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

Mark: IVP New Testament Commentary [IVPNTC]
Mark: IVP New Testament Commentary [IVPNTC]
Retail: $18.00
Our Price: $11.99Save: $6.01 (33%)
4.0 of 5.0 stars
Buy now
The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament
The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament
Retail: $35.00
Our Price: $23.99Save: $11.01 (31%)
3.5 of 5.0 stars
Buy now
Revelation, IVP, New Testament Commentary
Revelation, IVP, New Testament Commentary
Retail: $22.00
Our Price: $7.99Save: $14.01 (64%)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%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars
Buy now
Acts Intervarsity Press New Testament Commentary
Acts Intervarsity Press New Testament Commentary
Retail: $24.00
Our Price: $10.56Save: $13.44 (56%)Buy now