The Authority of Jesus Over Spiritual Realm Part 1

By Pastor Juliana T Akinbami

This weekend we will examine the Syrophonecian woman in Matthew 15:21-28.

Matthew 15: 21 Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”23 But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.”24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”26 But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”27 And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

In Matthew 15:21-28, we find the story of Jesus and the Canaanite woman—an episode rich in lessons about faith, grace, and perseverance. This passage is not only a narrative on the interaction between Jesus and a Gentile but also serves as an example of persistent faith in the face of adversity.

1. Context and Setting

Matthew 15:  22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”

Jesus travels to the region of Tyre and Sidon, which is predominantly Gentile territory, thereby setting the stage for a cross-cultural encounter. This geographical context is crucial because it indicates that Jesus’ message and ministry are about to expand beyond the traditional Jewish boundaries. Jesus was very intentional about how He moved and where He went. This act was the beginning of the fulfillment of the promise of salvation coming to the Gentiles.

Scriptures speaking of salvation coming to Gentiles:

  1. Genesis 22:18: “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
  2. Isaiah 49:6: “It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant To raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also make You a light of the nations So that My salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
  3. Ephesians 3:6:To be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.”
  4. Acts 10:45: “All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.”
  5. Romans 11:11: “So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous.”
  6. John 10:16: “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”
  7. Acts 28:28: “Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.”
  8. Galatians 3: 13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
  • Let’s offer Gratitude that Salvation has come to us.- Heavenly Father, I thank you for your promise to bless all nations through Abraham’s seed (Genesis 22:18) and for fulfilling that promise in Jesus Christ.
    I am grateful that you have made me a Gentile, a fellow heir and partaker of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel (Ephesians 3:6).
    Thank you for pouring out the gift of the Holy Spirit on me, just as you did on the Jewish believers (Acts 10:45).
    I praise you for using Israel’s trespass to bring salvation to the Gentiles, including me (Romans 11:11).
    Jesus, I thank you for being the Good Shepherd who has brought me, a sheep from another fold, into Your flock (John 10:16).
    I am thankful that the salvation of God has come to me, and that I have heard and received it (Acts 28:28).
    Thank you for making me a light of the nations, that your salvation may reach to the ends of the earth (Isaiah 49:6).
    I offer all praise and gratitude to you, Heavenly Father, for your limitless love and grace that has reached out to me, and brought me into your family.

2. The Canaanite Woman’s Request

Matthew 15: 22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.”


Matthew 15:22 introduces a Canaanite woman (Or Syrophoenician woman) who approaches Jesus with a desperate plea for her daughter. This verse is set within a narrative where Jesus has just discussed the purity of heart over ceremonial cleanliness with the Pharisees, emphasizing His ministry’s focus on internal faith over external observances.Let me touch on this a little. The conclusion of Matthew 15:1-20 is found in v 18-20Matthew 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”

If your heart has evil thoughts your mouth will speak of what is in your heart. If your heart has positive thoughts your mouth will declare what is in your heart.

Let us pause for a moment and ask God to purge our hearts of the things that defile us.


“Lord, create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. Purge my heart of any evil thoughts that defile my spirit so that my words may honour You.”
“Heavenly Father, fill my heart with Your goodness and peace. Let my thoughts dwell on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. May my words reflect Your love and truth.”
“Father, keep my tongue from evil and my lips from speaking deceit. Protect me from blasphemies and falsehood. Let my words always uplift others and glorify Your name.”

Key Elements of Matthew 15 v 22

1. Woman of Canaan: The term “Canaanite” is significant because it denotes a group historically antagonistic and culturally different from the Jews. The woman is a Gentile, which highlights the extension of Jesus’ ministry beyond the Jewish community. Are we not blessed that we are not outside the sheepfold today? We have been grafted into the Kingdom; we are not at enmity with God.

