Welcome to the Women of the Bible video series: Syrophoenician Woman. Each video in this 6 week series lasts 15 minutes and covers one woman of the Bible to whom we can relate today. Below is a transcription of the video. Be blessed!
Womne of the Bible Video Series: Syrophoenician Woman
Rachel Wojo: Hey there! I’m with my dear friend Jennifer Jackson. We’re here talking about these beautiful women of the Bible who came to Jesus just as they were. This is our third in the series and today we are talking about the Syrophoenician woman. She doesn’t have a name. That’s just her, the Syrophoenician woman, and so if you’ll grab your Bible or just listen carefully as I read from Matthew 15, and I’m beginning at verse 20,
Matthew 15: 20-28
“and Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of tire and side on fold. A Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying. Half the mercy on me, O Lord, son of David. My daughter is severely oppressed by a demon, but he did not answer her a word and his disciples came and begged him saying, send her away for she is crying after us. He answered: “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, but she came and knelt before him saying, Lord, help me. And he answered, it’s not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs. She said, “Yes, Lord. Yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table. Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith, be it done for you as you desire. And her daughter was healed instantly.”
I just love this story so much beautiful for so many reasons, but you know the Syrophoenician woman, she, if we could call Lydia the desperate diva. I think that the Syrophoenician woman is the mad mama. Because you have to think now. When this mad mama comes to Jesus, then I just, I think Jesus is probably trying to take a rest. And the disciples are like, “Would you please tell this woman to go away?” I know she’s just crazy. And Jesus steps aside, the crowds have thronged in against him and the religious leaders have been pursuing him and he’s kind of stepped aside and withdrawn a little bit to recoup from it all. I mean God in the flesh, but human, our bodies have limits, you know? And so his human body probably had reached some of its limits and he was taking a rest, but his rest was interrupted by this woman who is completely beside herself.
Jennifer Jackson: Oh absolutely.
A Cry for Help
Rachel Wojo: And so as this mad mama, she says, I’m not only was she mad, but she was also pretty manic. Why do I think she was manic? Well, the disciples had pulled Jesus away and they were saying, look, this woman’s making a scene, just tell her to go away. And when I think about their approach, I kind of feel both sides of the story, you know, because when people make us angry, I honestly want them to go away. I’m like the disciples in personality; I don’t appreciate conflict. So I’m like, OK, you’re making too much of scene. Just go away, you know? So I may have had this same kind of response as the disciples did. But um, as a mother? I always found myself as a low key person until I became a mother. And then I did not know that there’s this God given mode issued to you when you become a mother that I often call mama bear mode. Right? You don’t even know exists until the first time somebody crosses your child and you’re like, roar, you know? I mean it just comes out of you.
When You’re Desperate
Rachel Wojo: You don’t even know where this fierce protective nature came from. You’re like, where did that come from? It’s not part of my usual personality and it has a way of just coming out. And I think that that’s where this mama was. She was in that mama bear mode. She was in this manic state of: “I cannot do anymore to help my child. Jesus, you have to help me. And you know, we don’t know the details of how this actually was manifested in our life, but the girl was 15 and demon possessed. How long she had been that way. We don’t know. You know, we don’t know a lot of the details, but we do know that the mom’s desperate. Yes. And so many of us have been in those desperate places, and I just want to encourage your heart, if you’re in a place right now where you just feel like I do not know what else to do, then you do exactly what this woman Syrophoenician woman does in her state.
The Power of “Jesus, Help Me”
Rachel Wojo: She says: Jesus, help me. I’m telling you, those three words lifted up to the Lord in prayer can make miracles happen. When we recognize that we’re not good enough, we’re not smart enough, it is not in our power and we need the Lord. And just recognizing his help. And I also look at not just that she was a mad Mama, but she, you know, I used the word to describe her as meager. Jesus didn’t answer this woman right away. And it’s not, it’s not really common to see a scenario in the Bible where Jesus doesn’t answer somewhat immediately, you know. So it kind of triggers me to say like, “Say what Jesus? Why are you ignoring her? You know, I mean, you kind of are prompted to think more. You know, we think we know more than God. I have a feeling that she had to be strategic to find out where Jesus was even located.
Rachel Wojo: She had used your gps, you know, she had! I just find it really interesting, like Jesus tests the woman’s belief by reminding her that,” Hey, you’re not obsessed with social status. I only came and the verse says that he who he came to save and it was just the house of Israel, not gentiles. And she says ”That’s not true.” You know, he was testing her. It was a way of him seeing does she know the truth, you know, and is she willing to speak the truth? And I believe that she already knew that he was God. But her confidence in confirmation of that was another story. He was drawing out her ability to really speak what she believed. And she had managed to find Jesus here. She was saying beforehand, the Jew, Jewish zealots were preaching that Christ, he came to save the Jews and not the gentiles.
Racial Divides Are Not New
Rachel Wojo There are always beliefs. I mean, here’s the bottom line: racial divides are not a new concept. You know, racial differences and, and racial issues have been present since the beginning of time. You know, as soon as Adam and Eve had children, what happened, what did Cain and Abel do? They were of the same race and yet they were still immediately fighting. And so as the generations, you know, developed and as the races developed, and we look at the history of the Tower of Babel and, you know, moving forward, racial divides have always been a part of the digression of mankind since the fall of man. And so, you know, they even went so far, the Jewish zealots actually called the gentiles and dogs and that in our term that, in our level of slang today, it would be a very atrocious word to call someone that.
