The American Wisdom Series

Matthew #2537

Christ is now going to take a side trip to the coasts of Tyre and Sidon and return in order to teach His disciples, which means you and me in these last days, a great lesson concerning the grace and mercy of our God.

Jesus Christ has been expounding upon the Parable of the Tares and has just finished addressing the scribes and Pharisees, the multitude, His disciples, and finally Peter individually. Now He is going to take what we might call a side trip to the coasts of Tyre and Sidon and return in order to teach His disciples, which means you and me in these last days, a great lesson concerning the grace and mercy of our God. To that end, we are still receiving detailed instructions concerning the Parable of the Tares to know how to discern and handle that which is planted of God and that which is not. If you are one who has eyes to see and ears to hear, then today's study will surely increase your understanding of the kingdom of heaven (Mat. 13:52).

Matthew 15:21
Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.
Tyre, or Tyrus in Hebrew, means "rock" and the city of Tyre was a little rock island off the coast of Sidon or Zidon which became the world trading hub of the ancient world controlled by the kenites. You will find a detailed description of the trafficking and merchandising of Tyre and Sidon in the 27th chapter of Ezekiel which is followed by an even more detailed account of the king of Tyre in the 28th chapter... who was none other than the captor of men himself, Satan! Tyre and Sidon was therefore a type of Satan's globalization which is his One World Political/Economic System in these last days.

Here are the definitions of both Tyre and Sidon from Strong's Concordance.

Tyre, Tsor, tsore, Hebrew 6865; or Tsowr, tsore; the same as Hebrew 6864 (tsor); a rock; Tsor, a place in Palestine :- Tyre, Tyrus.

Zidon, Tsiydown, tsee-done', Hebrew 6721; or Tsiydon, tsee-done'; from Hebrew 6679 (tsuwd) in the sense of catching fish; fishery; Tsidon, the name of a son of Canaan, and of a place in Palestine :- Sidon, Zidon.

The root word from which Zidon is derived means "to catch" or even "to take captive" and so we see that Christ has just entered into Satan's camp which is his stronghold.
tsuwd, tsood, Hebrew 6679; a primitive root; to lie alongside (i.e. in wait); by implication to catch an animal (figurative men); (denominative from Hebrew 6718 (tsayid)) to victual (for a journey) :- chase, hunt, sore, take (provision).
It is also worthwhile to point out that if you look at a map you will see that Christ walked about 50 miles to get from Gennesaret to the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. The number "50" in Biblical numerics is a Jubilee, the year of freedom when "liberty is proclaimed throughout the land" (Lev. 25:10)! In fact Leviticus 25:10, "Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof" is inscribed on our Liberty Bell. And so it is that Christ went to great lengths to give us this teaching and to do what He is about to do.

Understand also that Christ did not go to Tyre and Sidon to teach and convert people. He has entered into Satan's camp for a very special reason, the first of which is to show us that the Word of God can be found there if anyone so wishes to seek it!

Here is what happened:

[22] And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
The "Son of David" identifies Christ as being the heir to the throne of David, i.e. the throne of Israel, and yet this woman of Canaan who was so concerned for her daughter was definitely not an Israelite and perhaps even a kenite. Notice that she "came out of the same coasts (see Rev. 18:4)" and sought Jesus Christ, the Word of God, crying unto Him to have mercy on her because "her daughter was possessed (held captive, i.e. in bondage) by a demonic spirit! It is interesting that she was seeking deliverance for her daughter and not herself which is more the attitude of God's elect, i.e. to bring and declare His righteousness to the sons and daughters in this final generation who know not that they are the lost children of the house of Israel.
[23] But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
This whole teaching to the disciples is in relation to this verse. You "see", the disciples knew that this woman was not planted of God and they would have sent her away even though she was sincerely seeking His grace and deliverance from evil. Notice also that the disciples acknowledged she was perseverant in seeking Him which in itself is a tribute and attests to her faith. Of course Christ knew that this was the case, i.e. He knew what was in her heart and that she would persevere, but He wanted to make it evident to His disciples by not answering her right away.

Jesus now gives His explanation for "answering her not a word".

