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Lessons, Ideas, Activities, and Resources for Jesus and the Syrophoenician (Canaanite) Woman

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Please include a scripture reference, supply lists, sources, suggested age range. age modification, etc.

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Mark 7:24-30 & Matthew 15:21-28.

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This was moved to here from the help forum.

Question asked:

I have been tasked to do a 5 week lesson on the Syrophoenician/Canaanite woman....

Help....I am at a loss...

I have the following workshop options...

Art, Drama, Bible puzzles and Games, Storytelling, Computer, Video and sometimes cooking.

Last edited by Luanne Payne
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Are you talking about the Bible account in Mark 7--with the woman with the demon-possessed child who remarks that even the dogs eat the crumbs from the table? I did a quick search (one of the features available to supporting members) and didn't find anything. Which didn't surprise me since this is not a major story and most of the lessons/forums focus on the major stories. Even as an adult, I find this story challenging and hard to understand.

Is there a reason that this story was chosen?  If it was chosen because someone wanted to focus on a certain concept, perhaps that could be achieved with a different story?

Nevertheless, there are a few options out there:

  •  A healing miracle is involved and there is a section here on "Other Healing Miracles". The ideas are for healing miracles in general, not to this specific one.
  • There is also a section on "Jesus and Outcasts". Again, there is nothing specific to this story but some ideas there could be adapted. 


Blessings on your ministry,


Hi Cheryl

Interesting story but five weeks on it! Let me see if I can help.

Wk 1: Drama. Such vivid characters, surprising dialog,  and dogs!! Jesus’ sly tone and actions are unusual. I can just imagine the looks and glances.  

What I don’t like is the grief he put the mother-in-need through. Not very Jesus-like at all. Because it’s likely a dramatic story device lacking in initial compassion, I wonder how it might have gone down originally, Jesus probably showed more typical compassion and yet still got his points across.

Wk 2: Teach the story of Elijah and the Widow of Zarephath (link to that forum). She too was a Syrophonecian woman whose child was healed by God’s anointed. Show the Widow’s video (Nest) or software (Elijah from Sunday Software). Keep in mind that Elijah and Jesus ARE connected and Jesus is following in the prophetic tradition by bringing signs of God’s Love and Salvation to all.

Wk 3: There’s a neat comparison of Matt vs Mark’s version of the story here:

Use it in a Game Workshop to illuminate/study how stories can be different/similar, then play the “Which Gospel?” quiz game.

Wk 4: Teach the Parable of the Lost Sheep and cherry pick creative ideas from our many lost sheep ideas here at the site. The Lost Sheep is the parable version of the teaching Jesus was slyly giving when he healed the woman’s daughter.

Wk 5: Mission Project Time! Reaching out to “outsiders” and those in need of being healed and found.

Skirt the “demon” reference it’s irrelevant.

View Jesus’ odd reticence as dramatic storytelling device and not a reflection of his mercy  or attitude!

Hope this helps!

Luanne adds:

Video Clip

  1. Matthew (Visual Bible) DVD
    Event #44 Faith of the Canaanite Woman (Matthew 15:21-28) length 1:78 minutes.
Last edited by Luanne Payne

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