2. Came from that region:The phrase “came from that region” indicates that she was originally from the vicinity of where Jesus was at the time, but it does not necessarily mean she was living there at that exact moment. It suggests that she travelled from her home region to where Jesus was, seeking help for her daughter, who was suffering from demonic oppression.

This passage highlights her action of coming to Jesus, which implies movement from her place of origin to seek assistance.

I like this because it shows to what extent she was willing to go to seek help for her child. How far are you willing to go to see your deliverance or the deliverance of your child? Yours may not be a physical movement, but how far are you willing to seek the Lord on that matter?

Let’s Pray Against lethargy.

  • Heavenly Father, forgive me for my laziness and complacency I ask for the grace to be persistent and determined in seeking Your help in my different situations.
    Break every spirit of lethargy and apathy that has held me back from seeking Your best for my life and my family and replace it with a spirit of zeal and enthusiasm.
    Help me to see the value in going the extra mile to obtain what is rightfully mine, such as good health, restoration of relationships, and more. (Add yours).
    Give me the strength and courage to take bold actions and step out of my comfort zone to seek Your help and guidance.
    Forgive me for settling for less than Your best and help me trust in Your goodness and provision.
    I declare that I will no longer be held back by fear, doubt, and unbelief but will boldly seek Your help and guidance with confidence and faith.
    I declare that I am willing to go the extra mile to obtain what is rightfully mine and I trust that You will meet me there and provide for my needs.
    I declare that I am a child of God, and as such, I am entitled to His blessings and provision.
    I declare that I will not settle for anything less than God’s best for my life and will seek Him with persistence and determination.
    I declare that I am strong in the Lord and in His mighty power and will not be held back by any mindset or spirit that tries to prevent me from obtaining what is rightfully mine.

3. She Cried out to Him

Her approach was vocal and public, signifying both her desperation and her determination. Crying out also suggests an intense emotional state and a breaking of social norms, as a woman would not typically address a man so openly in that culture.This reminds me of

Lamentations 2:

17 The Lord has done what He purposed;
He has fulfilled His word
Which He commanded in days of old.
He has thrown down and has not pitied,
And He has caused an enemy to rejoice over you;
He has exalted the horn of your adversaries.
18 Their heart cried out to the Lord,
“O wall of the daughter of Zion,
Let tears run down like a river day and night;
Give yourself no relief;
Give your eyes no rest.
19 “Arise, cry out in the night,
At the beginning of the watches;
Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord.
Lift your hands toward Him
For the life of your young children,
Who faint from hunger at the head of every street.”

Does it appear that the enemy is rejoicing over you in the area of your health, life, children, marriage, and finances? Does it appear that the adversary’s horn has been exalted? Then the instruction is, “Give yourself no relief, give your eyes no rest.” Arise, cry out in the night to God for the life of your children or that situation. Do not give up.
This woman was desperate; she did not care about the culture of the day, and her focus was on getting her daughter delivered from demonic oppression. She cried out. Do not be silent, cry out.

  • Lord, I cry out to You in desperation, just like the Canaanite woman, and ask for Your mercy and help in (Mention the situation).
    I arise and cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches, and pour out my heart like water before Your face.
    I lift my hands toward You, Lord, and ask (Mention your ask).
    I refuse to give myself relief or rest my eyes until You answer my prayer and bring deliverance.
    I will not be silent, Lord, but will cry out day and night until You hear my voice and respond to my cry.
    I trust that You, O Lord, have done what You purposed and fulfilled Your word, and I ask that You now turn the enemy’s rejoicing into mourning.
    I ask that You exalt my horn and give me victory over my adversaries and restore what the enemy has taken from me.
    I cry out for Your mercy and grace, Lord, and ask that You pour out Your Spirit upon me and my situation.
    I declare that You are my Rock and my Salvation and that You will deliver me from all my troubles.
    I will wait upon You, Lord, and trust in Your goodness and love, knowing that You will hear my cry and respond with Your favour.

Jesus, Himself says we should cry out to God day and night.  God hears and responds to the cries of His children.

