Responding to Jesus
February 25, 2024

Responding to Jesus: The Conviction of the Canaanite

The Rev'd Adam Lowe
Matthew 15:21-28

Questions and going deeper resources

Small group questions

Connect Is there any part of your life (e.g., prayer, use of your time, the people you connect with, the deployment of your resources, habits, priorities) that needs to be more aligned with the purpose of Jesus?


  1. What is an ‘underdog’? Can you think of a prominent example?
  2. Why do you think Australians really love ‘underdogs’ so much?
  3. How was the Canaanite woman the underdog of the ancient world in so many ways?

Read Matthew 15:21-23

  1. Which responses most catch you by surprise in this encounter with Jesus? 
  2. What’s unusual about the way Matthew describes the woman? What might he be signalling?
  3. What did she cry out for? How do you think she felt? What’s significant about her cry for mercy?
  4. Have you ever recognised someone famous in public? What did you do?
  5. Who does the woman recognise Jesus to be? What does she see that others have failed to recognise?
  6. How is there a connection between recognising who Jesus truly is and crying out to mercy from him?
  7. How have you known—and how do you continue to know—that Jesus is the source of mercy?
  8. How do the disciples respond to the woman crying out? Do you think they’ve failed to see something?
  9. How does Jesus initially respond? Have you ever felt that God was silent amidst anguish? 
  10. What has helped you to express both lament and hope even amidst the most troubling of times?

Read Matthew 15:24-28

  1. Who were the dogs? Do you think Jesus was reinforcing racial prejudices or doing something else?
  2. What does Jesus mean by his initial response in verse 24? How can we be confident that whilst Jesus was sent mainly to the lost sheep of Israel, that his mission was not only for the lost sheep of Israel?
  3. How is it evident here, elsewhere, and the ending of Matthew that the Good News is for everyone?
  4. What is faith? Where do people put their faith? What does it mean to put your faith in Jesus?
  5. How does Jesus describe the woman’s faith? Why do you think he describes it in such a way?
  6. In what way is the woman’s faith humble, bold, and clear? What can we learn from her faith?
  7. If we have a conviction that the Good News of Jesus is truly for everyone, how should that shape how we pray for, connect with, and love others?

Apply What is one thing this week that would strengthen your faith in Jesus?

Gracious God, thank you that you have poured out your grace and invite us to respond in faith. Please help us to have a humility that delights in Jesus’ greatness, a confidence that springs forth from Jesus’ strength, and a conviction that his Good News is for everyone. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Going deeper resources
On Your Front Line this Week

What change towards truth and justice would you like to see on your frontline? How are you going praying for it?

For Families
  • Download: some of the family resources to use at home: stbartskids.org
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