Lessons from the Syrophoenician Woman
31 Days of Women from Scripture
Ask with Confidence
Day Sixteen: Lessons from the Syrophoenicean Woman
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matt. 7:7).
We read that verse. Many of us have it memorized. Do we believe it?
In Mark 7:25-30 we read of woman who did.
Remember when we talked about the widow from Zarephath? She could have been described as Syrophoenicean as well. Both women are from the area northwest of Israel where the city of Tyre in Sidon was.
Like the widow of Zarephath, the woman in today’s lesson is not a Jew. She is an outsider.
In Mark 7:24 we read that Jesus has gone to the “region of Tyre”. So, He is here in her country. Jesus tries to keep it quiet when He visits around different homes, but this region is just as bad about keeping quiet as others have been.
This woman hears that Jesus has come. She has a daughter with an “unclean spirit” and she knows Jesus can do something about it.
She finds Jesus and humbly falls at His feet (Mk. 7:25).
While the account here is brief, it says that she “kept asking” Jesus to cast the demon out of her daughter. In response to her requests, Jesus tells her that the children should be “satisfied first; for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs” (Mk. 7:27).
He is referring to the fact that the Jews were to receive first chance to accept Jesus and His teaching. Therefore, they would also be the first to receive His blessings of healing.
The woman shows confidence in what she knows about Him though. She says that the dogs are able to get crumbs while the children are eating. She is not taking anything away from Israel, she is asking only for a small part in it for her daughter.
Jesus acknowledges what she says, and tells her that her daughter has already been freed from the demon. When she gets home she finds it to be true (Mk. 7:30).
Do we have this woman’s confidence?
On this side of the cross, the gospel is available to all of us (Rom. 10:16-21; Acts 11:18; Acts 20:20-21). Do we approach God with that certainty?
This woman only had faith in Jesus and His abilities. She wasn’t raised in the Jewish faith. She wasn’t trusting in centuries of promises to her people, as the Jews were. She was going on the stories being told as He went through the region (Mk. 7:24-25).
How much more do you need to know God is worthy of your honor?
How much more do you need to know Jesus’ sacrifice was done with you in mind?
We are blessed to have ALL of God’s revelation written down so that we may understand (2 Tim. 3:16-17; Eph. 5:17; Rom. 15:4-5).
We learned yesterday that God’s grace is there waiting for us to reach out to access it.
If you have done so, if you have been obedient to the call (Phil. 3:14; 2 Thess. 1:11; 2 Pet. 1:5-11) then be confident that the Lord is here for you (Heb. 4:16)! Ask in confidence for the things you need.
If you have not reached out to God, why wait? You too should be confident! Confident that God is waiting for you (Acts 17:27) and wants you in the kingdom (1 Tim. 2:4).
Be humble enough to acknowledge your need (Mt. 18:11; 1 Tim. 1:15). But that humility should not quench your confidence that God is faithful (1 Cor. 1:9).
My prayer today is that each of us will be like this Gentile woman. She was certain enough of what she knew of Jesus to ask with confidence.
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