Mat_15:18-21. But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man. Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.
He went right away, not because he was afraid to speak the truth, but because, having done so, he did not care to remain in the company of those who were round about him. He would rather go even to the verge of heathendom than live in the midst of Pharisaic hypocrisy: “Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.”
Mat_15:22. And, behold, —
There is something here that is worth beholding, so the Holy Ghost draws attention to it, just as we sometimes print N.B., Nota bene; mark well;
Mat_15:22. A woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts,
Possibly she did not know that Christ had come; but, anyhow, when Christ comes, sinners come. He journeyed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, and this woman met him.
Mat_15:22-23. And cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
Perhaps they meant, “Give her the blessing, and let her go. Thou art seeking quiet here, and she will not let thee, nor us either, have any. ‘Send her away.’” They made a great mistake when they said, “She crieth after us.” It was Christ to whom she cried, not his disciples.
Mat_15:24. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
“My ministerial commission is only to the Jews.” As a Saviour, he comes to save sinners, out of all nations; but as the Messiah, his special mission was to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Mat_15:25. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
“Then came she, and worshipped him.” If Jesus Christ was not really and truly God, he was a base imposter to allow this woman to worship him. She had called him “Lord,” once before, and he did not rebuke her, and now she not only calls him “Lord,” but she worships him. She was doing quite right, for he is none other than very God of very God: “Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.”
Mat_15:26. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.
Or, “to little dogs,” for the word is, in that form in the Greek.
Mat_15:27. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.
It was well for her that the Master had used that diminutive form of the word, for the bigger dogs in the East were not permitted in the house, but the little dogs were admitted to play with the children. She seemed to snatch at that idea as she cried, “Truth, Lord: yet the little dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table,” as though the greatest possible boon to her was, but a crumb to him, and but a crumb compared with the bread which he was putting upon the table of Israel. The greater blessing which he was giving to the children might prompt him to give a crumb to her.
Mat_15:28. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
Oh, the triumph of faith! God grant it to us! Yet this woman may surely shame many of us; we have not half her discouragements, and we have not half her confidence in Christ.
Mat_15:29. And Jesus departed from thence,
He is always on the move, for he has always something else to do. As soon as his deed of grace is done in one part, he hastens to another: “And Jesus departed from thence,” —
Mat_15:29-31. And came nigh unto the sea of Galilee; and went up into a mountain, and sat down there. And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them: insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.
This was Israel’s table indeed; and when you see these many mighty cures that Christ wrought, you can easily justify the speech of the Syrophenician woman, and agree with her that what she sought was only a crumb compared with the bountiful feast of fat things that was prepared for the favored nation.