THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW
Matt. 15:21 -28 Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon.22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”23 But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.”24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”26 But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”27 And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
15:21-28 YAH SHUA EJECTS A DEMON And Yah Shua goes from there and comes to the boundaries of Sur and Saidon: and behold, a woman — a Kenanaya of those boundaries, goes when shouting and wording, Befriend upon me, my Lord, son of David: my daughter is evilly guided by a demon. And he replies not a word to her: and his disciples approach and seek of him, wording, Release her: for she shouts after us. And he answers, wording to them, Are you not apostolized except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And she comes and worships him, wording, My Lord, help me. He words to her, it is not well to take the bread of the sons and to cast to the puppies. And she words, Yes, my Lord: even the puppies eat of the crumbs that fall from the table of their Lord, and live. Then Yah Shua words to her, Behold, woman, how great your trust: so be it to you as you will.— and her daughter is healed from that hour. Aramaic NC
B. Jesus answers a Gentile’s request.
1. (21-22) Jesus is met with a request from a Gentile woman.
a. To the region of Tyre and Sidon: Tyre and Sidon were Gentile cities, located some 50 miles (80 kilometers) away. Jesus went all this way to meet this one Gentile woman’s need. This shows remarkable and unexpected love from Jesus to this woman of Canaan.
1). Matthew’s used of the old term, Canaanite, shows that he cannot forget her ancestry: now a descendant of Israel’s ancient enemies comes to the Jewish Messiah for blessing.
b. Have mercy on me… My daughter is severely demon-possessed: This woman came to intercede for her daughter, and she provided a picture of an effective intercessor – her great need taught her how to pray. When she came to Jesus, she made her daughter’s needs her own.
c. Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! This Gentile woman also understood who Jesus was. Many of Jesus’ own countrymen didn’t know who Jesus was, but this woman of Canaan knew.
1). Perhaps this woman knew that Jesus had healed Gentiles before (Matthew 4:24-25; 8:5-13). Yet what made this encounter unique is that Jesus did those miracles as Gentiles came to Him in Jewish territory. Here, Jesus came to Gentile territory and met this woman.
2. (23-24) Jesus’ cold response to the request of the Gentile woman.
a. But He answered her not a word: Though the Gentile mother interceded for her daughter, Jesus did not immediately give her an encouraging reply. His reticence drew a more energetic and faith-filled response from the Gentile woman.
b. Send her away, for she cries out after us: It is likely that the disciples meant, “Send her away by giving her what she wants.” It is entirely possible that they just wanted her to go away, and the easiest way was for Jesus to fix her problem.
1). Send her away: The same verb in Luke 2:29 applies to a dismissal with desire satisfied.
c. I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel: Jesus defined the focus of His mission to His irritated disciples and to the Gentile woman. He made it clear that He was not sent to Gentiles like her.
2). It is fair to ask whether Jesus meant the lost sheep among the house of Israel or meant to say that Israel as a whole were lost sheep. Jesus’ instructions to His disciples in Matthew 10:6 (go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel) would seem to imply the latter.
3. (25-27) The Gentile woman’s persistent appeal to Jesus.
a. Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, Lord, help me! She responded to the rebuff from Jesus with increased dedication to prevail with her request. In so doing, the Gentile woman continued to show what a dedicated intercessor does.
b. It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs: Jesus continued to say discouraging things to the woman, yet this was not quite as severe as it might first sound. When Jesus called her one of the little dogs, He used little as a way to soften the harshness of calling her a dog. This softened the traditional Jewish slur towards Gentiles, which called them dogs in the most derogatory sense.
1). We are at the great disadvantage of not hearing the tone of Jesus’ voice as He spoke to this woman. We suspect that His tone was not harsh; we rather suspect that it was winsome with the effect of inviting greater faith from the woman. It is possible to speak harsh words in a playful or winsome manner.
c. Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table: The woman responded with great faith. She admitted her low estate and did not debate the issue when Jesus called her one of the little dogs. She did not demand to be seen as a child; but only to be blessed as a dog.