Desperate Times = Desperate Measures
Rachel Wojo: And you look at all of those differences and this woman is standing there, a woman who’s traveled to get to Jesus, who is desperate, who has no, you know, real resources. She’s exhausted everything she knows to do and she’s been waiting. Maybe this is you. Maybe you have been in that waiting mode and we kind of talked about this in Deborah’s story a little bit. Where you know, the children of Israel had been oppressed when we discussed Deborah as a woman of the Bible in the last video of this series. We said she and her country had been under oppression for 20 years. Terrible. A long time and to suffering from my view. I know listening to this, it’s the same way. You know, this woman, the Syrophoenician woman, she had been trying to deal with this issue with her daughter. The daughter was 15 years old.
Rachel Wojo: We don’t know for sure if she’d had the demon possession that long. We don’t know for sure actually how the demon manifested in the daughter’s behavior pattern in her. She was at the end of her rope when she came to Jesus and I just, I have to stop and tell you that for those of you who don’t know my family and are watching for the first time, I have a husband, my husband Matthew, he is just an incredible worker, provider, father and Christian for our family and we have seven children. We have tiffany Tayler, Michael, Christina, Samuel, Tara and Tessa. It’s a busy household and our daughter Taylor has a rare metabolic disorder called MPs. She’s 21 years old. The average lifespan for her disease this 10 to 15 years at 21.
Rachel Wojo: I’m looking at her life right now and I’m thinking I get the desperation of the syrophoenician woman because we have heard the words, no cure and no treatment and I’m guessing the Syrophoenician woman had heard the same thing. She had probably already been to the doctors. She probably already tried all of the natural methods and she was doing everything in her power and I just have to look at her and say, you know, I was like the Syrophoenician woman when I got to that point years ago where I said, Lord, I will do whatever it takes. I understand that mad manic mama mode where you’re just like, you show me what to do, Lord and I will do it. And I know so many of you get that. But in that moment, I think her persistence and her humility really shines because she says, Lord, it’s true. I’m not of the House of Israel. I am a gentile. You can call me for what I am. I am a crazy mama. I am in the mad mama bear mode, you know, call me for what I see is important, but I need your mercy and grace. And if you give me that, it is enough for me. And that is our, her, just her main, you know, present her, her ability to be present in the presence of Jesus. Her ability to admit who she was and just say, you are. All. I need Jesus helped me. I believe that the Lord desires something different for our family. You know the Syrophoenician woman, she walked away with healing. Her daughter was healed in that moment and for our family. We haven’t been privileged to have that with, with my daughter Taylor. She is still suffering from this disease and it will lead her to heaven one day.
Healing in Desperate Places
Rachel Wojo: But the more I about Jesus, the more I sit at his feet, the more I’m in his presence, the more that I read his word. I understand what a wonderful place to have an is really going to be, and I just have to say, you know the Canaanite woman believed before Jesus ever healed her daughter. She believed, and I believe that’s what Jesus is looking for in us, a heart that is turned towards him and saying, Lord, I believe I believe, Lord, help me. Lord, I just need you. I need your mercy and grace, and when we fall at his feet and we give him that ourselves and our weakest state, that is when his mercy and grace is the biggest to us. You know, it’s the largest to us, the Syrophoenician woman came to Jesus as a mad, mad, Manic Mama with meager resources If I can say it looks different for every Mama, yes, and he knows us individually.
Hope is Available to Everyone
Rachel Wojo: Our situation, he’s still the same and his hope is the same, but it’s different for each of us is. But His mercy and grace is the stability. It’s right. It’s the constant. It’s the consistent throughout all and she went away, perseverant and peace filled. I feel like we just see a pattern going from Deborah, the syrophoenician woman, you know, as far as just that persistence, that perseverance and that just willingness to admit, “OK, this is who I am, but God, this is who you are.” Passionate for him, yes. And who, who he is. That’s where the peace comes from. That’s where the love and the mercy and grace abounds. And I hope that today, as you’ve listened to this teaching on the Syrophoenician woman, you’ve experienced the Lord giving you his peace, giving you his grace and mercy through this word of truth, through his word, through the things that we’ve shared today, that you have just enjoyed knowing that even three simple words, Lord, help me please you know, three simple words, Lord, help me.
Rachel Wojo: They can make the difference in your day, in your life. Let’s pray. Lord Jesus, I thank you so much for the opportunity to share the Syrophoenician woman’s story with our listeners today are viewers. I pray that you would just light up their life with your mercy, grace and truth as they listened to this, that they would remember just a simple prayer of, Lord, help me just the consistency of coming before you and accepting your grace, your light, your truth, your mercy. We praise you and thank you for it in Jesus name. Amen.
That’s great. Awesome. Thanks so much and we’ll see you again soon.
Grab your FREE ebook, Women of the Bible: Beautiful and Brave.
Stay tuned;we’ll see you next week for the next video in this series!
By his grace,
Women of the Bible Video Series