"Lord, help me!"
By Scarlett Stough
To prepare for this study, please read
the Women in Christ commentary: The
Woman With Great Faith and Mark 7:24-30 and Matthew 15:21-28.
Part I The Example of the Woman With Great Faith
1. Mark 7:24; Mark 6:53; Matthew 15:21; Matthew 14:34 What location did Jesus leave and where was he residing according to these accounts? Why do you think Jesus tried to keep his presence in this place a secret? (See also: Matthew 14:13; Luke 5:15-16; 9:10-11; John 6:15; 11:53-54.)
2. Mark 7:25-26 Matthew 15:22 Why do you think a non-Israelite woman would make her appeal to the Son of David, a Messianic title? What does the account reveal about her state of mind? (The Amplified Bible is especially helpful here.)
3. Matthew 15:23 What was Jesus’ initial response to her appeal? What perspective did the disciples have on “the problem?” What was their “solution?” Can you think of any modern parallels to the disciples’ perspective?
4. Matthew 15:24-25 What reason did Jesus give her for denying her request? How did she respond?
5. Mark 7:27; Matthew 15:26 What is your genuine gut reaction to Jesus’ next statement to her? Have you ever felt ignored and maybe even humiliated when you appealed to God about a great need in your life? If so, how did your reaction affect you and your relationship with God?
6. Mark 7:28; Matthew 15:27 This woman's quick and witty reply pleased and impressed Jesus. What characteristics and attitudes of this woman would enable her to turn an apparent insult into a God-pleasing response?
7. Matthew 15:28; Mark 7:29-30 How did
this woman express “great faith?” What would it take for you to express
“great faith” in an equally distressing situation and encounter with God?
Part II Wrestling With God
1. Genesis 32:24-30; Hosea 12:2-6 What similarities, if any, do you see between Jacob's encounter with the Man (Angel of the Lord or God) and the Canaanite woman's encounter with Jesus, the Son of Man? Explain your answer.
2. Genesis 18:22-33 What do you think motivated, enabled and emboldened Abraham to keep on appealing to God to spare the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah? Did the Canaanite woman share this in common with Abraham? Why or why not?
3. Luke 18:1-8 Why did Jesus tell his disciples this parable? Compare the elements of this parable to the account of the woman with great faith. Do you think Jesus has good reason to question whether or not faith would exist on earth when he returns? Explain. Is there something you can do to help ensure the continuance of faith to the next generation?
4. Job 23:1-17; 24:1; 27:1-6; 30:20-23; 31:35-40; 42:1-8, 13-16 Job pleaded his case before God boldly and frankly. In what way did Job “wrestle with God” over his suffering. In what way are you “wrestling with God” for his blessings?
5. Do you think God wanted to bless Jacob,
Abraham, Job and the Canaanite woman? What purpose does God have for struggling
with us and resisting, for a time, our pleas? (I Peter 1:3-9)
Part III Seek Me
1. Acts 17:22-34 What did God do and why? (See verse 27)
2. Isaiah 55:6-13 What commands do you find in these verses? How can you specifically obey God in these matters? What does he promise he will do?
3. II Chronicles 15:1-15 What promise did God make to Asa and all of Judah and Benjamin? How did they respond to God? How do you seek God? How could you apply this to your life?
4. II Chronicles 16:7, 10, 12 What happened when Asa stopped seeking God and began going his own way? What can you learn from the choices Asa made and the consequences of those choices? (See also: Matthew 24:12-13; Revelation 3:10-11)
5. Deuteronomy 4:29-31; I Chronicles 22:19; 28:9; Matthew 6:33; 7:7-12; Luke 11:5-13 What similarities do you see between the teaching God gave through Moses, the prophets, and his Son Jesus regarding seeking God?
6. Lamentations 3:19-59 (especially verses 25, 55-57) How does Jeremiah’s expectation of God compare to both Jesus’ teaching about God and his response to those who came to him for spiritual and physical healing?
7. Hebrews 11:6 What connection do you see between seeking God and faith? In what way did the Canaanite woman prove her faith?
8. Ezekiel 34:11-16; Luke 19:10,
John 4:23 Who is seeking whom? What does this mean to you?