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Message Text

Isaiah 54:2

“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.

Matthew 15:21-28

Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

Message Notes

1. What does faith sound like?

The religious would approach Jesus as if they were complete, questioning Jesus about His actions.

It is always shaky ground when we feel justified questioning God.

Faith sounds like humility in the midst of difficulty.

2. Faith starts with the recognition that we need mercy.

Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”

If we come to God demanding justice we may get it. If we come asking for mercy we will get it.

Lamentations 3:22-24The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

3. Never interpret silence as a no.

23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

Silence may be planned part of the song. Just because there’s a break doesn’t mean the songs over.

4. Ask anyway

Jesus points out the cultural problem there is between her and Him. Jesus wasn’t endorsing it but recognizing the divide between them and the fact that He had been sent to the Jews.

24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” 25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. 26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” 27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

5. Her need warranted her persistence.

We don’t need to be persistent. We have backup plans

The woman’s daughter was possessed by a demon and she would not take no for an answer.

Connect Group Questions

  1. Have you ever found yourself questioning God because you felt you were right?
  2. Is it better to approach God from a place of self-righteousness or humility?
  3. How do you deal with silence from God?
  4. Why does silence seem so devastating to us?
  5. Have you ever tried to “send someone away” because they kept praying for something that seemed impossible?
  6. Have you ever been so desperate for God to answer your prayer that nothing could deter you?