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Have you ever experienced being an outsider – not being part of the accepted group with all of its privileges and standing? Maybe at school, you were an outsider of the various cliques of popularity. Maybe racially, you have experienced something of prejudice and isolation; maybe now at work you are regarded as something of an outsider because of your stand for Jesus Christ. In God’s OT kingdom program, the Jews were definitely the insiders and the uncircumcised Gentiles were definitely the outsiders. As we have been studying the ministry of Jesus, it has been concentrated in the Jewish regions around Nazareth and Capernaum and the Sea of Galilee and various cities throughout Judea. Today we see Jesus venturing out to Gentile areas – to the regions of Tyre and Sidon and Decapolis.

Eph. 2:11-22

It should not be surprising to see the gracious delivering power of Jesus extended to the Gentiles. Many OT prophecies spoke to this promised worldwide blessing:

– Gen. 12:3 Call of Abraham — “And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

– Gen. 26:4 “by your descendants all the nations of the earth shall be blessed”

– Is. 9:1-2 Messiah will be a light to the Gentiles — “Galilee of the Gentiles. The people who walk in darkness will see a great light”

– Is. 42:6 “I will appoint you [Israel] as a light to the nations, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the dungeon and those who dwell in darkness from the prison”

If the Pharisees and scribes were put off by Jesus eliminating the distinction between clean and unclean foods with all of their detailed ceremonial rites and regulations, imagine their disdain at seeing Jesus reach out to the unclean Gentiles and include them in the sphere of Messianic blessing.

Continuation of the Training of the Twelve – text does not say explicitly that Jesus took His 12 apostles along with Him into this Gentile journey – some commentators think He went alone:

Parunak: The Twelve may not yet be ready to visit a non-Jewish area, and in particular to receive the Syrophoenician woman. Cf. Peter’s strictness in this regard (Acts 9:14, 28; Gal. 2:11ff). How about Matt 15:23, where “his disciples” ask him to send the woman away? Probably the reference is to Sidonian disciples. Cf. Matt. 8:21 for this broader sense of “disciple,” and Matt’s use of “his twelve disciples” when he wishes to be specific (10:1; 11:1; 20:17).

But most commentators see this period as an intensification of the training mission of Jesus —

MacArthur: This was to be their walking seminar, lasted several months. The whole idea was to spend isolated, non-stop time with the Twelve. They had affirmed already, you remember, from that night when they were on the sea and Jesus came walking in the water, they had affirmed, “You are God’s Son.”

Hendriksen: expounding to The Twelve the lessons of the cross … a considerable amount of time is spent in predominantly Gentile territory

I. (:24-30) REGION OF TYRE –



A. (:24a) Identification of the Gentile Geographic Region

“And from there He arose and went away to the region of Tyre.”

Hiebert: Mark commonly employed and (kai) to begin a new paragraph, but here he used de, perhaps best rendered now. Only six of the 88 sections in Mark, according to the Westcott and Hort text, begin with the particle de, while 80 begin with kai. Not only did Jesus take a firm stand against the Jewish leaders regarding their traditions, but He also left for non-Jewish territory.

MacArthur: Phoenicia has two famous cities, Tyre and Sidon. This account of Mark is paralleled in Matthew 15 verses 21 to 28 and Matthew says, “Tyre and Sidon,” they’re two coastal cities, twenty miles apart, famous, famous cities…famous in history, famous in the Old Testament, as I told you, quoted in Psalm 87:4, famous because of the conquering of Alexander the Great. They are the main cities in Gentile country, Phoenicia, north and west of Galilee, pressing against the Mediterranean coast. Jesus went there. He didn’t go there for a day. He didn’t go there for a few days. He went to Tyre and He was there a while, we don’t know how long. And then He went 20 miles and Tyre was 50 miles away from Capernaum, Galilee…Sea of Galilee area. Then He went 20 miles north and He went through Sidon, the sister city. We don’t know how long He was there. And then He followed the highway east back across the mountains of Lebanon, a very circuitous route, even going further north than Sidon, and going through the mountains and down to the south, east of the Sea of Galilee and then back toward the Sea of Galilee in the middle of Decapolis which didn’t begin until the southern part of the Sea of Galilee, was a Gentile area called Decapolis, a Greek word for “ten cities.” . . .

Hellenized, Greek-influenced cities, pagan cities, heathen cities, non-Jewish cities, but is from the lower part of the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee and south from there.

B. (:24b-26) Initiative for the Miracle

1. Miracle Seeker

“And when He had entered a house, He wanted no one to know of it; yet He could not escape notice. But after hearing of Him, a woman . . .immediately came and fell at His feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of the Syrophoenician race.”

