Jesus and Gentiles (Outsiders)
QUESTION: Last week what did we learn? Not washing your hands can get you in big trouble! Yes and
Don’t bog your spiritual life down with “Christian” rules made by men.
Do maintain personal rules and boundaries that you need for yourself.
Do guard your heart.
Pharisees and hand washing – Don’t do what they did, make your rules and expect others to follow them – Words come
from the heart, guard your heart!
Good stuff – but the Pharisees were really irritating. Glad you and I are not that way �� ��
21 Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Gentile (Canaanite) woman who lived
there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that
torments her severely.” 23 But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away.
“Tell her to go away,” they said. “She is bothering us with all her begging.” 24 Then Jesus said to the woman, “I was sent
only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.” 25 But she came and worshiped him, pleading again, “Lord, help
me!” 26 Jesus responded, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She replied, “That’s
true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters’ table.” 28 “Dear woman,” Jesus said
to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.
29 Jesus returned to the Sea of Galilee and climbed a hill and sat down. 30 A vast crowd brought to him people who were
lame, blind, crippled, those who couldn’t speak, and many others. They laid them before Jesus, and he healed them all.
31The crowd was amazed! Those who hadn’t been able to speak were talking, the crippled were made well, the lame were
walking, and the blind could see again! And they praised the God of Israel.
32 Then Jesus called his disciples and told them, “I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three
days, and they have nothing left to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry, or they will faint along the way.” 33 The
disciples replied, “Where would we get enough food here in the wilderness for such a huge crowd?” 34 Jesus asked,
“How much bread do you have?” They replied, “Seven loaves, and a few small fish.” 35 So Jesus told all the people to sit
down on the ground. 36Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, thanked God for them, and broke them into pieces. He
gave them to the disciples, who distributed the food to the crowd. 37 They all ate as much as they wanted. Afterward, the
disciples picked up seven large baskets of leftover food. 38 There were 4,000 men who were fed that day, in addition to
all the women and children. 39 Then Jesus sent the people home, and he got into a boat and crossed over to the region of
1) V21 Where are the towns Tyre and Sidon located in relation to Galilee? (Consult bible map)
Not in Galilee, not in Israel.
He went to Phoenicia, a very un-Jewish place. They were pagan. Very pagan.
Their background form the Old Testament:
Example: One of the most corrupting tendencies we notice was the ascription of sexual
characteristics to the chief deities of their pantheon, such as Baal and Ashtoreth, which
led to licentious rites of the most abominable character.
And: It was also cruel, the custom of human sacrifices being common and carried to an
extent unheard of among other peoples, such as the horrible sacrifice of 200 noble
youths at Carthage when besieged by Agathocles. The sacrifice was by burning, the
victim being placed in the arms of the statue of the god, heated for the purpose. In
Phoenicia this god was Melqarth, or Molech.
Rome of course now controlled Phoenicia and Israel, but their reputation among Israelites was not good.
Why did he go there? Perhaps for some R&R. He was fully human! OR / ALSO to meet someone. Let’s see.
2) V22 What is a Gentile and what is a Canaanite?
A gentile is a non-Jew. We are gentiles.
A Canaanite was the prior name of the Phoenicians. An old arch enemy of the Jews far back in old testament times. We
just talked about the type of people they were.
This lady wasn’t Jewish but she had heard about Jesus. “O Lord, Son of David.” She obviously has knowledge of Israel’s
hope for a Messiah – and – she’d heard they some people were connecting Jesus to this as the promised great descendant
TABLE GROUP 1 V23-27 What can you say about Jesus from just these verses?
-He ignored the lady.
-He told her he was sent to only help Israel.
-He called her a dog, seemed rude.
TABLE GROUP 2 V23-27 What can you say about the disciples just from these verses?
-They were quite annoyed.
-They didn’t have any compassion for the lady. (To put it mildly)
-They probably liked it when Jesus referred to her people as dogs.
TABLE GROUP 3 V22-27 What can you say about the woman just from these verses?
-She was from a people group the Jews despised.
-She was desperate.
-She cared about her child.
-She was persistent.
