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Women World Leaders' Podcast

May 25, 2022

Jesus’ love and power have no borders. And we, His disciples, are called to serve in God’s power to every nation and tongue. As we study Matthew 15:21-39 and Mark 7:24-8:10, we will uncover the lessons that underlie Jesus’ miracles of healing and provision to both the Jew and the Gentile.


Welcome to Walking in the Word, the biblical teaching arm of the Women World Leaders’ podcast. My name is Julie Jenkins. I have the privilege of being the Teaching Leader for Women World Leaders. I’ve spent years studying the Bible – diving into God’s Word, seeking to know Him better and to hear His voice more clearly. Shortly after I graduated from college I had a conversation with a friend, lamenting to her that I was feeling far from Jesus. Her advice was to spend time reading the Bible, to which I responded, I don’t know how to read the Bible. That began my journey of attempting to quench my thirst for knowing Jesus…and after many classes, studies, and even a obtaining a masters degree in Biblical Exposition, I’ve come to the realization that the more I know Jesus, the more I want to know Him deeper. So I keep studying, and I keep growing.

It is my honor and joy to share with you what I have learned along the way, and to keep learning even as I prepare these podcasts. I am thrilled you have come alongside me in this quest, and I hope you will join us on Saturday, June 4th from 9:30-12:30 et as we host our first Women World Leaders gathering since the onset of covid! This free event, appropriately titled Renew, will be held in South Florida, but will also be broadcast on Facebook Live. We will have teaching, worship, and will be blessed by DeAnn Alaine, a hysterical comedian, who you can learn more about at (d e a n n a l a i n e .com). You can register for the event and find out more information on our website, And if you can’t attend in person, find us on Facebook under the name Women World Leaders.

On this, the Wednesday edition of the Women World Leaders podcast, we are currently walking through the gospels chronologically as we study the life of Jesus. Today, we will focus on Matthew 15:21-39 and Mark 7:24-8:10. Before we begin, let’s pray.

Dear Most Holy God, we come to you today seeking your presence and yearning to know you more. Guide our minds and our hearts as we study. We invite you to not only teach and bless us, but to convict and refine us. Sharpen our rough edges, help our unbelief, and heighten our understanding of who you are. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.


As we walk with Jesus, we learn from both His actions and His teaching to the crowds, His disciples, and individuals. This isn’t different from what we have been studying, but what IS different in today’s reading, is that Jesus has moved away from Jewish territory, and is ministering among the Gentiles, in their land. In fact, the people we encounter today have a reputation for being godless and controlled by a desire for wealth and power. The renown Jewish historian Josephus, called the people from this area ‘bitter enemies’ of the Jews. And yet, Jesus led His disciples there, and by looking at Jesus in these unique surroundings, we realize that His love and power have no borders – that He indeed came for the salvation of all.

In this passage, we see a trio of events unfold – the freeing of a Gentile girl from demon control, physical healing of Gentile individuals, and a miracle of provision as Jesus feeds well over 4000 Gentile people. Let’s begin in Matthew, chapter 15, verse 21 from the New Living Translation.

21 Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.”

The Gentile woman approaches Jesus, full of faith in Jesus, whom she calls Lord, Son of David – clearly a tribute to the fact that He is the Jewish Messiah – far outside of her own race and her culture’s beliefs. Strikingly, Verse 23 says…

23 But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. “Tell her to go away,” they said. “She is bothering us with all her begging.”

Maybe you’ve been there. I bet you can remember a time in your life when you sought out Jesus and cried out to Him – “Have mercy on me Lord, I need you.” And then you heard…nothing. Silence.

It’s tempting to think all sorts of things in those moments of silence – whether they be mere seconds or if they stretch into years. Is God there? Did He hear me? Does He care? Is God even real?

But Jesus’ silence didn’t sway the Gentile woman…

Finally, Jesus DOES reply…but it surely isn’t what we would expect…

“I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.”

Wow. Still, this faithful non-Jew doesn’t give up, because she knows what Jesus can do. So she chose to worship Him.

When we are at our lowest, and God seems silent, the best thing we can do is hold onto our faith, and worship God! Proclaim Him as our Lord out loud, letting the devil and the world know exactly where we stand and exactly who we belong to! Verse 25…

25 But she came and worshiped him, pleading again, “Lord, help me!”

26 Jesus responded, (again, NOT how we would expect) “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.”

That’s harsh! Was Jesus calling this woman a dog? The Jewish people DID call their Gentile neighbors dogs, in a very derogatory way. They considered them low-life, scroungers, wild, and unrefined. But for Jesus to say this? Upon looking at the structure of word usage in the original text, many theologians believe that Jesus was creatively playing off this customary derogatory name-calling. But, rather than use the word for mangy stray dog, as was the norm, Jesus used the word for beloved family pet. And the woman caught on, responding…

“That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters’ table.”

A very funny aside: I was studying these particular verses this morning when my sweet puppy jumped up on me and curled up in my lap. As I pet my Marlo and thought about how much I loved him, I laughed at God’s real-time illustration to me of this passage!

Oh…how I love my puppy! And to think, my love for him doesn’t even BEGIN to compare with how much God loves me. And how much He loves you.

