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Scripture Reading: Matthew 15:21-28
A Gentile Woman's Faith
1. The Savior came to save all sinners, 1 Tim 4:10 (Mk 16:15; Rom 1:16).
2. Jesus came to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, Matt 15:24 (Jno 10:15-16).
a. Promises to be fulfilled, Gen 12:3; 2 Sam 7:12-13.
b. Judgments to be exacted, Mal 4:5-6.
c. New covenant to be put into force, Jer 31:31-33.
3. Matt 15:21-28: The power of faith and the Savior’s willingness to save all who come to Him in faith. (Mk 7:24-30)
I. THE GENTILE WOMAN.
A. Her Circumstances, Matt 15:22; Mk 7:26.
“She was not one of God’s chosen people, but a Gentile by birth, and, apparently, by religion. She was a Canaanite, too, living in Phoenicia; she was descended from the ancient enemies of Israel. She had no claim either of kindred or religion.” (Pulpit Commentary)
B. Her Trouble, Matt 15:22.
1. Daughter severely demon-possessed; mother deeply distressed.
2. Jesus’ fame had gone into Syria; she searched for Him.
C. Her Faith.
1. She had faith to come to Jesus.
a. No fear, Heb 13:6.
b. cf. Our hesitations, delays and anxieties toward obeying the Lord, cf. Acts 16:33; 24:25 (lack of faith, doubt…death!).
2. She had faith to ask for help from Jesus, 15:22.
a. Her plea was for her daughter and herself, since her daughter’s pain was her pain.
b. Seek mercy from the Lord for others as well as ourselves.
c. Admitted that she needed help – from an enemy!! (Jew)
d. Cf. Sinner: Must admit he needs help from God.
e. Must search for God – will find Him! Acts 17:27-28
f. Ask, seek and find, Matt 7:7-12; Heb 4:14-16.
3. She had faith to listen to Jesus, 15:23-26.
a. Heart to hear, Matt 13:9. Too often we want to tell Jesus how it has to be! (Illus. Salvation; worship; the church, moral issues…)
b. Open heart to the truth of the gospel, Matt 13:19.
4. She had faith to persist and not leave Jesus, 15:23-25.
a. Even when Jesus at first said nothing.
b. Even when His disciples urged Jesus to send her away.
c. She still came and worshiped Him, 15:25 (to whom shall we go? Jno 6:68).
d. She showed great humility, 15:26-27; cf. Lk 15:17-19.
II. THE DISCIPLES.
A. They Seemed Anxious to Protect their Distinction and Separation.
1. She was a woman, unclean, a Gentile and a sinner.
2. They were sensitive of contact with the “unclean” (Acts 10:14, 28).
3. In His reaction to the woman, Jesus practices (illustrates) the elimination of ceremonial defilements discussed re. food (15:17-20) and applies it to people (Acts 10:28).
4. We are indeed to be separate from sin and error, 2 Cor 6:17-18; Eph 5:11.
5. At the same time we are to keep right attitudes toward the lost, the erring, the weak and the suffering, Gal 6:1-2; 1 Ths 5:14-15.
B. They were Dismissive of the Gentile Woman, 15:23.
1. Perhaps to protect their “quiet time”, cf. Mk 7:24-25.
2. Perhaps because they knew she was not “one of them” (Lk 9:56).
3. We cannot be dismissive of people because they do not fall into our mold of respectability. (Homeless? Alcoholic? Divorced?) Jas 2:1-4
a. Illus. Transgendered person (email) – Needs the gospel!
b. These are the ones Jesus came to save! (Lk 19:10)
c. We must not dismiss honest interest in Christ and His gospel.
III. JESUS. (Matt 11:28-30)
A. Hears and Responds to Cries for Mercy, Heb 2:16-17; 4:14-16.
B. Delay is not Denial, but an Opportunity to Show our Faith, 15:23; Jas 1:2-3 (Rev 6:9-11).
C. Explained His Purpose, 15:24, 26.
1. The Scriptures explain the plan of God and lead our way to Him.
2. God has taken time to teach us His purposes, Eph 3:8-13.
D. Jesus Blessed the Woman for Her “Great” Faith, 15:28; Mk 7:30.
1. Healed her daughter “that very hour”.
2. Will heal sinners immediately and completely, Acts 16:33; 22:16.
1. The Savior and His salvation are accessible to all who will come to Him in faith for mercy, Lk 19:10.
2. Let us be sure that we hinder none who would come to Him.