Summary: Did you hear Jesus call her a dog? A helpful examination of a difficult passage - 1. The Agonizing Mother 2. The Amazing Master 3. The Appealing Miracle - Link included to formatted text, audio & video, & PowerPoint Presentation.
Great is Thy Faith
Of all the verses in the Bible, I think v. 21 is close to the top of my list:
Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.
Why? You may ask. Because it’s the first time Jesus reaches out to a Gentile. Now, how many here are Gentiles? Check your license...call your mom, whatever you need to do!
It was prophesied that He would be rejected by His own, and would make this move, offering salvation to all of us, and aren’t you glad He did?!
At first glance this is a difficult passage to understand, but if you’ll do a little work for a few moments and really put your brain in gear I know you’ll go away with a real blessing today.
Jesus answers this woman somewhat roughly, but He does that not to destroy her faith, but to develop it. And her faith grew over the hours she pursued Him. Her faith would not let go...it was a faith that wouldn’t quit.
1. The Agonizing Mother.
v. 22 Her child is demon possessed. And no problem compares to a child problem. Nothing grieves the heart of a parent like seeing their own child hurting. When they hurt, you hurt. I’d rather be sick than see them sick. And I hear from many whose children are away from God, and I can’t imagine how much that must hurt. You may not approve of what they’re doing, and they may shame you at times, but they are still your kids and you can’t stop loving them...it’s a part of your very nature.
This mother is hurting to the core. She is carrying the kind of burden you can’t seem to get off your back. You wake up and there it is. You laugh at something funny, but then that burdensome feeling rebounds right back into your heart...it won’t go away! But this woman did the right thing with her burden, she brought it to Jesus.
It was out of her control, she wasn’t able to fix it. She might have said, “it’s out of my hands”, but no, she took the matter into her hands, placing them together in prayer, and cried out unto Jesus...and out of her hands flowed a prayer rooted in her heart and she did what she could for her little girl.
I’ve got a son with classic autism, and they say that makes him a special a special needs child...and another son at the other end of the spectrum with a high functioning disorder, a special need, and then there’s their sister, and you cannot be that gorgeous, that social, that verbal, and that spoiled without developing some special needs of your own! Truly, all of your kids have special needs of their own, but I want you to know that no child is hopeless that has a praying mother / father. Keep hoping for them, keep working on them, and most of all, keep on praying...it’s not hopeless!
Ill.—a guy named John left home at 17 and joined the British Navy. He became a drunk when he got out and got mixed up with pirates. Before you know it he had become a slave trader who would sail to Africa. They would gather up Africans and stick them in cages like animals and sell them as property. But all the while his mother was praying for him. She did her laundry on an old fashioned washboard with tears streaming down her face all the while praying, Oh God, save my John!
Thru a series of circumstances the young man almost lost his life, and became a slave himself. As a result of all of this he got saved, and John [Newton] wrote the words in our hymnal, Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound... [and all because of a praying mother]
The agonizing mother...
2. The Amazing Master.
a. His Silence.
v. 22-23a No doubt some here have been crying out to God about something and it seems like He’s ignoring you. I’ve prayed about some things and if I didn’t know better I’d think maybe God wasn’t hearing me! The heavens were silent! But God’s delays are not God’s denials. We live in a society where everything happens quickly, in an instant. We want it now. But our prayers are not just for the purpose of solving problems. God’s ways are higher than that. Thru the process He’s going to teach us some things about ourselves and about Him. He’s going to stretch our faith at times, and let’s be clear--it takes faith to still believe even when God seems silent.
23b The disciples see Christ’s silence and turn the cold shoulder to her as well when she goes after them for help.