else was offered salvation.
a Gentiles/Samartians both needed salvation (Matt.10.18)
18 and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. Matt 10:18 (NASB)
aa Salvation would be available to others at the right time, appointed time, but that time had not yet came.
bb Jesus’ mission was to bring salvation to the House of Israel/Chosen/Children first!
b Before Calvary His assignment was limited to the mission the Father had given Him during His limited time on earth.
c Justa would not take “no” for an answer, so Jesus finally spoke to her rather rudely.
aa 23 But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, "Send her away, because she keeps shouting at us."24 But He answered and said, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Matt 15:23-24 (NASB)
bb Her addressing Jesus as “son of David” was a messianic title, acknowledging Him as Christ/Anointed One of God. Confessing Him as Lord! (Publically!)
cc Woman, Gentile claiming the Jewish Messiah as her Lord. I’m not a Jew, but I know who you are.
dd Jesus doesn’t say a word as she continued to beg for help.
B In v. 26, Jesus insults the woman (& demon possessed daughter) by calling them dogs.
26 And He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." Matt 15:26 (NASB)
1 I read commentary, after commentary trying to explain this insult away by supposing that Jesus was calling the woman/daughter “puppies.”
a After being disrespected by Jesus from His not speaking to her after she spoke to Him, the words she hears are insulting.
aa If we can’t relate to this woman’s position then we’re lying to ourselves.
bb How many of us have cried out, pleaded, begged, wept, labored in prayer only to hear a deafening silence?
b The woman didn’t try to convince Jesus He was wrong, racist, insensitive, ACLU, lawyer up . . . She knew who she was; knew her place and accepted it.
aa God had a covenant with Israel; His Chosen People; Apple of His Eye
bb She placed herself under His authority.
cc If we ever want to know healing, restoration we must know our place . . . under the authority of Christ
c He will heal/move/answer in His own time.
aa We can say all the right prayers/right words; “Lord”, which means master, God, sir, but at that moment/time she couldn’t enjoy the benefits that His Children got.
bb The time was coming when race, background, gender wouldn’t matter but that time had not yet came.
d Often, when we don’t hear back (or we get a response back from God that we don’t like) we get angry, hurt, lose faith.
2 Jesus wasn’t ignoring her to destroy her faith, but rather to develop her faith.