The more I read the story of the Syrophoenician woman as presented to us in Matthew 15: 21-28 and Mark 7:24-30, is the more I am blessed and inspired. Without a doubt, she is one fighting lady, fierce and tough! She teaches us how not to be light-weight or thin-skinned and how not to be quickly put off and turned away without getting what you came for.
It is most noteworthy that she came on the behalf of her demon-possessed daughter and was absolutely determined not to be turned around until her mission was completed. We cannot abort the mission until we know for sure that it is thoroughly and comprehensively done. We must hang on in there! Fight our ways through against all odds until we get that for which we came.
She like so many others in Scripture, teach us that the miracles are worth fighting for. She had already been through too much hell to be so quickly turned away and summarily dismissed. To have returned home without this miracle would have been devastatingly detrimental to her and her daughter. Therefore, something inside of her just wouldn’t let her give up. In spite of all the seeming setbacks and rebuffs she fights her way through and wins.
Her faith, her persistent, irresistible faith wins the day. She pushes through, kept standing there, worshipping, kneeling, begging, petitioning until she hears Jesus say “ . . . woman, great is thy faith: be it unto you as thou wilt . . .” (Matthew 15:8).
The NIV records it this way “. . . woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted” (v28). She was blessed with the most glorious commendation from Jesus, recognizing her faith to be great and with the blessing of hearing those precious words “Request Granted.” Not many people ever received such a commendation from Jesus – the centurion in Luke 7 and this Syrophoenician woman, who were by no means Jewish. She fought her own case and won through the power of her simple yet dynamic faith. “Request Granted.” It’s really not about race and religion, it is primarily about our faith.
As we wrestle through this pandemic and the other issues of our times may we be as courageous and as determined as the protagonist of our passage today – O woman you have great faith – Your request is granted.” Church of the Northeast and beyond – fight your ways through in Jesus name. Soon we shall hear “Requested Granted!” Your miracle of deliverance is on its way! It is already stamped – Request Granted! You cannot give up now! Stay the course!
Leroy V. Greenaway
Presiding Bishop – Northeast Region
August 1, 2020
In collaboration with our District Overseers, the Church of God of Prophecy submits to the wisdom of continuing to ‘Shelter in Place’ for the safety and protection of the flock. This is to be observed until further notice and the present virus is better contained. Should the need arise to meet, we are advised to meet in groups of no more than 10, while we strictly observe the protocols of social distancing, wearing of masks and aggressive sanitizing of our hands and surfaces frequently touched.
Please let us patiently observe these practices to keep each other safe and alive. We are reminded that we are indeed our brother’s keeper. Stay home! Stay Healthy! Stay Hopeful! We shall soon get through this! Premature re-openings of our churches seem not to be the wisest way to go at this point. Let us continue to pray, caring for each other and staying connected.
Leroy V. Greenaway
Regional, Presiding Bishop — Northeast Region