Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

Jesus Heals a Canaanite's Daughter

Matthew 15:21-28

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - Jesus Talks with a Rich Young Man (Mark 10:17-31)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it. John 14:13-14

Opening Prayer

Past The Peak (John 6:22-7:1)
    What miracles did Jesus perform about a year before He died?
      John 6:10-13, 16, 19 = Fed 5000 with 2 fish & 5 loaves, walked on water to disciples
    How did the crowd feel about Jesus after being fed with 2 fish and 5 loaves?
      John 6:14-15 = They knew He was the Messiah and were ready to make Him king
    How did Jesus feel about the Jews recognizing Him as the Messiah?
      John 6:24-27 = They knew who He was but misunderstood His purpose and being

    How did the Jews respond to Jesus' clarification of His purpose and being?
      John 6:32-35, 40-42 = They lost faith & couldn't believe Jesus was what He claimed
    How did the Jews react as Jesus further explained that we must feed on Him, the Word of God?
      John 6:52, 60-61, 64-66 = Many disciples fell away from Jesus out of lack of faith
    Did these Jews just ignore Jesus from this point on?
      John 7:1 = No, many wanted to silence Him

Clean and Unclean Food (Matthew 15:1-20)
    Was Jesus able to avoid problems from devout Jews from Judea by staying in Galilee?
      Matthew 15:1-2 = No, they tracked Him down with accusations (ceremonial washings)
    How did Jesus point out that these Jews were trying to cause trouble rather than keep the Law?
      Matthew 15:3, 7-9 = Pharisee law ignored some of God's Laws while adding to others
    How did Jesus then make sure the crowd understood God's desire for cleanliness?
      Matthew 15:10-11 = Cleanliness is judged by what comes out of a man

    Did the apostles understand what Jesus had said?
      Matthew 15:15 = No, they asked Jesus to explain it to them
    How did Jesus feel about His apostles being slow to learn this close to the end of His ministry?
      Matthew 15:16 = He was a little frustrated
    What did Jesus mean by His "parable"?
      Matthew 15:17-20 = Cleanliness is based on the heart

A Place to Teach (Matthew 15:21)
    What became a key focus of Jesus' ministry as He neared its end?
      Mark 9:30-32 = Spending time with just His apostles teaching and preparing them
    What happened whenever Jesus tried to find a place to be with just His apostles?
      Matthew 14:13-14, 34-36 = Crowds tracked him down and He turned away no one
    Where did Jesus finally find a place where the Jewish crowds wouldn't follow?
      Matthew 15:21 = The region of Tyre & Sidon in Phoenicia

    This is the only time when Jesus ever left Jewish territory
    Tyre & Sidon were cities of Phoenicia, which was a part of Syria (Libo-Phoenicia was in N Africa)
      Tyre was 40 miles NW of Capernaum, Sidon was 60 miles N of Capernaum
    Tyre means The Rock - 2 great rocks offshore joined by a 3000 ft long ridge - natural harbor
      Rocks gave defense, Tyre had a famous fortress, taken by Alexander the Great in 332BC
      Solomon got craftsmen and cedar logs from Tyre to build palace & temple (1K 7&9)
    Tyre & Sidon sailors were first to navigate by the stars - Could sail across Med, even at night
      Other ships hugged coastline during the day, anchored at night
    Tyre & Sidon were independent & rival city-states - ruled 15-20 mile radius
      Each had their own kings, their own coinage and their own gods
      Pagan, idolatrous, sacrificed infants to dedicate buildings

Canaanites - Even Worse than Samaritans (Matthew 15:22)
    Besides finding a quiet place, why would Jesus take His apostles to Tyre/Sidon at this time?
      Ezra 6:21 = Further explain God's meaning of clean/unclean (Gentiles regarded unclean)
    What did the Jews understand about this region of Tyre and Sidon?
      Joshua 19:24, 28-29a = It belonged to the tribe of Asher
    What command had the Israelites been given before they were sent into the promised land?
      Deuteronomy 20:16-18 = Completely destroy all inhabitants so they don't distract you
    Why were Canaanites still living in the region of Tyre and Sidon?
      Judges 1:31-32 (2:1-3) = They weren't driven out, God left them as tests and thorns
    How did Jews relate to these Canaanite neighbors?
      Joshua 23:7 = They did not associate with them