Matthew identifies her as a Canaanite woman

2. Malady Specified

“whose little daughter had an unclean spirit,”

Hiebert: The diminutive, little daughter, is a term of endearment and does not establish the age of the daughter.

3. Messiah Supplicated

“And she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter.”

– Persisted in the entreaty

– Suggested a method that they had seen Jesus use on other occasions

– Wanted an immediate and permanent solution

“Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed.” – Matt. 15:22

MacArthur: If you need mercy, then you’re not asking for justice, right? She’s not saying, “I’m worthy of this. I deserve this. I should receive this.” She’s saying, “I’m not worthy.” This is sheer mercy. “I need mercy, Lord, on behalf of my horrendously, tragic life with a demon-possessed little girl. Be merciful to me.” This is like the Publican in the temple beating his chest in Luke 18 saying, “Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner.” Mercy assumes unworthiness. This woman’s theology is pretty sound, at that point. She comes to the right object and she comes with the right attitude, okay? She comes to the right object for her faith, who is the Lord. She comes with a right attitude, an attitude of humility, brokenness and penitence. And she says, “Lord,” she acknowledges Him as Lord, identifying who He is. He is, in fact, Lord. “If we confess Him as Lord and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead, we’re saved.”

C. (:27-30) Interaction of Jesus With the Gentile Woman and the Performance of the Healing Miracle – REMARKABLE FAITH

Initial response of Jesus is not recorded in Mark – just in Matthew: “But He did not answer her a word.” – Disciples were put off by her persistence and wanted Jesus to send her away

1. (:27) Principle of Jewish Priority

“And He was saying to her, ‘Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.’”

Dogs was a harsh negative term used by the Jews to refer to the unclean Gentiles – speaking of the wild scavenging mangy dogs who roamed the cities … Jesus softened the term by use of the diminutive – little doggies; household pets

Rom. 1:16 “salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

Not the time for blessing to be extended to the Gentiles on a widespread basis …

2. (:28) Perspective of Extension of Blessing to Gentiles

“But she answered and said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord, but even the dogs under the table feed on the children’s crumbs.’”

The Jews would still have full sufficiency – that would not be impacted by what she was requesting

MacArthur: But this kind of a test of her humility and she’s amazing, she’s witty, she’s insightful. Her response is not to say, “Oh, that’s very offensive.” Her response, she answered in verse 28 and said to Him, “Yes, Lord, yes, Lord,” He’s still Lord, “Yes, Lord.” Here’s her wit, “But even the dogs under the table feed on the children’s crumbs.” I mean, that’s a great response, isn’t it? “You’re not going to get rid of me with that analogy. Okay, okay, I’m a dog, I buy…I’m a dog, I’ll buy that, I’m a dog. I don’t have a right to the covenant promises of Israel, I’m a Gentile, I come from an idol-worshiping people. All right, I’m a Canaanite. Okay, we should have been exterminated, but I’m here and this is the situation. And whatever falls off the table, can’t I have that?” You know, she’s got such sound theology, she’s a…she understands the difference between Israel and the church…not fully but she knows that God has a plan for Israel and she’s not a part of that plan. She knows she’s not at that table. I love this about her. She’s not offended at all.

James Edwards: The woman maintains the same distinction between “children” and “dogs” in her reply to Jesus, though with one slight change. Whereas Jesus refers to Israel as teknon (“biological children”), the woman refers to Israel as paidion, which is more inclusive, implying both children and servants in a household. The change in terminology suggests that the woman understands the mercies of God to extend beyond ethnic Israel.

3. (:29) Performance of the Miracle in Response to Great Faith

“And He said to her, ‘Because of this answer go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter.’”

Matt. 15:28 “’O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.’ And her daughter was healed at once.”

Application: Is your faith REMARKABLE in the same way?

– Faith that persists in laying hold of the blessing dispensed by the Messiah

– Faith that is bold and respectful and reverent and humble

– Faith that expects great things from God

4. (:30) Permanent Deliverance

“And going back to her home, she found the child lying on the bed, the demon having departed.”

What about your requests for miracles, for the power of Jesus to heal of terminal illness and serious handicaps?? Not often granted – Not a problem of lack of faith; consider the far greater spiritual deliverance we have experienced as Gentiles grafted in to the children of faith, the children of promise, the children of Abraham




A. (:31) Identification of the Gentile Geographic Region

“And again He went out from the region of Tyre, and came through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, within the region of Decapolis.”

This was not the first time this Gentile area had experienced the healing power of Jesus.

