Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: A look at some of the crumbs that fell from the Master’s table.

He was her last hope. She had spent months going from doctor to doctor, specialist to specialist only to be told the same thing, “I can’t do anything, I’m sorry.” She had tried every kind of alternative medicines, herbs, health food and vitamins and none of it worked. As much as she tried, as much as she did her daughter remained the same, and he was her last hope.

She had heard so much about the one from Galilee, heard about his healing, heard about his compassion, and heard about his love. Not only was he her last hope, he was her only hope. And so she sought out the one she had heard so much about and when she saw him all of her emotions rushed to the surface and she broke out of the crowd shouting to the master and pleading with him to help her daughter. But he just ignored her. And so she kept it up, crying out and pleading with Jesus until finally in frustration the apostles went to him and said, “Lord this woman is really getting on our nerves why don’t you get rid of her.” And so finally he turned and told her “I was sent only to help the people of Israel—God’s lost sheep—not the Gentiles.”

That wasn’t exactly the response that she had expected, where was the compassion, the caring, the love? And so she pushed on hoping that maybe she could find what everyone had talked about. She fell to her knees in front of the one called Jesus and begged him “Please help me, Lord!” She was so sure that he wouldn’t turn her down, how could he possibly deny her when all she wanted was that her daughter be healed. And so when he opened his mouth she knew that he would agree but instead he said, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs,”

This incident in Jesus life is snuggled in between his walking on the water and his feeding of the 4000. In Verse 21 of the scripture that Mike read this morning we saw that Jesus left Genesserat and went to the territory near the cities of Tyre and Sidon. The cities that are referred to here are in what is now Lebanon and what was then known as Phoenicia. There is the only recorded incident of Christ travelling outside of the Holy Land and into Gentile territory. The story is recorded in Mark chapter 7 as well and Mark makes the observation that Jesus didn’t want people to know where he was.

It’s interesting to watch as Christ isolates or attempts to isolate himself from people and things in order to commune with God, his father. And this is what Jesus does, leaving the arena of action, to a place where he was simply another man, attempting to ease the building pressures which have come to bear upon him.

But it doesn’t work because even here, in these great cities of commerce with all the hustle and bustle and decadents that often accompanies urban life a whisper starts about this man Jesus. Jesus who makes the blind to see, Jesus who makes the lame to walk, Jesus who makes the deaf hear and the mute speak. This Jesus who calls himself the Messiah, who confounds the authorities and controls nature. And as the rumours begin to be whispered up and down the streets of Tyre a Cannonite woman, who Mark said was a Greek, a Syro-Phonecian by birth heard them.

And as this woman, a mother heard the stories of a man who could make a withered hand straight, who could make leprous skin like new she began to think and dream and wonder. “Here is a man who can heal my little girl, here is someone who can take away the pain and the anguish. This man Jesus, he might be the one, he’s my last hope.” And somehow in that milling throng of humanity she discovered where this Jew from Nazareth was staying and she made her way to him and cried out saying “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter has a demon in her, Now we don’t know exactly what was wrong with her daughter, we may never know but we do know that she attributed it to demon possession. At first she got no response from Jesus and so she pleaded even more and that got some action. From the apostles, the compassionate bunch they were “Get out of here, you’re bothering us.” And Jesus turned to her and explained how he had been sent to the people of Israel, but she wasn’t going to be put off and so she fell to her knees pleading with him to help her. This mother who had come to plead for the life of her child wouldn’t be put off that easily. Again he explained that his mission was first to the Jews but it’s how he said it that confuses some people. End of nlt replacement

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