You see, Jesus DID come for the Israelites. We’ve seen that. The Old Testament tells their story, and here, in the New Testament, we see Jesus as the obvious fulfillment of the Jewish law and the prophets. But the deeper reality is that Jesus didn’t come JUST for the Jewish people. He’s just too big to be a God of only one nation. He is God of all the nations – every tribe and tongue, throughout all of history. In this passage we see that it was time for the world…and the disciples…to recognize that Jesus is a God for all people for all time. This Gentile woman may not have understood the depth of Jesus’ reign, but she KNEW that Jesus was there FOR her and her daughter. And Jesus put HER faith on display for the world – and the disciples – to learn from.

Verse 28..

28 “Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.

Mark 7:30 says…  30 And when she arrived home, she found her little girl lying quietly in bed, and the demon was gone.

Jesus’ love and power have no borders!

Matthew continues…

29 Jesus returned to the Sea of Galilee and climbed a hill and sat down. 30 A vast crowd brought to him people who were lame, blind, crippled, those who couldn’t speak, and many others. They laid them before Jesus, and he healed them all. 31 The crowd was amazed! Those who hadn’t been able to speak were talking, the crippled were made well, the lame were walking, and the blind could see again! And they praised the God of Israel.

As if to emphasize that Jesus is the God of the many AND the God of the one, Mark’s version focuses in on the healing of one individual deaf man…Mark 7:33…

33 Jesus led him away from the crowd so they could be alone. He put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then, spitting on his own fingers, he touched the man’s tongue. 34 Looking up to heaven, he sighed and said, “Ephphatha,” ( eh FAH thah) which means, “Be opened!” 35 Instantly the man could hear perfectly, and his tongue was freed so he could speak plainly!

Jesus’ power and love have no borders.

Next we read a story that sounds oh-so-familiar. Remember when Jesus fed the crowd of 5000 Jews with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish? Well, here He is again, in the midst of another crowd. This one a little smaller – there were only 4000 Gentile men along with women and children in this crowd. And instead of being there for a day listening to Jesus teach, these non-Jews had been in this remote area learning from the best for three days!

Matthew 15:32…

32 Then Jesus called his disciples and told them, “I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for three days, and they have nothing left to eat. I don’t want to send them away hungry, or they will faint along the way.”

33 The disciples replied, “Where would we get enough food here in the wilderness for such a huge crowd?”

34 Jesus asked, “How much bread do you have?”

They replied, “Seven loaves, and a few small fish.”

35 So Jesus told all the people to sit down on the ground. 36 Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, thanked God for them, and broke them into pieces. He gave them to the disciples, who distributed the food to the crowd.

37 They all ate as much as they wanted. Afterward, the disciples picked up seven large baskets of leftover food. 38 There were 4,000 men who were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children. 39 Then Jesus sent the people home, and he got into a boat and crossed over to the region of Magadan. (MEAH gah dan)

Several things we can learn from feeding of the 2nd crowd:

First, when we remember what God has done, our faith will grow. Jesus used this opportunity to remind the disciples of what He was capable of. I can recall as a young Christian remembering that I could pray about something. I don’t know why, but I was stressed, up against something that felt impossible. And the Holy Spirit reminded me to pray. It was so freeing, to remember how amazing our God is! God isn’t like lightning – He can strike twice in the same spot! When we remember His miracles in our lives, our faith will grow.

Second, Jesus cares and will always provide what we need. I love that Jesus recognized that these Gentiles were so hungry that they were in danger of fainting on the way home. And after all, He knew they had stories to share about what they had seen! Jesus recognized their need and gave them nourishment to share what they had learned with others. Jesus cares and will always provide what we need.

And the third thing we can learn…you can probably guess…Jesus’ love and power have no borders..

Jesus may have been come to earth as the Son of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – the Jewish forefathers. And He certainly fulfilled what the Jewish prophets foretold of their Messiah. But Jesus came for every person – and He gave His life for every person – and He lives for every person.

Jesus performed miracles and taught among the Jews. And THEN He performed miracles and taught among the Gentiles.

Jesus blessed the bread and fish, and give it to the disciples to feed the hungry crowd of Jewish men, women and children. The disciples then gathered 12 baskets of leftovers. As you study the Bible, you will begin to recognize that 12 is a significant number that occurs often, leading us back to the 12 tribes of Israel.

And then Jesus blessed some bread and fish AGAIN, giving it to the disciples for them to feed the crowd of Gentiles. This time, they collected 7 baskets of leftovers. Seven is the number of completion in the Bible. God’s is gathering His complete family. He began with the Jewish people, but He has welcomed in every tribe and tongue and nation.

Jesus multiplied the bread and fish as the disciples passed it out to both the Jews and the Gentiles. But Jesus had far more for the disciples to give to the world on His behalf. Jesus taught and cared for the disciples that they might teach and care for the world.

If you have given your life to Christ, you, too, are a disciple – tasked with teaching and caring for God’s people. Those from every nation. God has provided for you, and through His blessing and the work of your hands, His following will continue to grow on this earth. We all have a calling. And it is only when we each do what we are called to do that every nation will be reached.

Let’s pray…

Dear Jesus…thank you for coming for the crowd and for the one. Thank you for coming for the Jew and the Gentile. Thank you for your provision that we all might be here today, leaning into your teaching. Thank you for the opportunity you give each of us to share your blessings with a world in need. God, help us to remember that your power has no borders, and that you call each of us to harness that power to spread your name throughout this earth. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.