9. a. The NIV uses the word region in Matthew’s account and vicinity in Mark’s account. Both accounts are somewhat ambiguous about the exact location leaving some debate about whether Jesus actually left Israel or just went near the non-Jewish region that is now Lebanon. It may be ambiguous because the border was not clearly defined.
All that said, I think Jesus took His disciples to that region because it was no longer safe to remain there (probably in Capernaum) where the Pharisees became so grievously offended at Jesus.
b. The Canaanite (Gentile) woman called Jesus, Lord, Son of David. She must have previously heard that Jesus healed the sick and set free those who were possessed by demons, because she sought Him out when she heard He was nearby. She also heard what others called Him and the miracles He performed, so she addressed Him in the same way.
Or she may have heard the Jews expected a Messiah and presumed Jesus was the one. After all, performing miracles was intended to convince others that He was the Son of God. If this was the case, calling Him Lord, Son of David may indicate she believed and understood His calling. She was desperate, without another option, and humbly believed the stories she had heard—unlike the Pharisees and the people from Jesus’ hometown.
In either case, I believe when she returned home to a changed daughter, she knew.
10. a. Jesus answered her in this way because as He said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” She was not of the house of Israel. Jesus later instructed His disciples to go into all the world and to all nations.
b. After Jesus defined His calling, she remained bold, identified with the derogatory moniker, and humbly appealed for Jesus to drop a crumb. I don’t know if she thought it would work, but she knew what would happen if she didn’t try. For someone racially and culturally reviled—especially a woman—her boldness and persistence is remarkable, much like that of the centurion.
- The woman was Greek
- Jesus said, “First let the children eat all they want,” before He said, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
- She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone. — The miraculous outcome is confirmed.
Don’t you wish there were more followup accounts—where are they now stories and how did their lives change? But I digress…