Sermons

Summary: Big Idea: God finds pleasure when your faith persists in spite of pressure.

A FAITH THAT WON’T FOLD UP

Matthew 15:21-28

Introduction:

He was seven years old when he had to work to support his poor family. At age nine, his mother died. He was 23 when he incurred a huge debt due to a failed business. At 28 and after four years of engagement, he asked his girl friend to marry him but she said “no”. He loved another lovely girl but lost her when she died.

At 37, on his third attempt, he was elected to Congress. After two years, he ran for re-election but failed. Adding to a miserable marriage at age 41, his four-year-old son died.

At 45, he ran for the Senate and lost. At 49, he ran for the Senate again but lost again. He went through a period of depression amidst all the rejection, criticism and rumors.

At 51, he became the President of the United States. We know Abraham Lincoln today as one of the greatest leaders in world history. He set thousands of slaves free by passing a law known as the Emancipation Proclamation. He taught the world that slavery is wrong and that all people should live freely.

When the civil war failed to stop his efforts to abolish slavery, his enemies assassinated him for his beliefs. People remember him today as a man who stood firm despite strong opposition. But his struggles formed in him something that very few of us have developed: character, perseverance, faith. He never gave up.

Are you having a hard time trusting God amidst your difficulties? Are you disappointed when God seems to be silent or slow in responding to your prayers? Is your faith under pressure and you feel like giving up? Are your problems too heavy for you to hang on? and you are desperate for God’s help?

This morning, we will be looking at a person who had a great problem… but she had great persevering faith and trusted a great person. And she was described by Jesus as a person of great faith…

Big Idea: God finds pleasure when your faith persists in spite of pressure.

Read Text: Matt 15:21-28 (NLT)

21 Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Gentile* woman who lived there came to him, pleading, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely."

23 But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. "Tell her to go away," they said. "She is bothering us with all her begging."

24 Then Jesus said to the woman, "I was sent only to help God's lost sheep—the people of Israel."

25 But she came and worshiped him, pleading again, "Lord, help me!"

26 Jesus responded, "It isn't right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs."

27 She replied, "That's true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their master's table."

28 "Dear woman," Jesus said to her, "your faith is great. Your request is granted." And her daughter was instantly healed.

Background:

There are three major barriers that she had to overcome.

1. She was a woman

In this time period, women were considered no more than property. This woman had a great barrier in just being female. Not only was she female…

2. She was a Gentile

Salvation had not yet been offered to the Gentiles at this time. That’s what Christ meant when he said that he was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. – vs. 24… Not only was she a Gentile…

3. She was a Canaanite

The people of Israel did not like Canaanites. The Canaanites were the pagans who lived in the Promised Land before Israel came to live there.

This passage is about the faith of a Canaanite woman. As a matter of fact, it is about the "great faith" of a Canaanite woman. This would not be such a big deal if Jesus went around applying this compliment loosely, but this woman was unique in two ways. She was the only Gentile woman Jesus healed in Matthew's gospel, and she is the only person Jesus said had "great faith."

Compare that with the five times he reminded the disciples of their "little faith," and you can see how unique she is. For the disciples to hear about and witness her great faith is a powerful learning experience for them.

Some lessons we can learn from this woman of great faith…

The faith that God favors is a…

Faith DESPERATE for God’s help

21 Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Gentile* woman who lived there came to him, pleading, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely."

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Prophet Rominiyi

commented on Sep 27, 2017

Great sermon. A great lesson to hold on firmly to Jesus even when situation seems hopeless and frustrating. Jesus remain an unbiased umpire in world affairs.

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