Grace Protestant Reformed Church

Healing the Syrophenician’s Daughter

Date: PM
Text: Mark 7:21-30
Psalters: 258, 347, 104, 185
Preparatory to the Lord's Supper
  1. Her request.
    1. The woman came out of her country to get help from Jesus (Mark 7:22) because her young daughter had “an unclean spirit” (Mark 7:25).
    2. The woman came believing that Jesus had authority and power over devils and could destroy them (“faith,” Matt. 15:28).
      1. She identified Jesus as the Messiah promised in the Bible of the Jews.
      2. She worshipped Him when she fell at His feet, a form of paying homage due to God (Mark 7:25).
    3. This explains why she traveled to find and to ask for His help when she hears that He is relatively near to her home.
  2. Initially it seems that Jesus refuses to help her.
    1. He first “answered her not a word” (Matt. 15:23) – paid her no attention, ignored her.
      1. Then He spoke negatively of her to His disciples that He was only sent to the house of Israel (Matt. 15:24).
      2. Finally, He directly refused her when He said to her that it was not “good” to take food from children to give to dogs (Mark 7:27).
    2. Why does Jesus express this refusal to her? Jesus explains that His Father sent Him to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, not to Gentiles (Matt. 15:24; 10:5,6).
    3. Why did Jesus say “No” when He would be saying “Yes”? He said “No” in order say “Yes.”
      1. Jesus is trying her faith, strengthening it to be greater faith, by having her maintain her request and pressing it more.
      2. God’s “No” is not so we stop asking for help, but so we will persist in asking for help and do it with right motive.
  3. She humbly persisted.
    1. She persisted over against every obstacle Jesus put in her way.
    2. She exhibited beautiful humility in her response to being called a dog (half-wild curs which took away the garbage).
    3. Her and our faith is rewarded (Mark 7:29,30):  as then, so today Jesus declares, “the devil is gone out of” you.