05/08/11 Woman, Your Faith is Great!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Tuesday, May 17, 2011 Under: Sermon
Mothers Day Service

Text: Matthew 15:21-28 (HCSB) 21 When Jesus left there, He withdrew to the area of Tyre
and Sidon. 22 Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came and kept crying out, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is cruelly tormented by a demon.” 23 Yet He did not say a word to her. So His disciples approached Him and urged Him, “Send her away because she cries out after us.” 24 He replied, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came, knelt before Him, and said, “Lord, help me!” 26 He answered, “It isn’t right to take the children’s bread and throw it to their dogs.” 27 “Yes, Lord,” she said, “yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table!” 28 Then Jesus replied to her, “Woman, your faith is great. Let it be done for you as you want.” And from that moment her daughter was cured.”

"Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all." Proverbs 31:28-29 KJV

Lucky man: Adam and his mother-in-law

Illustration: Stirring up the Nest

The eagle is an interesting bird. She builds her nest in the tallest trees or on the loftiest mountain ledges. One who has watched her construct her nest relates that she first lays down thorns, jagged stones, and all manner of sharp objects, which seem utterly incredible materials for the purpose. Then she covers it thickly with wool, feathers, and fur of animals she has killed. The nesting place thus becomes soft and comfortable, a delightful home for the birds which the mother will hatch.

But the little creatures are not destined to remain in this inviting cradle so laboriously prepared for them. The time will come when the mother will stir up the nest. With her sharp claws she will begin to point the sharp protrusions in their flesh. Up to this time the tiny creatures have had their food delivered and dropped into their mouths. After the nest has been stirred up, the eagles become so miserable and unhappy they are willing to get out, and go somewhere else.

This is the mother’s objective in picking out from the nest all the downy material with which it was originally lined and casting it to the wind. It is not cruelty on her part, but rather an effort to produce discontent with the old life of ease, and to whet their desire to move on to maturity. Mrs. Ruby Miller

Intro: One of my greatest fears growing up was to one day realize I had to leave the nest (Home), as a child and even a young adult leaving home wasn’t really something I wanted to do right away. Too many of the children don’t realize what they got or had until they are on their own and finding out there is a lot more to this adult thing and being on your own then what their peers might have told. I am by no means trying to compare Mothers to a bird, but just as the Mother Eagle cradles the baby and protects, human mothers do the same. It has been my observation that it takes a lot of work to raise a child or children. From where I stand I do not understand how any Mother can successfully raise one without a personal relationship with Christ!

You never out grow your role; however, I have found this Mothers day I have added to my role, I am now a grandfather and that makes my daughter a Mother. I couldn’t be prouder of my daughter I guess it is because she was raised by a Godly Mother…

Application: A Mother must have Faith!

Mother: Hebrew ēm / Greek  mētēr

1. A Mother Reveals Her Problem: vs. 21-23

21 Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.” 23 But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. “Tell her to go away,” they said. “She is bothering us with all her begging.” Matthew 15:21-23 (NLT)

A Gentile woman: in years past this woman would be defined as a heathen, someone who lived without God!

What does a “godly woman” look like? How can they fulfill the eternal purpose for which God created them? How can a mother bear “much fruit” John 15:5 for His glory? Thankfully, the Word of God gives the mother the instruction they need; it also provides a number of role models - women who illustrate what it means to walk with God and to be used by Him.

Though these women lived in settings quite different than our own, they faced many of the same challenges mothers of today face: They were daughters and wives and mothers; they experienced youth, adulthood, and old age; they had to wrestle with the mysteries of life and death, faith and doubt, joy and sorrow.

One thing that has not change over the centuries: there are still many troubled mothers in the World. The mother that we are discussing in this text today was a Canaanite, a Syro-Phonecian, by culture and language a Greek, by religion up until now a pagan. Her greatest problem had to do with her daughter, She had other problems, but they seemed small. The high fever … the anxious hours in crisis, To the normal parent all problems seem small when their children are at stake Her daughter was grievously vexed with a devil (a demon). (And I am sure many of you mothers here today at one time or another you felt your daughter or son was demon possessed, maybe some of you still think they are!)

That brings us to another major concern: The most distressing of all parental problems is the devil’s attack on their children, and the importance of praying for protection from Satan’s attacks on family members.

The mother’s concern for her children’s well being – what a big topic, a topic that has allowed mothers to lose hundreds of hours of sleep worry about their child!

In are text today this mother reveals her problem, and she remains persistent in prayer.

2. A Mother Remains Persistent in Prayer: vs. 22–27

22 A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.” 23 But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. “Tell her to go away,” they said. “She is bothering us with all her begging.” 24 Then Jesus said to the woman, “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.” 25 But she came and worshiped him, pleading again, “Lord, help me!” 26 Jesus responded, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters’ table.” Matthew 15:22-27 (NLT)

What do we know about this woman?

She came to Jesus with her problem. Blessed is the woman who knows where to go with her Problems.

- She believed everything about Jesus
- She believed He was the promised son of David
- She believed in His deity
- She believed in His power to answer her request
- She believed He was interested and would answer

Jesus was not playing games with the woman, nor was He trying to make the situation more difficult. He was drawing out of her a growing response of faith. She immediately seized on His illustration about the children’s bread, which was exactly what He wanted her to do. We may paraphrase her reply:

“It is true that we Gentiles do not sit at the table as children and eat the bread. But even the pet dogs under the table can eat some of the crumbs!” What a tremendous testimony of faith!