[24] But He answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
True it is that Christ was sent to the lost sheep of the House of Israel and in like manner He also sent forth His disciples, not into the way of the gentiles, but "rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel".
Matthew 10:5-8
These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

[6] But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

[7] And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

[8] Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

However, Jesus Christ would soon pay the price on the cross which would open up salvation to "whosoever believeth in Him (Jn. 3:16)". The point to made here is that neither Christ nor His disciples sought after the woman from Canaan. She came to Christ of her own free will!
Matthew 15:25
Then came she and worshipped Him, saying, Lord, help me.
Mark 7:25 tells us that she fell at His feet. (Remember that when we get to verse 30.) So she came to Him and worshipped Him and ask the Lord to help her knowing that He had the power to cast out the unclean spirit from her daughter.
[26] But He answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.
The term "dog" was commonly used for anyone who was a heathen. (See Matthew 7:6.)
[27] And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.
Jesus Christ, the Word of God, is the Bread of Life and she was willing and desirous to even eat the crumbs which fall from the table of the Lord. In other words, though the bread is served (the teaching goes forth) to the children of the house of Israel, anyone who is willing can come and pick up from that which has spilled over and eat of that bread.
[28] Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
Jesus has now revealed to us through the example of this woman from Canaan that He will show forth His mercy and He will help even one of Satan's own who has the faith to come to Him and seek Him and persevere!

Now He is going to return to the Sea of Gennesaret where we learn even more about all this.

[29] And Jesus departed from thence, and came nigh unto the sea of Galilee; and went up into a mountain, and sat down there.
Jesus Christ, the Word of God, is seated and ready for anyone whosoever will come unto Him.

Pay close attention to that which follows.

[30] And great multitudes came unto Him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet; and He healed them:
Jesus Christ will heal and make whole all those who come to Him and "cast themselves down at His feet" just as the woman from Canaan did "fall at His feet (Mark 7:25)". You "see", that is the reason Christ came, i.e. to heal and bring salvation to "whosoever will believe on Him (Jn. 3:16)". You may recall from our study of Matthew 11 the words Christ sent back to John the Baptist who was in prison and about to be beheaded and desired to know if Christ would fulfill the prophecies of "He who should come", i.e. as King of kings to establish the kingdom or do we look for another time (a second advent).
Matthew 11:3-6
And said unto Him, Art thou He that should come, or do we look for another?

[4] Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:

The following statement would let any student of the Book of Isaiah know what the answer to John's question was. Of course John was a scholar of the Word so he immediately knew.

Here is what Christ told John's disciples to tell him:

[5] The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
The poor are the humble in spirit who seek and desire to hear and know His Word.
[6] And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
You may also have read in Luke 4 where Christ stood up and was handed a scroll of Isaiah whereby He turned to chapter 61 and read from verse 1 to the middle of verse 2 and then stopped short of declaring that which pertained to the second advent.
Luke 4:18-19
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

[19] To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

In other words, Jesus Christ came to bring salvation and set at liberty those who are in bondage and those who walk in darkness and cannot "see". And never forget that Jesus Christ, the Word of God, is the only one who can "opens eyes" that a person might "see" and He is the only one who can heal the "lame" that they might be able to walk upright in His way. These are the wonderful works of God.

Now let us return to Matthew 15.

