For the One Week Twelve Syro-Phoenician Woman by Crossing Barriers Ministry

Picture this: you, a parent, and you have a loved one who is very ill. The loved one is  struggling with seizures, or a form of mental illness, or bouts of temper. You are at your wits end.  You have run out of options.  Then you hear that a specialist is in the area that is known to have success with these kinds of problems.  You attempt to get an appointment with him but unsuccessful – what do you do?

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.

In my opening statement, two things you don’t do are give up and you need to be praying to God with this issue.

We continue our series titled “For the One” based on the book by Dr. Danny Forshee with the same title.  We have been studying characters of the bible and how they were equipped to evangelized.  Hopefully we can take these ideas and utilize them today as we follow the direction of the Great Commission.

We started with Jesus being the teacher, preacher, and molder of man.  We looked at John the Baptist, the Paralytic, and the Samaritan Woman. We examined the Apostle Peter, the Apostle John, Apostle Phillip, Nathaniel and Matthew. Last week we studied the Centurion.

Like last week, this week’s story is also covered in two different gospels.  One is in Mark 7 and this one in Matthew.  We are going to study the Matthew story today.

Jesus was travelling in Gentile territory when a woman approached and begged him to cure her little daughter, who was troubled in her mind. How did Jesus respond? He seemed reluctant, arguing that he had come to save Jewish people, not Gentiles.

Desperate, the woman argued back. Wouldn’t he pity her, despite her nationality? If he were eating, wouldn’t he throw scraps to the dogs? Jesus, taken aback by her persistence, rewarded her faith by curing her daughter

Jesus’ response illustrates His point of “Let it be done for you”

Matthew 15:10-20

And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying? But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable. And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding?

Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

We must remember that the state of one’s heart, shaped by faith, is the decisive factor.

Jesus travels at least fifty miles over rough terrain to the region of Tyre and Sidon.  They are located on the Mediterranean Sea northwest of Galilee.

Here Jesus has a female whose spiritual beings can’t help her out. There were two reasons that Jesus did not answer the woman immediately. He wanted to test her faith as well He wanted to see the disciples’ reaction.  When Jesus said no, she didn’t turn and go but she remained persistent.  Jesus saw the state of her heart, shaped by faith which made healing the daughter the decisive factor.

She shows respect to Jesus, and this is shown in:

Matthew 15:25

Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.

Matthew 15:26

But he answered and said, it is not met to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.

Jesus is using an analogy here in Matthew 15:26 indicating children are the Jews and the dogs are the Gentiles.

But the answer to all this comes in:

Romans 1:16

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

However, the woman comes back with a response of her own in verse 27:

Matthew 15:27

And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.

Conclusion

Silence means nothing!

Just because you did not get an instant reply to your request to the Lord doesn’t mean that it was not heard, or that He doesn’t care, or the answer is no.

1 John 5:15

“And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”

Deal with each person differently

Follow God’s lead and treat everyone with respect & love but do plan for each circumstance.

Be determined & persistent

Isaiah 41:10

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Do not quit!

CheckFaith = Response

Jesus needs to see the state of her heart, shaped by faith, in order for the deciding factor determines the response.

Next steps

  • God’s love and gospel are for everyone
  • We need to work God’s ministry outside our comfort zone
  • We must include strangers and even enemies
  • We need to guard against ignorance towards other cultures
  • Continue your walk with God – no matter what.

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