|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:21-28 The dark corners of the country, the most remote, shall share Christ's influences; afterwards the ends of the earth shall see his salvation. The distress and trouble of her family brought a woman to Christ; and though it is need that drives us to Christ, yet we shall not therefore be driven from him. She did not limit Christ to any particular instance of mercy, but mercy, mercy, is what she begged for: she pleads not merit, but depends upon mercy. It is the duty of parents to pray for their children, and to be earnest in prayer for them, especially for their souls. Have you a son, a daughter, grievously vexed with a proud devil, an unclean devil, a malicious devil, led captive by him at his will? this is a case more deplorable than that of bodily possession, and you must bring them by faith and prayer to Christ, who alone is able to heal them. Many methods of Christ's providence, especially of his grace, in dealing with his people, which are dark and perplexing, may be explained by this story, which teaches that there may be love in Christ's heart while there are frowns in his face; and it encourages us, though he seems ready to slay us, yet to trust in him. Those whom Christ intends most to honour, he humbles to feel their own unworthiness. A proud, unhumbled heart would not have borne this; but she turned it into an argument to support her request. The state of this woman is an emblem of the state of a sinner, deeply conscious of the misery of his soul. The least of Christ is precious to a believer, even the very crumbs of the Bread of life. Of all graces, faith honours Christ most; therefore of all graces Christ honours faith most. He cured her daughter. He spake, and it was done. From hence let such as seek help from the Lord, and receive no gracious answer, learn to turn even their unworthiness and discouragements into pleas for mercy.
Verses 21-28. - Healing of the daughter of the Canaanitish woman. (Mark 7:24-30.) Verse 21. - Went thence. Jesus left the place, probably Capernaum, where the above discourse had been held, and where it was no longer safe for him to remain. He had grievously offended the dominant party by his outspoken words concerning purity and defilement; therefore, to escape any premature violence, he departed to a more secure quarter. Into the coasts (ta\ me/rh, "the parts") of Tyre and Sidon. The word "coasts" here, ver. 22, and elsewhere, does not mean "seacoasts," but "borders." The Authorized Version conveys a wrong impression by its use of the word. These two cities lay on the coast of Galilee, and had never been really conquered by the Israelites, though allotted to the tribe of Asher. There was no very exact limitation of territory between Phoenician (of which they were the capitals) and Jewish land, but there was a great moral distinction. The Phoenicians were sunk in the grossest idolatry; the worship of Baal and Ashtaroth reigned among them with all its depravity and pollution. Whether our Lord actually entered this district, or only approached its confines, is a matter of dispute. The language in the two extant accounts is ambiguous, and might be taken to imply either proceeding. But we cannot suppose that Christ betook himself to the close neighbourhood of those evil towns. His injunction to the apostles, when he sent them on their missionary tour, to abstain from going into any way of the Gentiles or entering any Samaritan city (Matthew 10:5), and his own declaration which shortly follows, that he was sent to the house of Israel, alike preclude the idea that he ever passed beyond the boundaries of the Holy Land. The woman, too, who appealed to him is said to have "come out away from those borders" - an expression which could hardly have been used if Christ had at this time been within them. And that he did no mighty work in these Phoenician cities may be gathered from his denunciation of Chorazin and Bethsaida for not showing the appreciation of his power and mercy which these centres of heathendom would have exhibited had they been equally favoured (see Matthew 11:21; Luke 10:13). If, as Chrysostom suggests, Jesus, by going to these partly Gentile districts, wished to give a practical commentary on the abrogation of the distinction between clean and unclean (breaking down the wall of partition between Jew and Gentile), this lesson was given equally well by the acceptance and commendation of the Gentile woman's faith, even though Christ himself was outside of pagan territory.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then Jesus went thence,.... From the land of Gennesaret, after he had silenced the Pharisees, as to the charge brought by them against his disciples; and when he had reproved them for their hypocrisy and wickedness, in making void the commands of God by their traditions; and had explained some difficult and parabolical sayings he had made use of to his disciples, he then left that country, and departed very privately: either to shun the multitude, for the sake of retirement; or to avoid any snares the Scribes and Pharisees might be laying for him, who must be greatly galled with his free discourse, and strong arguments:
and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon; two principal cities of Phoenicia: not that he went into these places themselves, but into some places that bordered upon them; for as he ordered his disciples not to go in the way of the Gentiles, so neither did he himself.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Mt 15:21-28. The Woman of Canaan and Her Daughter.
For the exposition, see on Mr 7:24-30.
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