"Great Faith"

15/03/2015 15:16

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Date:  12 March, 2015 (Mother's Day)

Text: Mark 7:25-30, Matthew 15:21-28

Title: Great is Thy Faith

Theme: An example of great faith.

Introduction:

There have been some great women in the Bible.

·         In the beginning there was Adam's wife, Eve. The mother of all living. Although Eve failed, we have proven many times that we would not have done any better. She was restored by God's grace and helped Adam start the human race.

·         What about Hannah the mother of Samuel?

·         Jael who killed the enemy of God?

·         Rahab the converted Harlot?

·         David's wife Abigail. She had been the wife of the fool Nabal but was a faithful wife.

·         Naomi and Ruth stand out.

·         In the NT, we have Mary and Elizabeth. We have Mary and Martha. We have the woman with the issue of blood.

·         It is a NT woman that I want us to consider this morning. She is called in the Bible, the woman of Canaan or the Syrophenecian woman. She was not a Jew but a Gentile. Syrophenecia was a mixed nation made up of Syrians and Phenecians.

 

Of this Gentile woman, our Jewish Lord Jesus says, "Great is thy faith." That is not a bad compliment from the man of God who knows the hearts of His people.

 

True faith is not a feeling. It is a confident belief and conviction in God's revelation. Hebrews describes it as, "Heb 11:1  ....the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

 

Believing it does not make it true, WE BELIEVE IT BECAUSE IT IS TRUE AND WE ACT UPON THAT BELIEF.

 

ill.  Noah believed in the flood for 120 years before it came and he built an ark whereby he saved his family and all animals from destruction. The flood didn't come because he believed in it. IT WAS COMING - HE BELIEVED GOD - HE GOT READY FOR IT.

 

How is your faith this morning? If anyone had excuses for not trusting in a Jewish Messiah it was this woman.

·         Gentiles were despised by the Jews.

·         She may have been a single mother.

·         Apparently no other source had been found which could remedy her daughter.

But when she camed to Jesus, she came with GREAT FAITH.

 

We need men and women of great faith today! Do you have great faith?

 

I. Great faith pursues Christ.

Mark 7:24 ¶  And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid.

exp.  Jesus was weary of the crowd. He needs some privacy and yet it was impossible because there were men and woman who were seeking after him. If this woman had not had great faith, she would have easily given up in her pursuit of Christ.

ill.  Bernard lost his passport this past week. It is expired and he wants to join me on my trip to Ireland. I spoke with him at 10:00 and told him I would pray that he could find it. He called me at half twelve and told me it was in the last bag that he searched. He believed God would help him find it and He did. Because of his faith he did not quit in his pursuit.

quest.  Are a casual observer this morning or a faithful seeker? 

Jer 29:13  And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

exp.  The promise is there - BUT SO FEW MEET THE QUALIFICATION FOR FINDING GOD.

ill.  Imagine I was very wealthy and I told you and only you that I had dropped a large diamond on the floor of the Miners and lost. I said, "It is priceless but I haven't the time to look for it. You find it and it is yours."  HOW HARD ARE YOU GOING TO SEARCH?

app.  That is searching with all your heart. Sinner friends, is it worth some brain power and time to find eternal life in Heaven?  You'll feel foolish going to @#!*% when you could have avoided it by due diligence. GREAT FAITH PURSUES CHRIST.

 

II. Great faith accepts the truth it hears about Jesus.

Mark 7:25  For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet:

exp.  This woman had never seen Jesus. She wasn't there when he cast out demons and cured others. She was just a woman with a problem who had a person who cared enough to tell her about Jesus. AND BASED UPON WHAT SHE HEARD SHE RESPONDED BY FAITH.

question:  Are you a skeptic this morning? She wasn't. She accepted the fact that Jesus had the power to heal her daughter because someone told her He could.

notice: None compelled her to come to Jesus. Church, we don't have to get sinners to Jesus. If His TRUTH does not bring them - they will not come.

app.  The people of Scotland, UK and USA have a lot to answer for when they face God's judgment. THEY HAVE HAD AN ABUNDANCE OF TRUTH but they have not believed it.

song: "Only believe, only believe, all things are possible, only believe.

app. Unbelief is one of the greatest sins against God. It calls him a liar. He Who has never lied. GREAT FAITH ACCEPTS THE TRUTH IT HEARS ABOUT JESUS.