1). It was as if she said, Jesus, I understand that the focus of Your ministry is to the Jews – that they have a special place in God’s redemptive plan. Yet I also understand that Your ministry extends beyond the Jewish people, and I want to be part of that extended blessing.”
2). Her response is especially meaningful in light of the increasing rejection of Jesus by the Jewish religious leaders. It was as if the woman said, “I’m not asking for the portion that belongs to the children, just the crumbs that they don’t want. In the flow of Matthew’s gospel, there was more and more that the Jewish religious establishment did not want to receive.
4. (28) Jesus rewards the great faith of the Gentile woman.
a. Then Jesus answered: Finally, the woman will receive an encouraging word from Jesus.
b. O woman, great is your faith! Jesus never said this to another person. He complimented the great faith of the Roman centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant (Matthew 8:10), but He said it to the crowd, not to the centurion directly.
This Gentile woman heard it from Jesus directly.
1)Significantly, the only two people to receive this compliment from Jesus were these Gentiles. This shows us that:
· Great faith may be found in unexpected places – not merely Gentiles, but a centurion and a woman!
· Great faith is sometimes measured from its disadvantages. Their faith was great because it did not have the advantage of being nourished by the institutions of Judaism.
· Faith is often greatest when it is expressed on behalf of someone else’s need.
c. Oh woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire: Her faith was great enough to receive her request – what she desired from Jesus.
· Her faith was great, even compared to her other virtues. She was humble, she was patient, she was persevering, she cared for her child. Yet Jesus didn’t compliment any of these good things, but only her faith.
· Her faith was great because it was unlikely. No one might have expected a Gentile to trust Jesus so much.
· Her faith was great because she worshipped Jesus even before she had an answer from Him.
· Her faith was great because it had been tested so severely. It’s hard to think of a greater test than a demon-possessed child; but her faith was also tried by the seeming indifference or coldness of Jesus.
· Her faith was great because it was clever. She turned Jesus’ word inside-out and made what might have been taken as an insult as a door open for faith.
· Her faith was great because it concerned a need right in front of her, and a real need at that. Many people have faith for everything except those things that are right in front of them.
· Her faith was great because it would not give up. She did not stop until she got what she needed from Jesus.
· You could say that her faith made a demand on Jesus. He not only healed her daughter, but He did so immediately, something that she had not even asked for.
1). We read of nothing else that Jesus did during this time in Tyre and Sidon. It would seem that His only divine appointment was to meet the need of this woman of faith and her afflicted daughter.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FAITH AND HEALING IS EMPHASIZED THROUGHOUT THE NEW TESTAMENT
Matt. 15:29 -39 Jesus departed from there, skirted the Sea of Galilee, and went up on the mountain and sat down there.30 Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them.31 So the multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel.
32 Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”33 Then His disciples said to Him, “Where could we get enough bread in the wilderness to fill such a great multitude?”34 Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven, and a few little fish.”35 So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground.36 And He took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitude.37 So they all ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets full of the fragments that were left.38 Now those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children.39 And He sent away the multitude, got into the boat, and came to the region of Magdala.
15:29-39 YAH SHUA HEALS THE MULTITUDES And Yah Shua departs from there and comes upon the side of the sea of Gelila and ascends a mountain and sits there: and vast congregations approach toward him — having been lame and blind and mute and maimed and many others, and they place them toward the feet of Yah Shua and he heals them: as the congregation marvels — they who see the mute wording and the maimed healed and the lame walking and the blind seeing: and they glorify the God of Isra El. YAH SHUA FEEDS FOUR THOUSAND And Yah Shua calls his disciples, and words to them, I befriend upon this congregation— behold three days they abide toward me and they have not whatever to eat: and I will to not release them when fasting lest they faint on the way. And his disciples word to him, Whence we have bread in the desolation to satiate all this congregation? And Yah Shua words to them, How many breads have you? And they word, Seven, and a few fragments of fish. And he misvahs the congregation to repose upon the earth: and he takes these seven breads and the fish, and glorifies and crumbles and gives to his disciples: and his disciples give to the congregation: and all eat, and satiate: and they take of the remainder of the crumbs and fill seven baskets: and they who eat, so be it, be four thousand men besides of women and lads. And when he releases the congregation he ascends a sailor and comes to the boundaries of Magdu. Aramaic NC
C. The feeding of the 4,000.
1. (29-31) Jesus ministers healing to the multitude.