Matthew 15:31
Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.
The spiritual healing of the people is indeed the wondrous work of God. The physical healings Christ did, and He does heal our infirmities, are meant to show us how the Word of God heals on the spiritual level. Notice also that when one does good works by bringing forth the pure Light of Truth, and people see the marvelous change in other people's lives, they glorify the God of Israel, our Father which is in heaven. He is the One who is worthy to receive the praise and glory... not us!
Matthew 5:16
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
So the multitude has come to Christ and cast their blind and maimed and deaf at His feet and He has healed them.
Matthew 15:32
Then Jesus called His disciples unto Him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.
Why did Christ have compassion on this multitude? Because they "continued with Him three days". To continue means to persevere such as did the woman from Canaan. This they did of their own "free will"... from all nations and kindreds and tongues.
Continue, prosmeno, pros-men'-o, Greek 4357; from Greek 4314 (pros) and Greek 3306 (meno); to stay further, i.e. remain in a place, with a person: figurative to adhere to, persevere in :- abide still, be with, cleave unto, continue in (with).
Just as Christ did not send the woman away, neither will He send away with nothing to eat anyone whosever "continues" with Him! You "see", though He was sent to the lost sheep of the House of Israel, at the end of three days salvation shall be opened to all the peoples of the earth ("4" is the number of earth) and anyone who so desires can come to Him and eat the bread of life and His disciples shall feed them, lest they "faint in the way" which is to stumble and fall before the false-christ.
[33] And His disciples say unto Him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?
We are in the wilderness now, the spiritually desert place, the valley of dry bones (Ezk. 37), for this is the time of the great famine of the last days spoken of by Amos the prophet in Amos 8:11-13 "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD." However, there is no barren pasture nor want for bread in the house of the Lord for those who love Him. You "see", He always leads us to lush green pastures and there is always a feast at the table He has prepared for those who come to Him.

Now don't forget that the disciples have already been through the feeding of the 5,000 and if you recall, they had 5 loaves and 2 fishes and took up 12 baskets full of fragments when they were finished. These figures are not given to us just to fill space and enhance the story but rather to give additional insight to those who work a little harder and dig deeper for more precious gems of truth and understanding. That is why most people just wonder why it is that the number of the loaves and the number of the multitudes is different in the two accounts.

You see, the number "5" in Biblical numerics* is the number of "grace" and "1000" is "divine completeness". Also, "fishes" are symbolic of Christianity while the number "2" denotes "witnessing", even as the sons and daughters of the two churches of Smyrna and Philadelphia (Rev. 2 & 3) bring forth the meat of His Word to the final generation and declare His righteousness. Finally, "12" is number of "governmental perfection" as in the number of the tribes of Israel from which 12,000 each shall be fed and sealed with His truth in their foreheads (Rev. 7:3-8).

* Some suggested resource materials giving you additional insight into Biblical numerics are (1) appendix 10 in the back of the "Companion Bible", (2) "Biblical Numerics", by E.W. Bullinger, Kregel Publications, and (3) "Numbers in Scripture", by Ed F. Vallowe.

So the disciples have asked Christ where they are going to get enough (so much) bread "in the wilderness", as to fill so great a multitude. The fact is there is plenty of bread in the wilderness (desert) to feed not only the whole house of Israel but ALL who dwell therein.

Let us learn from the Master Teacher.

[34] And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes.
Notice that we have moved from "5" loaves, the number of grace, to "7" which denotes "completeness" and "spiritual perfection". In fact "7" is the "hall-mark of the Holy Spirit's work*".
[35] And He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground.
God is not the author of confusion and He always does things in an orderly manner.
[36] And He took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to His disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
Once again it was the disciples who took the bread and the meat which were blessed and sanctified by Jesus Christ, the Word of God, and fed the multitude.
[37] And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full.
[38] And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children.
As we stated previously, the number "4" is the number of "earth" as in all four directions, N, S, E, W. In other words, this multitude is not symbolic of just the House of Israel, God shed His "grace" (5) on thee, but of all the nations of the "earth". Let's see how that ties in with the work, the feeding, of these last days which is summarized in Rev. 7.
Rev. 7:3-4
Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
The sealing is to have the Word of God written in your heart and mind!
[4] And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
The teaching goes forth to feed and seal the 144,000 which is 12,000 out of each of the tribes of Israel (vs. 5-8). However, there is also a great multitude of all nations and kindreds and people and tongues who shall also come forth of their own free will and stand before the Lamb and persevere. They too shall be fed the rich, fulfilling, life sustaining bread and meat from the altar of God.
Rev. 7:9
After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

Rev. 7:17
For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

Our Father is so good to us and full of grace and mercy. He loves all of His children and it is His desire that none perish, even the tares, but that all come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Matthew 15:39
And He sent away the multitude, and took ship, and came into the coasts of Magdala,
Magdala means "tower". So get set for some more wonderful instructions from the Word of God.

To study the Bible is the noblest of all pursuits; to understand it, the highest of all goals.
We pray that with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you accomplish both.

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