Summary: The message focuses on how the Canaanite woman was able to get the Lords attention and answer her desires.
“Getting Gods Attention” Matthew 15:21-28
Have not preached at Carr
A cat will meow until he or she gets what he or she wants. A dog will bark run in circles wag tail until there are some results Martin Luther had a dog who got his attention listen:
The famous one-time Catholic monk, Martin Luther, was legendary not just for nailing a piece of paper to the door of his home church citing 95 things that needed to be changed about it. He wrote and lectured extensively to his students at the university as well. Some of his students were very good learners, and others were not so good. But a few of his students realized that some of the most valuable instruction that Luther gave was not in the classroom, but was in the dining hall over a meal and a few drinks. His students began taking notes on what Luther told them in that relaxed atmosphere, and they eventually published these notes in what was known as Martin Luther's Table Talks.
One such example of the profound insight and truth Luther gave his students happened one day after class in the dining hall and they were all sitting around eating their meal and talking on the subject of prayer. A student of Luther's by the name of Viet Dietrich preserved Luther's words for us:
"When Luther's puppy, Tölpel, happened to be at the table, looked for a morsel from his master, and watched with open mouth and motionless eyes, Luther said, 'Oh, if I could only pray the way this dog watches the meat! All his thoughts are concentrated on the piece of meat. Otherwise, he has no thought, wish, or hope'" (Table Talks, May 18, 1532).
Martin Luther's puppy reminds me of the woman in today's Gospel lesson from Matthew. Although this woman was a Gentile, from the region of Tyre and Sidon (modern day Lebanon), she couldn't think about anything other than Jesus healing her daughter.
Consider what we can learn from the Canaanite woman
1. We can learn from this text that in order to get Gods attention we need to Focus hard on what you want from our lord . 22A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, “crying out”
• No doubt that helped the Canaanite Woman she came to him crying out.
• She felt a desperate need and Jesus was her resource to help no one else but Jesus
• She was focused on the one thing she needed and that her daughter be healed
2. No doubt in order to get The lords attention Focus is vital but we also learn the Canaanite woman used sympathy Note she asks for mercy "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession."
• Recall Jesus often responded when there was sympathy for the need
• There was crowd one day Jesus said he had compassion on the multitude
• The woman of Nain “He felt compassion for her, and said to her, "Do not weep."
3. The woman expressed Focus and Sympathy; she also was Persistent the disciples say she just will not quit.
• 23Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us."
• "The race is not always to the swift but to those who keep on running."
• The Apostle Paul experienced all sorts of trials and setbacks. He was shipwrecked, stoned and left for dead, whipped and beaten, and thrown into prison for promoting Christianity. He knew firsthand what it was to experience loneliness, cold and hunger. The interesting thing about this is that Paul penned some of his great letters to the churches while in prison, as did John Bunyan as he wrote Pilgrim's Progress when he was in prison.
• Proverbs 30:28 a lizard can be caught with the hand, yet it is found in kings’ palaces. It gets in because it is persistent.
4. The Canaanite woman was focused, was seeking sympathy ( I need your mercy Lord) , She was Persistent, and in order for her to get the Lords attention he had great Faith.
• 24He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.( Jesus was saying the Jews were to be given the gospel before anyone else) 25The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said. 26He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs." Jesus' point was that the gospel was to be given first to Jews. The woman understood Jesus' implication and was willing to settle for "crumbs." Jesus rewarded her faith (v. 28).
• 27"Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." 28Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.