a. Then great multitudes came to Him: Though Jesus briefly withdrew from the multitudes, He did not do so permanently. He still had work to do among the great multitudes.
1). Most commentators believe this marks a unique period in the ministry of Jesus, when He did His healing and providing work in the predominately Gentile region of Galilee. Especially correlating this with Mark 7:31-37, we see that this happened on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee, the region known as the Decapolis. As well, the remoteness of the place (in the wilderness, Matthew 13:53 its better with the eastern side.
2). These people were most probably heathen or semi-heathen, gathered from the region of the Decapolis (Mark 7:31).”(Morgan)
3). As Jesus healed and provided for this mixed or predominately Gentile multitude, it showed that the Gentiles in fact were getting more than just a few crumbs from the table.
b. They laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them: In this incident we read nothing about any faith on the part of those who were healed, except for the fact that they came to Jesus for help.
1). Among those brought were certain classed as kullous [maimed], which is usually interpreted ‘bent,’ as with rheumatism. But in Matthew 18:8 it seems to mean ‘mutilated’…Grotius argues for this sense, and infers that among Christ’s works of healing were the restoration of lost limbs, though we do not read of such anywhere else.
c. They glorified the God of Israel: Even in something as potentially self-promoting as ministry of healing, Jesus always drew attention to God the Father, the God of Israel. This multitude – most likely predominately Gentile – learned to praise the God of Israel.
1). The expression suggests a non-Israelite crowd and seems to hint that after all for our evangelist Jesus is on the east side and in heathen territory.
2. (32-39) The feeding of the 4,000.
a. I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way: This miracle follows the same basic pattern as the feeding of the 5,000, except that it reveals that the disciples were generally as slow to believe as we are (where could we get enough bread in the wilderness to fill such a great multitude?).
1). Perhaps the disciples had not “expected Jesus to use his Messianic power, when the crowd was a Gentile one.
2). It is important to see that this is not just a retelling of the previous feeding of the 5,000. There are many differences distinguishing this from the prior feeding of the 5,000:
· Different numbers of those being fed.
· Different locales (on the western and the eastern shores of the Sea of Galilee).
· Different seasons of the year, indicated by no mention of grass in the second account.
· Different supply of food at the beginning.
· Different number of baskets holding the leftovers, and even a different word for “baskets” in the second account.
· Different period of time of waiting for the people (Matthew 15:32).
b. The disciples gave to the multitude: Jesus did what only He could do (the creative miracle), but left to the disciples what they could do (the distribution of the meal).
c. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets full of the fragments that were left: At the end of the meal they gather more, not less. The seven large baskets show that God provided out of His abundance.
1). And were filled: “The Greek word here is, in its proper signification, used of fattening cattle.” God always gives more than enough.
2). The way that the Messiah miraculously fed both Jews and Gentiles was a preview of the great Messianic banquet. This was greatly anticipated among the Jews of Jesus’ day, but they were offended by the idea that Gentiles would also attend.
MATTHEW NOW INTRODUCES THE THEOLOGICAL TURNING POINT IN HIS GOSPEL. Before Chapters 16 and 17, Jesus’ preaching has emphasized the kingdom and its ethics. Now the emphasis will shift to discipleship and to the cross.
We will continue with Les.6 next week.
The blessings of the Lord are upon you whether by blood, adoption/sonship or assignment. The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it. Prov. 10:22
David & Mary Sue