It was this faith that Jesus acknowledged, and immediately He healed her daughter. It is worth noting that both of the persons in the Gospel of Matthew who had “great faith” were Gentiles: this Canaanite woman and the Roman centurion. In both cases, Jesus healed the one in need from a distance. Spiritually speaking, the Gentiles were “afar off” until Calvary, when Jesus Christ died for both Jews and Gentiles and made reconciliation possible.

What a woman, what a mother, her persistence in a different Environment, in spite of discouragement!

Moms can you say that about your environment? Can you be persistent, this Gentile woman worshipped, she prayed a simple prayer of faith (Help Me!), even with the Lord testing her she stayed persistent.
 
In are text today this mother reveals her problem, she remains persistent in prayer and responds with great faith to her circumstance.

3. A Mother Responds with Great Faith! v. 28

28 "Dear woman," Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.” Matthew 15:28 (NLT)

Setting an Example: A mother said to her child, "Johnny, you take those marbles back to Willie Jones. You know I have told you about playing marbles for keeps; you think you won them, but that is wrong; you go right back and give them to the boy from whom you took them." "Yes, Mama," said Johnny dutifully, "and shall I take back the painted vase you won at Mrs. Jones' bridge party?"

Christ responded to this woman’s plea in four different ways: first, He was silent; then He refused; then He seemed to rebuke her; and finally He rewarded her faith. Why did He not answer her plea immediately? One reason is that she, a Gentile, approached Him on Jewish terms, calling Him “Son of David.” Gentiles are not saved by first becoming Jews! When she called Him “Lord” He answered her plea. Of course, His delay also tested her faith. She knew that the Gentiles were saved through the Jewish nation and was willing to take even the crumbs from their table. What an indictment against the Jews that the two people Christ commended for their great faiths were both Gentiles.

Conclusion: Have you called Him Lord!

“Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. 13 For Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:12-13 (NLT)

Mystery of Love A young man who was tired of the monotony and the restrictions of home decided to leave, to go to a place where he could wander and be free. He got fed up with that, however, as he realized it was not what he had dreamed it would be. He decided to write to his mother and tell her that he was going to take the train back home. He told her that if she still wanted him, she should hang a white handkerchief on top of the tree in their yard which could easily be seen before the train stopped at the little home-town station. How amazed the wandering young man was when he found that his mother had used every available handkerchief to hang on the various branches of the tree. He could not understand how his mother could continue to love him. It was a mystery to him that his mother's love had increased instead of diminished. It is so with the love of God for the wandering child.

A Mother's Prayer

Make me a wise mother, O Lord. Keep me calm and give me patience to bear the small, irritating things in the daily routine of life. Give me tolerance and understanding to bridge the gulf between my generation and that of my children. Let me not be too ready to guide my children's stumbling feet, but allow me to be ever near to bind their bruises.

Give me a sense of humor that I may laugh with them but never at them. Let me refrain from preaching with words. Keep me from forcing their confidences, but give me a sympathetic ear when my children come to me. Help me to teach them that life must not be filled with compromises, but must be replete with victories. Make me humble.

Keep my children close to me, O Lord, though miles may separate us. And let Thy light so shine upon me that they, too, will perceive Thy glory. Amen. Pulpit Helps

A Definition of "Mother"

Mother - the poet applauds her, the historian lauds her. But who is mother?

MOTHER is the one who rises up from sleep to soothe the cries from the crib, who sits besides the bed with cool hand upon small, feverish brow.

Mother is the one who sews, scrubs, cooks, irons, patches, mops, but somehow still has time for your every problem, no matter how great, no matter how small.

Mother is the one who sings that forever remembered lullaby. Although her voice may crack and creak, although she may sharp the naturals and natural the flats, to a child and to childhood memories the song of mother is the song of the angels.

Mother is the one who bandages skinned knees and stubbed toes, who can kiss the pain away and say just the right consoling word that makes everything all right. Mother is the one who sits in the pew and with memories crowding in will smile a little and cry a little as she hears the words intoned, "to love and cherish 'til death do us part."

Mother is the one who, as grandmother, will spoil your children because she loves them so deeply and because in them she sees another you. Mother is the one who will do the most for you and in return ask the least. Her hope never fadeth. No matter how far away you are, no matter how often you have neglected her, she is always there to do whatever you ask in the same way she has always done: her best for you.

Mother is the one for whom you must finally pluck the white rose and tenderly pin it to your heart. Life is never the same without her. You never become accustomed to the absence of her presence. She should call or write, but she does not. That which you took for granted for so long is no longer granted you. A part of the best of Earth has slipped away, and you miss her dreadfully.

But you are not alone without her. Look inside you. Count the best things in your life: character, love, unselfishness, forgiveness, kindness, gentleness. They were all planted by that tender hand so long ago, the hand of that wonderful woman who cuddled you and held you and said, "This is my child."

The Bible teaches us to call God "Father", but so much of what God is, can only be described by the word "MOTHER." J. Emmett Henderson

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