Summary: This mother refused to be put off or intimidated. She was not going to take criticism or silence as an answer.
The faith of a nameless mother
21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” 23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” 25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. 26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” 27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” 28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
I want you to notice as we begin our study:
• Verse 28 “you have Great faith.”
• What is the quality of great faith?
• Greek word…’great’ is “mega”. “Mega-Faith.”
So Jesus says of this woman, “You have mega-faith, great faith.”
II. What is it about the faith of this woman that constitutes it as great faith?
The Bible has much to say about faith.
Weak faith, strong faith, bold, rich, abiding, steadfast, dead, precious, common, and many others.
It also speaks of little faith and great faith. This text is the second reference in Matthew’s gospel in which Jesus speaks of great faith. But what is it about Mega-Faith?
a. First incident , Roman Centurion story. Matt. 8:5
“I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel.”
• Man felt unworthy for Jesus to enter under his roof.
• He had shown sincerity, sensitivity, humility, love and depth of faith.
Sometimes we receive instant answers from the Lord. Sometimes we don’t.
• Paul, prayed three times in great earnestness for his “thorn in the flesh” to be removed. Lord’s answer 2 Cor 12:7-9
Now let’s get to our text, verse 21
Jesus left Galilee….
• The political and military wanted to take Him and force Him to be a king, rush Him to Jerusalem in the Passover to overthrow Romans.
• The Scribes and Pharisees were confronting Him with a desire to plot against and take His life
• Add to that the fact that the mass of people who followed Him, after John 6, when He began to delineate to them the principles of eating His flesh and drinking His blood, "Walked no more with Him."
You can see that the religious leaders and religious people, who were initially attracted to Him, were beginning to move against Him.
Remember what Jesus said of tyre and Sidon?
Korazin and Bethsaida? Matt 11:20
She would have been one who repented.
This is the area Jesus is in. about 50 miles north of Galilee.
Same place as God sent Elijah to rest…and meet a woman.
Woman was a Canaanite, Mark calls her “Syro-phoenician.”
• Probably worshipper of Astarte a pagan God popular in that region.
Woman’s plea was evidence of her penitence.
• She knew she didn’t deserve Jesus’ help.
• She knew she was unworthy.
• Her only hope for undeserved forgiveness was in His mercy.
• She didn’t come demanding but pleading.
• She didn’t ask Jesus’ help on her goodness but Jesus’ goodness.
Today: Mother will pray ceaselessly for their children/spouse.
Adult son comes home, Mother sees them as their child not an adult. Father sees them as an adult. Mother’s will always nuture.
The woman cried out!, “Have mercy on me!
• She had come to know her unworthiness.
JESUS IS AN EXPERT ON FAITH.
The Bible tells us that He searched for it as a gem collector searches for fine jewels, and when He found it He was filled with joy. He didn’t always find it in His disciples.
Not once did He say to Peter, John, or James, “You have great faith.”
But He said it to this nameless mother from outside the house of Israel!
What did this woman do to deserve such praise from God? She had 5 remarkable elements of great faith.
III. first one is that great faith, or mega-faith, is properly directed
A. put her faith in the right person
B. disillusioned with Astarte, disillusioned with the idols, the no-gods, the dumb deities
C. She now puts her faith in the right object, and that is the first and foremost characteristic of great faith - it has the right object.
Can you say today, “I have great faith?”
For faith to make sense and have power, must be placed in trustworthy object.