Luke 18: And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”


  • Thank You, Lord Jesus, for the assurance that those who cry out to God day and night will never be disappointed because He hears and responds to our cries.
    I am confident, Lord, that You will avenge me speedily, just as You promised in Your Word.
    I trust that You, O God, will not delay in answering my prayers but will come quickly to my aid.
    I am assured that You, Lord, will endure with me even when I am faithless and that Your love for me endures forever.
    I will continue to cry out to You, Lord, day and night because I know that You are always listening and always ready to help.
    I will not lose heart, Lord, but will persist in my prayers because You are a God of justice and mercy.
    I am grateful, Lord, that You are my Rock and my Salvation and that You will deliver me from all my troubles.
    I declare, Lord, that You are my Refuge and my Strength and that You will never leave me nor forsake me.
    I am confident, Lord, that when the Son of Man comes, He will find faith in my heart and that I will be counted among Your elect.
    I praise You, Lord, for Your faithfulness and Your love and for the assurance that You have heard my cry and will respond speedily.


4. “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David!”

– Have mercy on me: She pleads for compassion and help, recognizing her helpless state.- O Lord, Son of David: She acknowledges Jesus as the Lord and as the “Son of David,” a Messianic title. This acknowledgment is profound, coming from a Gentile, and signifies her recognition of Jesus’ divine authority and fulfillment of Jewish Messianic prophecies.

(Go back to the session we did for Blind Bartimaeus I discussed this recognition of Jesus as Lord and the Son of David)

I want to focus on her cry for mercy. Her heart was like, “Lord, I know I do not qualify, but you are merciful. This means that somehow, she had keyed into the nature of the divine. Mercy over judgement, mercy over law, mercy is powerful. Even if the affliction was deserving mercy will turn it around.

James 2: 13 For judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Declare many times – Mercy triumphs over judgment.

Let Us Cry For Mercy

  • Lord, have mercy on me and hear my cry for help (Luke 18:13).
    I come before You, God, with a heart of humility, seeking Your mercy and grace in my time of need. (Hebrews 4:16). I ask for mercy.
    Your mercy triumphs over judgment, and I declare that Your mercy will prevail in my situation (James 2:13). (Name your situation)
    Just as You showed mercy to the woman at the well, I ask for Your mercy to be poured out on me (John 4:1-26).
    Your Word says that You are merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love (Psalm 103:8). I ask for mercy over (mention the issue)
    I cry out for Your mercy, Lord, knowing that You are my Rock and my Salvation (Psalm 18:2).
    You are the God of all comfort, and I ask for Your mercy to comfort me in this time of need (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
    Your mercy is new every morning, and I come before You seeking a fresh outpouring of Your mercy (Lamentations 3:22-23).
    I ask for Your mercy, Lord, knowing that You are a God who delights in showing mercy and compassion (Micah 7:18).
    Just as You showed mercy to the prodigal son, I ask for Your mercy to be extended to (mention the situation) (Luke 15:11-32).
    Your blood, Jesus, speaks better things than the blood of Abel, and I come before You seeking mercy and forgiveness (Hebrews 12:24).
    Thank You for Your mercy.

Next week we will continue this powerful encounter of the Canaanite woman and Jesus. The disciples responded to her when she cried for help; we will examine the testing of the woman’s faith through Jesus’ initial response and the significance of those crumbs – crumbs of hope. Humm. Lastly, we will delve into what demonic possession or oppression looks like and how we can take our stand by wielding our authority in the name of Jesus.
Thanks to the person who suggested we should look at this case, I was really blessed preparing for it.

Let’s complete this watch by breaking bread together (Sharing communion). I will be live on YouTube and Instagram at 1 PM EST/ 6 PM WAT (Nigeria).

All handles are @thewatchersprayerministry. 

Thank you for joining this weekend’s watch. I pray that as you exercise your authority, you will see tangible results in Jesus’ name.

I love you dearly

Pastor Tee