A Messiah's Work is Never Done (Mark 7:24-26)
    How hidden was Jesus able to keep Himself and his disciples for this time of teaching?
      Mark 7:24-26a = Word got out and a woman came and found Him
    How could this Gentile woman have known about Jesus?
      Mark 3:8 = People from the area had gone to see Jesus in Galilee
    Why did this woman come looking so hard for Jesus?
      Mark 7:26b = Her daughter was demon possessed, He could help her
    What kinds of problems could this woman have had with her possessed daughter?
      Mark 9:17-18 = Can't talk, seizures, foams at mouth, gnashes teeth (son)
      Mark 5:2-5 = Violent, strong, lived with dead, hurt himself (man with legion)

Waiting in Silence (Matthew 15:22-23a)
    How did Jesus reply to this woman's cries?
      Matthew 15:22-23a = He stayed silent
    Why didn't Jesus just simply turn around and grant the woman's request?
      Matthew 9:1-2 = He had to see her faith before He could heal her daughter
    Why did Jesus need to see her faith?
      Matthew 13:58 = God sends His blessings and miracles in response to faith
    What power did Jesus credit whenever He healed someone?
      Matthew 9:22 = The power of Faith
      Christ drives her faith (so) deep into her heart that it becomes strong and firm. Is this the gracious and friendly Lord? He is silent as a stone.

The Closed Door? (Matthew 15:23b-24)
    How did the apostles respond to this woman's pleas?
      Matthew 15:23b = They asked Jesus to get rid of her (maybe by a quick healing?)
    How did Jesus seem to further close the door on this woman's request? = She was unworthy
      Matthew 15:24 = He told his disciples that He was sent only to the Jews
    Was Jesus really sent to the Jews rather than the entire world?
      Matthew 10:5-6 = Yes, His ministry focused on reaching the lost sheep of Israel

    Does this mean that God is God of the Jews only?
      Romans 3:29-30 = No, He is God of all creation and all people
    So why did Jesus say He came for the Jews?
      Romans 1:16 = He came first for the Jew, then for the Gentile
    Being sent to the Jews first, how did they receive Him?
      John 1:11 = He came to the Jews, but they did not receive Him
    Who did receive Him?
      John 1:12-13 = Those He called the Children of God - both Jews and Gentiles

    Why was Jesus sent to the Jews first?
      Romans 15:8-9 = God promised the patriarchs to be the path of Christ to the Gentiles
    How early had God told the Jews they would be the path of His grace to Gentiles?
      Genesis 12:1-3 = When He first called Abraham - the Father of the Jews
    I will bless you ... you will be a blessing ... and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.
    How did Gentiles become blessed by the promise to Abraham when Jesus died and rose?
      Galatians 3:7-9 = Those who believe are children of Abraham and heirs to the promise

Persistence (Matthew 15:25)
    After Jesus' reply, did she accept her position as woman & Canaanite and leave Jesus alone?
      Matthew 15:25 = No, she knelt before Him and begged for mercy
    Why would this woman be so persistent?
      Ephesians 2:12-13 = He was her only hope, not only for her daughter but to save her
    How are we able to persevere and persist even when things look hopeless as for this woman?
      Hebrews 11:26-28 = By keeping our eyes and faith on our Lord, we can persevere

Going to the Dogs (Matthew 15:26-27)
    How did Jesus reply to the woman's plea?
      Matthew 15:26 = It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs.
    Who were the children that Jesus referred to?
      Romans 8:16 = The children of God - The Jews until Christ's resurrection
    Who were the dogs? = Matthew 7:6 - Do not give dogs what is sacred
      Philippians 3:2 = Non-Jews were called dogs with the same contempt as today's bitch
    The word Jesus used for dog referred to pet lap-dogs, not scavenging street dogs

    How did the woman reply to Jesus' explanation of why He shouldn't help her?
      Matthew 15:27 = Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table
      People ate with their hands, wiped their hands on bread and threw it to the dogs
    What was the woman saying about her understanding of how the Messiah could save her?
      John 4:22 = Salvation is from the Jews

Great Faith (Matthew 15:28)
    How did Jesus respond after the woman showed she was seeking Him out of faith?
      Matthew 15:28 = He commended her great faith and said her daughter was healed
    What one other person did Jesus commend for having great faith?
      Matthew 8:5-13 = The Gentile centurion from Capernaum - also healed from a distance
    How does God deal with those who know Him and trust in Him?
      Psalm 9:10 = He never forsakes them
    What does Jesus promise to those who know and have faith in Him?
      John 14:13-14 = You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1998 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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