 

 

III. Great faith begs Christ for mercy.

Matthew 15:21-22 Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.  And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord,

Mark 7:26  The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter.

exp. This woman is not quietly seated waiting for Jesus to pass close by her . She is running after him, falling at this feet, begging, pleading, crying.....

question: Why? BECAUSE SHE CARED THAT MUCH ABOUT HER DAUGHTER.

QUESTION:  How badly do you want to be heard this morning?  If you have great faith you are unashamed to CRY OUT TO JESUS.

ill. Church services in the past have been interrupted (not rudely) but by sincere people who were so convicted of their need and so desperate for God's mercy.

app.  Do you really want God's help this morning or are you just fine going it on your own?  Great faith begs Christ for mercy - mercy which we all need.

 

IV. Great faith is anchored in the Person of Jesus.

Matthew 15:22b ....thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.

exp.  "Son of David" is a messianic term. The only person in that day to be referred to as the Son of David was the King of the Jews who would die for the sins of the world. She  had some Bible knowledge this woman. She was convinced by somebody that this was no ordinary person whom she was addressing. She was convinced He was the one sent from God.  And because of Who He was, He could meet her need.

ill.  Remember the two woman who came into  Solomon's court seeking custody of a baby. They were in the right place to be given custody because Solomon was king. If he wasn't king he could do nothing about their problem.

exp.  Jesus can meet your need today because of WHO HE IS.

Jeremiah 32:27  Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?

 

V.  Great faith bows in worshipful humility before Jesus.

Matthew 15:25  Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me

Mark 7:25  For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet:

exp.  She was not a proud woman who came demanding from God. She came with deep humility and worship as she brought her need to the Lord.

Psalm 51:17  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

James 4:6  But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

note:  God used her trial to humble her and bring her in submission to Christ.

ill. Remember the proud Apostle Paul? He used a sudden loss of vision to bring Paul to Himself.

app.  If you are facing a trial, let it be an avenue to great faith.  God will hear those who are humble. GREAT FAITH BOWS IN WORSHIPFUL HUMILITY BEFORE JESUS.

 

VI. Great faith expects to receive God's gift.

            A. She got silence from Jesus.

Mark 7: 23  But he answered her not a word.

exp.  It seems as if Jesus has not heard her request.It appears that He is being a rude Jew.  

question:  How do you react when Heaven is silent? You feel as if God hasn't heard your prayers?  Can you continue to wait in faith?

            B. The disciples wanted to be shut of her.

And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.

exp.  These are the men who should care about her needs. But, they aren't interested and want Jesus to tell her to go away. What a test this woman is facing.

            C.  When he spoke it was to say bread is for children not dogs.

Matthew 15: 24  But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Mark 7: 27  But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.

exp.  If the Bible was written today this would be edited out by humanists. They would wrongly assume that this is a sectarian comment and IT APPEARS TO BE - BUT IT WAS NOT. It is yet a further test of this woman's faith.

app. How would you like your nationality to be refered to in such a deragatory way?

            D. Remarkably through the severest of tests, her faith never wavered.

28  And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs.

exp. Unbelievable! It's as if she has not hear or seen any of that which is going on. She has a single track focus and it is seeing her daughter delivered of this demon.

question: Why would Jesus put her through such a severe test of her faith? I believe it is because HE KNEW THE QUALITY OF HER FAITH BEFORE THIS TEST TOOK PLACE BUT HE WANTED TO REVEAL IT TO US.

app.  Your trial is an opportunity to reveal to others your unwavering faith in GOD. How does your faith stand up to God's tests? Great faith goes through without wavering.

James 1: 6-7  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

 

VII. Great faith sees the answer clearly come.

Mark 7:29  And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter.

30  And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.

Matthew 15: 28  Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

exp.  If at any point she would have quit, her daughter would have not been delivered. But, her great faith earned the reward from Jesus of her need being met. 

app.  Don't quit your faith will be rewarded!

ill.  We prayed for 2 years about a 60,000 medical bill which our insurance in the States refused to pay.  God provided but it took two years of keeping our eyes on Him.

 

conclusion: There are some great women in the Bible. This is a woman of great faith. How is your faith this morning?

1.) Are you pursuing Christ?