The Woman of Great Faith (Mothers Day)

Pastor Mike will be speaking on The Woman of Great Faith (Mothers Day). He will be reading out of Matthew 15:21-28.

I know that there are times that we call out on God and we say God I’m going through these trials and troubles and maybe you are not seeing the evidence of his work in your life and you may feel like your prayers are not going any farther than the ceilings of your rooms.

There’s a God who hears you. Happy Mother’s Day. Ladies, we love you, we appreciate you, and today we’re preaching a message reminding us not only of the faith of mothers but the faith of all godly women and we’ve entitled our message the woman of great faith.

Whether you’re a mother or not God is still calling each of us to have great faith and today we’re going to be in the gospel of Matthew chapter 15 verse 21 through 28 learning about the woman of great faith.

Matthew chapter 15 is our main text today verses 21 through 28 and I want to talk today about a woman of great faith. There are many women in the Bible that we could talk about on Mother’s Day. We think about the mother of Moses or perhaps the mother of Samuel and certainly we could talk about Mary the mother of Jesus.

But today I would like to talk to you about an unknown woman. Jesus describes her as a woman of great faith and a woman who received an answer to her prayer. When we come to this text this morning we are going to learn about great faith.

All of us can learn much from this Canaanite mother who had an exceptionally great faith. I want you to pick up with me in verse 21. The Bible says then Jesus went out from there and he departed to the region of Tyree and Sedan and behold a woman of Canaan came for from that region, and cried out to him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David.

My daughter is severely demon -possessed. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, Send her away, for she cries out after us. But he answered and said, I was not sent, except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Then she came and worshiped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs. And she said, Yes, Lord. Yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their master’s table.

Then Jesus answered and said to her, O woman, great is your faith. Let it be to you as you desire. And her daughter was healed from that very hour. I want you to learn three things about this woman of great faith that are certainly an example.

for every mother and for all of us today as we study the scriptures. First, I want you to see that a godly mother always reveals her problem. You know, we have this tendency in our life to kind of suppress our problems or hide our problems.

And maybe in your heart, you don’t want anybody else to know about your problems, but here we see a mother who revealed her problems. She was not afraid. She had somehow heard about Jesus. What I want you to see in verse 21, that the Bible says Jesus went out from there and he departed to the region of Tyree and Sedan.

What does that mean? It means that Jesus had left Galilee, which was a place where the Jewish people had resided. And he had left this place of a Jewish area and he went to the seaport of Tyree and Sedan, which was mainly a Gentile area, a place where the Gentiles had gathered and kind of built their families, built their homes.

And this was their place of living. What was so striking and stark about that is the Jewish people felt the Gentiles were unclean. And because they were not Jewish, they looked down upon them. Jesus Christ had been ministering effectively in the hearts of many who needed healing.

He was exhausted after teaching the scriptures, the Bible, God’s truths to the people, and he kind of needed a little break. The Bible says that he departed. He went to this place, the Gentile area, hoping that he would get a little rest.

But this woman had somehow heard about the ministry of Jesus Christ and she was troubled in her heart. There are things about this woman that I want you to see. First, that she was a Canaanite woman.

The Bible says in verse 22 that she was a woman of Canaan. The second thing I want you to know that she was a Phoenician woman. And that is where we learn from the Gospel of Mark. He tells the same story.

And what is unique again is that this helps us understand her culture. It helps us to understand her language It helps us to see the mindset and her religion. The major religion of that day was pretty much paganism They worship many gods.

They did not worship the Jehovah God. They did not worship the God of the Jewish people They worship their own man -made gods But on this day that Jesus Christ stepped out of the Jewish area and he stepped into this Gentile area And he stepped into the life of this woman and on this day it became a turning point in her life Why?

Because she was willing to reveal her problems to Jesus Christ I want to say to every person present and especially every mom I want you to know that if you’re going to have great faith it doesn’t mean you hide your problems but it means that you come to the Lord Jesus Christ and you come to Him with all of your struggles and you are willing to reveal to Him what your problems are.

Notice what the Bible says in verse 22 at the end. She said, my daughter is severely demon -possessed. Is there any greater burden that a mother could have, that a parent could have, than the attacks of the devil upon our children?

I want you to understand that we live in a world that they are constantly trying to attack our children. The devil is at work and I want every mom to know and I want every grandparent to know that the devil is working overtime to destroy the lives of our children.

And he is using many tools to do that. The devil is using social media. He is using technology. He is using movies. And sadly now as I am learning and observing more, he is even trying to use the classroom to attack these children.

How pitiful it is and how terrible it is that we have teachers that are trying to tell the children that they don’t have a particular gender or that somehow their gender has been mischaracterized. And now they’re to grow up confused.

Remember this, that confusion does not come from God Almighty. The Bible tells us that God is not the author of confusion. The Bible teaches us that he is the God of peace. He is the God of order. He is a God of structure.

He is a God that is effectively working and he never makes any mistakes. And how God has created us, the Bible says that he, after looking at his creation, said it is good. Now, how could you? and who are you to tell someone else that God messed up when he created that person or that child?

Well the Bible tells us that God formed us even in our mother’s womb and I want to tell you that the way God designed you he never makes a mistake and that it is an attack upon the very nature and the very character of who God is when you start infiltrating into the minds of these little children confusion and trying to distort how God created them.

The Bible says that we are wonderfully and fearfully created in the image of God Almighty and why would we as people want to confuse them can God’s people say amen and so I want you to know that this woman brought to Jesus this distressing problem and that was that the demons of hell were possessing her daughter the devil was on the prow he was attacking her daughter and so it is that every mom has to learn that we must reveal our problems because the devil is trying to destroy your children.

