Summary: How desperate is your faith? Are you as committed to your faith in Christ as the Syro-Phoenician woman was?
Living an Unwavering Faith
From there He arose and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And He entered a house and wanted no one to know it, but He could not be hidden.
For a woman whose young daughter had an unclean spirit heard about Him, and she came and fell at His feet. The woman was a Greek, a Syro-Phoenician by birth, and she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter.
But Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” And she answered and said to Him, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.” Then He said to her, “For this saying go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter.” And when she had come to her house, she found the demon gone out, and her daughter lying on the bed. Mark 7.24-30
Also found in Matthew 15:21-28
Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 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.” But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.” But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” 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.
Introduction – Upward for the Answer
A temporary Sunday school teacher was struggling to open a combination lock on the supply cabinet. She had been told the combination, but couldn’t quite remember. Finally, she went to the pastor’s study and asked for help. The pastor came into the room and began to turn the dial. After the first two numbers he paused and stared blankly for a moment, and then he looked serenely heavenward and while his lips moved silently. Suddenly he looked back at the lock and quickly turned to the final number, opening the lock. The teacher was amazed. "I’m in awe at your faith, pastor," she said. "It’s really nothing," the pastor answered. "The number is on a piece of tape on the ceiling."
Often as believers, others look at us as if we have a magic bullet or automatic answer for every problem. We really don’t have all the answers but we do have a Friend that we can turn to under every circumstance.
We discover ourselves struggling under the very best of life’s circumstances. Life can be challenging, satisfying and unbearable…all at the same time.
We find Jesus and His disciples traveling north through Galilee into Syria. Scripture states they were in the region of Tyre and Sidon which was gentile territory. Jesus and His disciples needed some R&R time and this seemed the place to get it. They had been ministering to masses of people, faced disrupting opposition and encountered a scarcity of time for rest.
While they deliberately moved into the northern area, notice that…
Jesus entered a Depraved society. 24
Just as He left the glory of heaven to take upon Himself human flesh, He left the glory of Israel to spend some quality and quantity time with the disciples. Jesus was entering into the last leg of His journey before He faced the cross.
Notice a couple of their external conditions and why they left Israel.
First, we note they needed rest. For quite awhile they had been on the go with little or no sleep. The days had begun to wear on them and Jesus knew they must stop for a time.
Second, they were also facing opposition from the religious bodies in Jerusalem. The last group of Pharisee’s and scribes were attacking Him through His disciples. They wanted to know why His disciples didn’t follow “tradition” concerning their ritualistic washing.
Then we observe an internal reality.
Jesus wanted this time to be an object lesson for the disciples concerning sin. Sin doesn’t enter us through the ritualistic washings of hands pots or anything else. Sin is already within us and we are defiled and degraded.
He also wanted them to recognize true faith. The faux faith the Pharisees exhibited was hypocrisy to Jesus. They trusted in their own works, not Christ’s work.