(21) Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. (22) And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, 'Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.' (23) But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, 'Send her away, for she cries out after us.' (24) But He answered and said, "I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (25) Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, 'Lord, help me!' (26) But He answered and said, 'It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs.' (27) And she said, 'Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.' (28) Then Jesus answered and said to her, 'O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.' And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
(24) From there He arose and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And He entered a house and wanted no one to know it, but He could not be hidden. (25) For a woman whose young daughter had an unclean spirit heard about Him, and she came and fell at His feet. (26) The woman was a Greek, a Syro-Phoenician by birth, and she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter. (27) But Jesus said to her, 'Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs.' (28) And she answered and said to Him, 'Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children's crumbs.' (29) Then He said to her, 'For this saying go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter.' (30) And when she had come to her house, she found the demon gone out, and her daughter lying on the bed.
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When Jesus exorcised a Syro-Phoenician woman's daughter (Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30), it was a time of peril for Him. Herod was suspicious, and the Pharisees no longer concealed their loathing of Him, having become openly hostile toward Him. Although many of the common people were enthusiastic over His marvelous works and profound teachings, many were also deeply offended by some of His words, which exposed them as sinners.
So Jesus saw a need to seek seclusion to rest and instruct His disciples in private. Mark records, however, "But He could not be hidden." The glory of Christ's teaching and miracles could not be concealed in this darkened world.
The disciples' appeal to get rid of the woman reveals their weariness of the crowd's incessant pleas for Jesus' intervention. Her persistent cries for her daughter's healing were just another aggravation and too much to deal with.
As a Phoenician, the woman would likely have worshipped the mother-goddess "Ashtoreth" or "Astarte," also known as "the Queen of heaven," who was thought to be the giver of all life. This goddess supposedly allowed her worshippers to do all sorts of evil. This woman, then, from a background of total paganism, sought divine mercy both for herself and for her demon-possessed daughter.
Matthew's account expresses that the daughter was badly demonized, totally insane and disabled. Her anxious mother, unable to do anything for her relief, pleads with Jesus for mercy on her and her daughter. She addresses Him as "Lord," revealing her respect for Him as having authority and superiority. In calling Him "the Son of David," she recognizes Him as Israel's Messiah. She identifies herself with her daughter's need, implying that healing her daughter would mean mercy for her, as her child's misery was her own. No doubt, the merciful Jesus anticipated her need for Him as He had with others (John 5:6).
— Martin G. Collins