Encounter: Syrophonecian Woman

Encountering Jesus’ desire

to Test and Refine our Faith

Matthew 15:21-28, Mark 7:24-30

By Molly Frank

Jesus was the Syrophonecian woman’s only hope. She knew that Jesus could heal her daughter and she only needed to ask. I want to be like her. I want to cry out to God, knowing He is the Savior. I don’t want to think I can always accomplish things on my own. Rather, I want to run to Jesus first.

Today’s post read by the author

We don’t know if this mother went to Jesus first, but when she learned Jesus was in her area, she ran to Him, determined that her daughter receive His healing touch. Mark writes that Jesus entered a house and did not want anyone to know where he was, but immediately the woman found Him and fell at His feet (8:24-25). 

She was persistent. Even when Jesus turned her away — twice — and reminded her of her place amongst the Jews, she remained persistent in her pursuit. In return Jesus healed her daughter and commended her faith. She was not without hope because she was talking to the Messiah! 

Jesus is the merciful and gracious Savior of the world, and this woman knew it. In just one encounter, she understood the magnitude of who Jesus is. How often do I forget who Jesus is, what He has done for me, what He has promised me, and how much He loves me? I forget to be watchful for how God is at work in my life and in the lives of others. 

Lately, I feel like I am caught up in how I can provide for my family. Rather than coming to God, who will sustain and provide for us, I look for all the ways in which I can do it on my own. It is not bad to “put in the work” and look for solutions, but it is so much better when I first spend time with the Lord and ask Him how I can approach the situation. Where would He like me to go? How can I be obedient to Him? When I do this, even if it is not always my first response, I am much more patient, more watchful for God at work, and so much more thankful for how He provides and sustains us. 

We serve a mighty God. The Syrophonecian woman called out to Jesus by name. She called Him “Lord” and “the Son of David.” She knew who Jesus is and what He was capable of. This is a truth I struggle to remember. He is mighty, and He cares. He is my Father and takes delight when I come to Him. He doesn’t take delight when I come to Him only with the “big things” but with ALL things. Now this is a big thing. 

This woman’s daughter’s life was at risk, but she was confident. When I come to God, I am almost casual. I don’t expect God to answer me or think He cares, which we know is not true! I should be expectant. I can and should expect God to answer my prayer. He may not always answer me or even answer the way I want Him to, but He will do so much more. I want to be confident that Jesus will meet my needs and do far more.

This encounter solidifies Jesus’ mission. He came for both the Jew and the Gentile. It is easy for me to forget that Jesus didn’t only come for me but for you and vice versa. He came to save those I least expect. There are days when I think that someone is too far from God, but then I remember that He loves and cares more deeply for His people than I ever will. He knows and yearns for His children to come to Him. This is both exciting and convicting. Who in my midst am I praying for? Do I care about the salvation of my neighbor? The grocery clerk? The person who is not like me? God certainly does. 

Encountering Jesus changed my life. He humbled Himself and descended from heaven, lived a perfect life, died on the cross, and ascended back to heaven. Even though I fall short everyday, He chose me. As I continue to learn more about Jesus and His character, I am in awe of Him. He is faithful, merciful, and oh so gracious to me.

Molly Frank grew up in Eugene and has been attending UFC for 10 years. She has been married to her husband Josh for almost five years, and they have a 17-month-old daughter, Taylor. Molly enjoys spending her free time reading, playing card games, and hanging out with friends.