I. THE OBSTACLES HER FAITH HAD TO OVERCOME.
A. The silence of Jesus. "He answered her not a word."
1. I think one of the most difficult things in our Christian walk is the silence of God.
2. We pray and nothing seems to happen.
a. We don't see any changes.
b. If anything it seems that things are getting worse.
3. This woman of Canaan was crying after Jesus and He was ignoring her, it is as though He did not even hear her.
4. She was driven by her desperate circumstances.
a. According to her own account, her daughter was grievously vexed by a devil.
b. It is hard to see our children being destroyed by their foolish decisions and actions, as they flirt with worldy things.
c. They seem to come to that age where they resent our sound advise.
d. They want to rebel against their upbringing, and find their own way.
e. You may be having a hard time with your child, but I dare say that you are not ready to declare that they are grievously vexed with a devil.
5. She was addressing Him by one of His messianic titles. Son of David.
a. And she was calling for mercy.
b. Hard to understand when we know how compassionate Jesus is to understand His ignoring her.
B. When Jesus finally speaks, it is not to her, but to His disciples.
1. The disciples had begun to intercede for her. They said, "Send her away for she is crying after us."
a. What they were suggesting is that He would heal her daughter so that she would leave them alone.
2. Still not addressing her but in response to His disciples, He said, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
3. Jesus was declaring that she was outside of the covenant that God had made with Israel. Jesus was sent as the fulfillment of the promises of God to the descendants of Abraham.
4. If the silence of Jesus was difficult to face, His words, when He spoke, must have been even more difficult to receive.
a. You are outside of the scope of those I came to minister to.
b. She was not deterred by His words.
5. She came and worshipped Him and said, "Lord help me."
C. The statement of Jesus to the woman. "It isn't right to take the children's bread and cast it to the dogs."
1. The Jews had little use for the Gentiles. Some of them declared that God made the Gentiles only to stoke the fires of hell. It was common for the Jews to call the Gentiles dogs.
a. The word they used for dog was a reference to the wild vicious dogs that roamed the countryside attacking people and other animals.
b. Jesus used the diminutive (kunaria) or little puppy.
2. She responded, "Truth Lord, yet the little puppies eat the crumbs that fall from the masters table."
a. You are right Lord. It isn't right to take the children's bread and feed it to the little dogs.
b. But the puppies eat the crumbs that fall from the table.
c. Lord, I am only asking for the crumbs.
II. THE COMMENDATION OF JESUS. "O WOMAN, GREAT IS THY FAITH." LOOK AT HER GREAT FAITH.
A. Against prejudice she came.
B. Against the silence she persevered.
C. Against exclusion she proceeded.
D. Against the rebuff she won.
E. It is my opinion that Jesus knew all along that He was going to heal her daughter. He knew the faith that was in the heart of this desperate mother. He was seeking to draw out her faith to its fullest expression.
1. Every time He took a step back, she took two forward.
2. She held on until she heard the words, "Be it unto you as you will."
F. Lessons we can learn from this experience.
1. Silence is not God saying no. Quite often it is a matter of timing.
2. We must not get discouraged when the answer is not immediately forthcoming.
3. Hold on until you hear the words, "Be it unto you as you will." or, "My grace is sufficient for you, My strength will be made perfect in your weakness."
III. CONTRASTS OF FAITH AND UNBELIEF.
A. Faith believes the promises of God, unbelief doubts the promises.
B. Faith believes the word because it is true, unbelief doubts that it is true.
C. Faith sees more in the promise of God to help, than in all other forces to hinder. Unbelief looks at the problem and says: "It can't be done."
D. Faith will cause you to see the love in the heart of Christ even when He is reproving you. Unbelief will imagine that He is angry even when He is speaking words of love.
E. Faith will help the soul to wait even when God delays. Unbelief will throw it all over if there be any tarrying.
F. Faith will give comfort in the midst of fear. Unbelief will bring fear in the midst of comforts.
H. Faith will find sweetness in God's rod. Unbelief will find no comfort even in the greatest mercies.
I. Faith makes heavy burdens light. Unbelief makes light burdens heavy.
J. Faith helps us when we are down. Unbelief brings us down when we are up.
K. Faith brings us near to God when we were far from Him. Unbelief puts us far from God when He is near.
L. Faith sets man free. Unbelief holds a man in.
M. Faith purifies our hearts. Unbelief pollutes our hearts.
N. Faith makes our most feeble works acceptable unto God through Christ. But unbelief makes our greatest works unacceptable for whatsoever is not of faith is sin, and without faith it is impossible to please Him.
O. Faith brings peace to the soul. Unbelief causes strife, tossings and trouble like the restless waves of the sea.
P. Faith causes us to see preciousness in Christ. Unbelief sees no beauty that we should desire Him.
Q. Through Faith we experience fullness in Christ. Unbelief leads to leaness of soul.
R. Faith gives us the victory. Unbelief brings us defeat.
S. Faith causes us to see the glory in the things of the unseen world. Unbelief sees only the misery in the things of the present material world.
T. Faith makes the things of God pleasant and joyful. Unbelief makes them heavy and intolerable.
U. By faith Abraham was given the land of promise. By unbelief Moses was not able to enter.
V. By faith the children of Israel passed through the Red Sea, by unbelief they perished in the wilderness.
W. By faith Peter walked on the water. By unbelief he began to sink.
X. Through faith our cup runs over. Through unbelief it is always empty. Maybe it seems that the Lord has been silent. You have called but it is as though He is ignoring you. Maybe you have been troubled by some misunderstanding, I would encourage to just come and worship Him. You have become one of His children. As a child you have the right to come to the table and eat of the bread, you do not need to wait for the crumbs to fall. May He this day say to you, "Be it done unto you as you will."