The Syrophoenician woman and The Deaf
In today’s passage, Jesus didn’t want anyone to know His whereabouts but He was too popular and too many people wanted to meet Him and see Him. Jesus couldn’t stay hidden, everyone was just following Him and staying with Him. That is the effect of Jesus coming into one’s life, I pray that Jesus will come into your life.
One common theme of the people we studied about, example: The woman with haemorrhage, and today’s Syrophoenician woman, we are focusing on Mark’s account of these stories. Mark is emphasizing that they heard of Jesus.
This Syrophoenician woman immediately came to Jesus after hearing of Him. Syrophoenicians are Phoenicians who lived in the province called Syria under Roman rule. Syrophoenicians are very good merchants, it is not a poor area, it was economically and financially better than Israel. This woman was not a poor woman either, she probably had a prestige and class in her area. This Syrophoenician woman heard about Jesus and motivated her to come all the way to Jesus, go thru the trouble of crying out to Jesus to have mercy upon her daughter.
Jesus Himself is the gospel, the good news. We often seek for sermons made so interesting that it would catch our ears, but taking away the outer decorations, the core of the gospel is Jesus Himself. When we hear of Jesus, do we come to Him? These people when they heard of Jesus, they dropped everything, and immediately pursued Jesus. Those who believe and pursue Jesus will become the main characters.
It seems like this Syrophoenician woman was just an incident but she was the main character. Jesus went there to meet her.
1. What was this Syrophoenician woman’s request?
She had a daughter with an unclean spirit. When there is such a spiritual condition, it doesn’t stay spiritual, it became apparent in their lives and bodies too.
Jesus tests this Syrophoenician woman. Are we coming to Jesus seeking for His power and His answers? Then our faith will also be tested, examined and checked.
She asked Jesus to heal her daughter.
Mark 7:27 (ESV) And he said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”
Jesus responded that it is not good to throw the children’s bread to the dogs. If you come knocking to the pastor’s door asking for counseling and prayer, and if the pastor says “I am not here to pray for you, God told me not to pray for the dogs.”
If I were a disciple there, I would be shocked that my teacher said that. But Jesus was not being racists or generalizing that all Gentiles were like dogs. But Jesus was speaking a message to this Syrophoenician woman that only she caught and understood.
Mark 7:28 (ESV) But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
Her response was, she calls Jesus “Lord”. Her faith steps up! “Even the dogs eat the children’s crumbs.” She tells Jesus she has no problem with him labelling her as a dog. I used to read this passage thinking this Syrophoenician woman was poor, and had nothing in life, a widow, a low class person in society. It might have been easier for her to accept that perhaps. But if she were not a poor beggar, but was upper class in her society, it must not have been easy to be insulted by this foreigner Jesus from Jerusalem to call her a dog. Yet she said, it is OK, I know, even the crumbs of Your Word. I came to You because I received the Word, and I believe, and I believe even a crumb of Your Word has enough power to heal my daughter. May we be able to say “Yes Lord, I believe in the power of Your Word.” The demon cannot stay any longer with that kind of powerful faith.
2. The deaf
Deaf usually come with speech problems because they cannot hear well. Take note however of the order of disability and order of healing. He was deaf and therefore he spoke with difficulty. Jesus said “Ephphatha” which means Jesus opened his ears first then the speech impairment was released. Those who cannot hear the Word of God, cannot speak.
These people had 1 common thing which is they hear of Jesus, which allows them the faith which leads to action. They actually moved and brought bodies to Jesus. Faith that is strong enough to overcome the test. If the faith is real, it overcomes automatically.
If we have hearing issues, spiritual hearing problems like this deaf man, may we receive what comes out of Jesus’ mouth, the spiritual saliva, the Word of God. Apply that Word to our ears and may our ears be open.
3. Conclusion: What kind of faith was this?
Many characters in the past few weeks in this series have a common theme: They heard of Jesus, they came to Jesus, they had faith.
Their request was never that. Their faith was “Jesus if not You, I have no one else.” That is faith.
May we believe in the power of Jesus’ Word, the power of our Father God’s Word, that this power is sufficient, this grace is sufficient for us. May we learn to be satisfied.
Next Word is Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving cannot come out unless we learn to be satisfied with His love, blessings, grace. May we come to meet Jesus, every time we worship, spiritually may we fall at Jesus’ feet. Tell Jesus “I am not going away, I am here to be with You, You are the only One.” May Zion Church experience the power of His Word and the power of living with Jesus.