A A A A A
Bible Book List
The IVP New Testament Commentary Series – A Canaanite Woman's Faith (15:21-28)
A Canaanite Woman's Faith (15:21-28)

Placed immediately after a discussion of purity in both Matthew and Mark, Jesus' encounter with this Gentile woman brings out the implications the Evangelists find in his view of purity: Gentiles will no longer be separated from Israel (compare Acts 10:15, 28; 11:9-18). Like an earlier Gentile in Matthew's Gospel (8:10), this woman becomes an illustration of faith. Also like the centurion, this outsider's faith compares favorably with that of some religious insiders among Jesus' contemporaries (15:1-20).

Matthew reinforces this point by specifying exactly what Mark's Hellenistic Syro-Phoenician woman (Mk 7:26) means. She is a descendant of the ancient Canaanites, the bitter biblical enemies of Israel whose paganism had often led Israel into idolatry (compare Jub. 22:20-22). "Yes," Matthew seems to reply; "God's compassion extends to all Gentiles." If Tyre and Sidon (15:21) lead some readers to recall Jezebel, others must recall instead the widow who supported Elijah (1 Kings 17:8-24; Lk 4:26). The narrative thus constitutes another of Matthew's invitations to the Gentile mission (like 2:1-11; 8:5-13), reinforcing the message of 11:21-24 (where Tyre and Sidon were more open to repentance than Galilean towns were).

Bible Gateway Recommends

1-2 Thessalonians: IVP New Testament Commentary [IVPNTC] -eBook
1-2 Thessalonians: IVP New Testament Commentary [IVPNTC] -eBook
Retail: $14.99
Our Price: $9.69Save: $5.30 (35%)Buy now
Romans: IVP New Testament Commentary [IVPNTC] -eBook
Romans: IVP New Testament Commentary [IVPNTC] -eBook
Retail: $16.99
Our Price: $9.99Save: $7.00 (41%)Buy now
1-3 John: IVP New Testament Commentary [IVPNTC]
1-3 John: IVP New Testament Commentary [IVPNTC]
Retail: $16.00
Our Price: $10.99Save: $5.01 (31%)Buy now
John: Tyndale New Testament Commentary [TNTC]
John: Tyndale New Testament Commentary [TNTC]
Retail: $18.00
Our Price: $11.49Save: $6.51 (36%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars
Buy now
Ephesians: The IVP New Testament Commentary  [IVPNTC]
Ephesians: The IVP New Testament Commentary [IVPNTC]
Retail: $16.00
Our Price: $10.99Save: $5.01 (31%)Buy now