MacArthur: close to the area of Gerasa, or Gadara where Jesus had healed the man with the legion of demons in him, thousands of demons that our Lord sent into the pigs that went off the hill into the lake. People from that area knew about Jesus from the Decapolis. In Matthew 4 and verse 25 it says, “Many people came into Galilee to see Jesus from Decapolis.” So His reputation had extended. We also know that when He healed that demoniac, He told him to tell the people in his region what He had done for that man. And that man responded, chapter 5 verse 20 of Mark, by going out and proclaiming what Christ had done for him through the region of Decapolis.

B. (:32) Initiative for the Miracle

1. Miracle Seekers

“And they brought to Him”

2. Malady Specified

“one who was deaf and spoke with difficulty,”

3. Messiah Supplicated

“and they entreated Him to lay His hand upon him.”

– Persisted in the entreaty

– Suggested a method that they had seen Jesus use on other occasions

– Wanted an immediate and permanent solution

MacArthur: This is what He did. He put His hands on people when He healed them. You see that in chapter 1 verse 31, 41, chapter 5 verse 41, chapter 6 verse 5, chapter 8, we’ll see it again verses 22 and 25, places in Matthew, places in Luke, He touched people. There’s a tenderness in that, but also there’s a recognition of the fact that He did not care for the assumed defilement idea. He was eager to touch these people which the Pharisees and scribes would view as a defiling act on His part. Touching a person like him was a way to express compassion and love.

C. (:33-37) Interaction of Jesus With the Gentile Multitude and the Performance of the Healing Miracle – REMARKABLE TESTIMONY

1. (:33a) Private Attention

“And He took him aside from the multitude by himself,”

not seeking public acclaim

wanting to get the full attention of this man apart from all the distractions of the surrounding crowd

2. (:33b-34) Personal Symbolic Actions – type of Sign language that this handicapped man could understand

a. Ears

“and put His fingers into his ears,”

b. Tongue

“and after spitting, He touched his tongue with the saliva;”

c. Deep Sigh

“and looking up to heaven with a deep sigh, He said to him,

‘Ephphatha!’ that is, ‘Be opened!’”

Hendriksen: He looked up to heaven, indicating that his help came from above; in other words, that in prayer he was “taking hold of” his heavenly Father. Cf. Isa. 64:7.

MacArthur: What is the deep sigh? An expression of sympathy, an expression of pain over the man’s suffering and an expression of compassion, of tenderness, strong emotion showing that God is going to come down in power and give him his hearing and give him his speech because God is compassionate. And so with sign language, Jesus gives him his first lesson about God. God is powerful and God is compassionate. He cares.

3. (:35) Perfect Accomplishment of the Miracle

“And his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was removed, and he began speaking plainly.”

No speech therapy needed; no learning curve; immediate and full health and recovery to full functioning

4. (:36-37) Pervasive Acclaim – the Testimony of the Gentile Crowd

a. (:36) Scope of the Testimony

“And He gave them orders not to tell anyone; but the more He ordered them, the more widely they continued to proclaim it.”

b. (:37) Summary of the Testimony

“And they were utterly astonished, saying, ‘He has done all things well; He makes even the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.’”

MacArthur: The word for “utterly astonished,” one word in Greek, huperperissos …, it’s used only here in the New Testament. It is a compound word, very, very strong. It means “above all measure, over the top, superabundantly amazed and astonished.” They had their minds blown in the vernacular. They’re just completely amazed. They can’t contain it. They cannot keep this in. So they spread it everywhere. . .

The first thing they said was He has done all things well. He has done, perfect tense meaning continuously. Everything that He’s ever done He’s done well. Everything He’s ever done He’s done perfectly, literally. A rich adverb, kalos meaning rightly, correctly, appropriately. Everything He has done He has done perfectly. They’re commenting on the perfection of His miracles. Look at the blind, they see. Look at the lame, they walk. Look at the deaf, they hear. Look at the mute, they talk. And it’s perfect. They walk perfectly. They see perfectly. They hear perfectly. They speak perfectly. And the people who were sick, they’re perfectly healthy. They’re commenting on the perfection of His miracles.

Application: Is your testimony REMARKABLE in this same way?

– Testimony to the power of the Messiah

– Testimony to the goodness of the Messiah – His grace and mercy


Remember Paul’s message in Romans 9-11 regarding the progress of God’s kingdom purposes down through the ages – the initial priority of Jesus was to bring the message of the kingdom to the Jews first … but as they rejected it, and their hearts were hardened, God turned His attention to the Gentiles who were grafted in to the tree of faith – but the Jews will eventually repent and turn to their Messiah in the last days and all Israel will be saved …

These 2 Gentile healing stories play a pivotal role in that transition as a foretaste of the coming time of the Gentiles in which we live today

Let’s take full advantage of our opportunity to evidence:

– Remarkable Faith – the Lord has sufficient blessings to satisfy all of our needs

– Remarkable Testimony – our Lord and Savior, the promised Messiah, does all things well