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Matthew 15:21-39

Talks for Growing Christians

The Healing of a Demon Possessed Young Girl, and Feeding Four Thousand

Matthew 15:21-39

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Lesson Number 40

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Lord rewards the persistent and humble faith of His followers.
  2. The Lord meets the spiritual and physical needs of His followers.

Practical Application

  1. Let’s not be hard-hearted disciples.

Questions

  1. What is significant about the location of these miracles?
  2. Give a brief overview of the Gospel of Matthew thus far.
  3. What was the disciples’ response to the Gentile woman’s plea for help?
  4. Why did the Lord refer to this woman as a dog in Matthew 15:26?
  5. How did the Lord reward this woman’s persistent and humble faith?
  6. Earlier we read of the feeding of the five thousand. Is this story of the feeding of the four thousand an inconsistency in the Bible?

Answers

  1. These miracles occurred during the only recorded time during our Lord’s public ministry that He was outside of Jewish territory.
  2. The gospel of the kingdom was preached and presented to Israel. The kingdom of heaven was at hand, because Israel’s Messiah had arrived. Israel rejected her King and His offer of the Kingdom. The gospel of God’s grace would go out to the Gentile world.
  3. The disciples were annoyed by this woman. They were uncompassionate and hard-hearted.
  4. The Jews referred to Gentiles as dogs. The Lord wanted this woman to recognize He was the Jewish Messiah, and she had to take a humble position.
  5. He commended her faith and healed her daughter.
  6. No, these are two separate events. The Lord’s feeding of the five thousand was recorded in Matthew 14. The feeding of the four thousand occurred later and is recorded here. Both of these events are also recorded in the Gospel of Mark.

Discuss/Consider

  1. Have you taken a humble place before our Lord? To be saved we must humble ourselves before the Lord, recognizing that we deserve nothing from Him, yet accepting His gracious gift of salvation. Recall when you were saved; what did it take to humble you? Now, once you are a believer, God wants you to continue to follow Him humbly. Do you have a need in your life? Humbly go before the Lord and ask Him to fulfill this need. The Lord rewards the persistent and humble faith of His followers.
  2. The Lord knows how to meet both your spiritual and physical needs. He does not always choose to heal His followers physically. But if He does not heal your physical needs, He will give you the spiritual strength to handle them. Can you give an example of this from your life? Refer to II Corinthians 12:8-9.

Challenge

  1. Do you have compassion for people who are crying out for help and mercy? It is easy to have the response of the disciples, to be annoyed by people in need and respond with a hard-heart. Pray that the Lord will give you His view of these people, so you can look upon them with love and compassion.

Key Verses

  • “‘O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour.” Matthew 15:28 “I have compassion on the multitude.” Matthew 15:32

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