16. GREAT SORROW AND GREAT FAITH (Matt.15:21-28)

BACKGROUND: Canaanites were old archenemies of Jews. Tyre and Sidon were situated at a distance of 45-60 km from Galilee. Jesus didn't want anyone to know about this journey abroad (Mark 7:24). The leader should tell the main facts about King David (vs.22).
  1. Imagine the everyday life of this mother, especially her relationships with other people. (Her daughter, husband, other children, neighbors etc.)
    • What did the mother perhaps accuse herself of?
    • Who in our day are the mothers who have as great a sorrow in her hearts as this woman did?
       
  2. The Canaanite woman already knew something that most of the Jews were not aware of: namely that Jesus was the son of David (vs.22). How do you think she had come to know this fact?
    • Why did the mother ask mercy for herself (vs.22)?
       
  3. What were Jesus' first three reactions to the cry for help of this mother (vs.23-26)?
    • Usually Jesus welcomed all suffering people to himself. Why did he then give this woman a cold shoulder?
    • What would you do if Jesus treated you in the same way as he treated this woman?
       
  4. How did the disciples feel about the Canaanite woman and the whole situation (vs.23)?
     
  5. How did the Canaanite mother react to Jesus' seeming rejection (vs.23,25,27)?
     
  6. What do you think happened in the heart of Jesus while he was silent before the suffering mother?
    • Why does Jesus sometimes hold his silence when we are crying him for help?
    • Why must the faith of every one of us be tested?
       
  7. Jesus praised the faith of only two people. Try to find as many characteristics of great faith in this woman as possible (vs.28).
     
  8. How is it generally thought that one gets great faith in one's heart?
    • The leader should read Mark 7:30. How did this pagan mother get a great faith even before she had seen the miracle happen?
    • In what kind of situations do we need great faith?
       
  9. What was Jesus' purpose in his one and only journey abroad?

GLAD TIDINGS: On the cross Jesus had to believe in God in spite of his silence, cf. Psalm 22:1-2,24. The faith of Jesus was very much similar to that of the Canaanite woman at that point. The only big difference between their situations was that in the case of Jesus God was silent because of his anger, not because of his love.

2012 Glad Tidings Bible Studies - www.gladtidings-bs.com