-She apparently had no friends or family to help her. (Be thankful for medical care we get)
-She knew about Jewish beliefs.
-She seemed to brush off the insult.
28 “Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.
3) V28 Now what can we say about Jesus?
-He was up to something the whole time?
-He said he was only for Israel but maybe he was here for more.
-Was he rude? I think he had a heartwarming smile on his face and compassion in his eyes that took away all of the insult
-And don’t forget, he performed a miracle.
-He went a long way to do this.
4) We aren’t told bit, what do you think the disciples thought about this entire exchange?
We aren’t told, but I ask it to make the story more real. Were they then irritated ad Jesus for healing the child? If so,
wouldn’t that be like the Pharisees? Were they just glad she wasn’t yapping anymore? Were ultimately glad he healed
5) V28 Now what can we say about the woman?
-She didn’t ask for help because she thought she was an exception.
-She didn’t ask for help because she thought because she believed she had the right to Jesus help.
-She didn’t argue about God’s justice in seeking the Jews first.
-She did simply throw herself Jesus’ mercy.
-She did have just the right amount of CHUTZPAH!!
And, she’s famous – even Martin Luther was amazed at her audacity (CHUTSPAH) to argue with Jesus!! WOW
What is there to learn from this episode?
– The disciples did not understand everything, they were learning – slowly
– So, we don’t “know it all” but it is exciting as truth unfolds to us as we learn. (I hope you like to learn, life is
– Jesus went way out of his way for this girl.
– So, he will go way out of his way for you.
– The disciples weren’t really ready. Be ready. When you see a teaching or learning opportunity in the midst of
life – take it. It may be the best way to learn.
– BIG IDEA: It continued to unfold that Jesus had come for all the world!
6) V29-31 Jesus went, per the same account in Mark straight to the east side of the Lake. What did he do there and
what was the people’s response?
Climbed a hill and sat down. What does that mean? Back to work – healing a lot of people.
And they praised the God of Israel.
Think way back, who lives on the East side of the lake? Pagans – Gentiles. He has gone back to the Decapolis.
Think way back, how many people did he come in contact with? One. (or two)
Who was this one? A demon possessed man.
What did Jesus do? Healed him.
What did he tell the healed man? Tell everyone!
Why? This wasn’t Pharisee territory. So spread the news!
Verses 32-39 – The Feeding of the 4,000
7) First, V33 The disciples had seen Jesus feed a a bigger crowd of 5,000 already. Why might they have asked
where the food was going to come from again?
Maybe they didn’t think he’d do the same for Gentiles. Were they dumb. Was their faith still weak. Shame on them.
BUT > How often do our past deliverances seem to have no power to deliver us from present anxiety? Ouch
8) V32-39 How many people came this time?
4,000 plus women and children.
Why did they all come? Could it be that the healed demon possessed man did what Jesus said to do and “told everyone.”
That’s what I like to think!
BIG PICTURE: The Jews knew their text. We don’t. So here’s something we wouldn’t think about:
– The fact that Moses and Elijah each performed two feeding miracles should have elevated Jesus to a status at least
equal with them in the people’s minds. i.e. FAMOUS HEROES
– But unfortunately, most of the people, both Jew and Gentiles, continued to come to Jesus only to obtain physical
help. Let’s not be those people. KNOW THE PATH, WALK THE PATH, and even when trouble does not
come, TRUST THE PATH.
Back to Phoenicia: What about the girl? What did she do to receive healing? Nothing, but have a good caring parent.
For those of you who don’t have custody of your children, if you do what it takes to get custody of your children and
become a parent like this lady, in my eyes (and I think I can speak for everyone,) > I’ll see you here or I’ll see you on
FaceBook with your children and you will be a famous hero to us! And I’m not kidding.
Cari at Hope Movement – when I first went to jail (pause) – to do Bible studies �� – “I know you, you used to stand by my
grandfather in the choir at Second Baptist, Wahhhhh” tears and crying. Classes, Getting Ahead, In Community, worked
more than one job. Now husband and children. Is she perfect, I bet Hope Movement girls will say, MM not quite, but she
is one of my famous heroes.