He is trying to destroy your grandchildren. He is trying to destroy every aspect of your family. We live in distressing times. These are unique times. The Bible describes them as perilous times. Friends, if you cannot see the signs of the times, it’s just that your head’s in the sand.

But what we know and understand is that things are going to continue to be difficult. But for us as believers, those who love the Lord Jesus Christ, it is essential that we be a people of great faith during these perilous times.

It is essential that we stand up and understand the importance of praying protection upon our family members and our children and that we have the wisdom and the discernment to know how to filter the attacks of the devil upon our children through these different means.

I’m not saying that these means or the things that I have mentioned and how the devil is attacking is necessary evil, but the devil is using them. He is using them to undermine the faith and the values and the truths and the confidence and the assurance in the hearts of the children of who their identity is in the Lord Jesus Christ.

As moms and dads, as grandparents, we gotta stand up and we gotta help our children to grow in the confidence of who the Lord has created them to be. And we have to remember that our identity is not in the world.

Our identity is not in how other people think about us, but our identity is rooted in our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, why is it important for you to build a strong foundation in the heart of your children in their relationship with Christ?

Because when they know Jesus Christ, They will know who they are, and they will know God’s plan for their life, and they will know God’s will for their life, and they will march forward confidently in the power and the strength of our savior, Jesus Christ.

It’s gonna require for us to be a people who are ready to do all that we can to protect our families from Satan’s attacks. Her trouble brought her to Jesus. And I want you to remember that sometimes God uses trouble and trials in your life, and He uses those trials for one purpose to bring you closer to the Lord Jesus Christ.

So many people have drifted. So many people who used to have convictions and used to believe and stand upon principles have now drifted in their faith. They’ve allowed their faith to become weak. God wants us to be a strong people.

He wants us to be a solid people for the Lord Jesus Christ. And so when these things happen in this world and when these things happen to our families, we don’t run away from Jesus. We don’t distance ourselves from the church.

We don’t cut God out of our life. We do just the opposite. We run to the cross. We run to the Savior. We plead to God Almighty to have mercy upon us. What this nation needs to do is run to Jesus. What every mom and dad needs to do is to run to Jesus.

What every family needs to do is run to Jesus. Some of you, your children, are straying from the faith. They are prodigals who do not believe or they’re struggling in their faith. And maybe they’re wrestling through some things.

There is a spiritual battle going on in their life, whether they’re in the home, out of the home. What is the answer? Hear me. Bring all your problems and troubles and trials to the Lord Jesus Christ.

He is the one with the answer. The scriptures tell us in Psalm 46 .1 that God is our refuge and strength. He is a very present help in trouble. Every cross that you and I bear is a message from God. God is trying to teach us sometimes.

Sometimes we say to God, why did you allow this? Why has this happened in my life or in my family? You might be upset and angry with God, but I encourage you to surrender to God and say, Lord, I am called to carry this cross.

It is the burden of the hearts of my children. And I am asking you, Lord, what are you trying to teach me? What are you trying to show me? How can I reflect Christ more to my children? There’s great power in our lives when we fully surrender to God.

The second thing that I want you to see about this godly mother is that she remains persistent in her prayer. She came to Jesus. She prayed to Jesus. I want you to notice that she prayed in verse 22.

out to him saying have mercy on me O Lord son of David my daughter is severely demon -possessed she came to Jesus with her problem and she understood that he was the one with the answer the Bible teaches each and every one of us in Philippians 4 6 to be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God there’s not a burden in your heart that God doesn’t care about there’s not an issue that God is not cognizant of that he wants you to bring to him we can get stubborn can’t we we can get stubborn in the flesh and we can say well I can handle this I don’t need God God doesn’t care about this little matter I assure you whatever is going on in your life whatever trial you’re facing that our God in heaven he cares but what is so remarkable about this lady is that she continued to pray she wouldn’t give up in her prayer.

And you will see that when she came to Jesus, she had great faith in who Jesus was. I’m not sure how she learned. I’m not sure if somebody told her the stories of who Jesus was and how powerful he was and how he was touching many lives.

But I tell you that this Canaanite woman, she believed everything about Jesus. She believed that he was the promised son of David. Did you see that in verse 22? Have mercy on me, oh Lord, son of David.

She acknowledged in her heart as she was crying out to God for mercy that you, Jesus, are the son of David. Why would that be significant? Because the rabbis had always taught the Jewish people that the Messiah, that he will come.

And when he comes, he will be of the lineage or the heritage of the son of David. All the promises that were given in the Old Testament and prophesied that one day a Messiah would come and sit in the seat of David, that one day he would come from the lineage of David, from the family of David, was now fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ.

When Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees, reminded them by asking them this question, what do you think about Christ or what do you think about the Messiah whose son is he? And they said to him, the son of David.

She knew who Jesus was. I wanna say this to you. The more you know him, the more you will trust him. Why is it that sometimes believers struggle to bring their request to God? Because they don’t know who Jesus is.

They don’t understand who he is. They become ignorant of who Christ is. But she not only believed that he was the son of David, she believed in his deity. She called him Lord. recognize that he was the King of Kings.

He was not just a servant. He was not just someone who was a teacher. He was not someone that she was to respect and revere, but rather he was the King of Kings and he was the Lord of Lord. And by her very submission and coming to God and declaring that he is Lord, that he is the son of David, she recognized that he is Almighty God who can answer her needs.

She believed in his power to answer her request. Did you see that? Have mercy on me, O Lord, son of David. My daughter is severely demon possessed. She believed that God could do something, that Jesus could do something for her, that he could heal her daughter.

She perhaps heard the stories and perhaps someone told her. You better run to Jesus. You better go to Jesus. He’s casting out demons. He has authority over demons. He has authority over diseases. And yes, he has authority over death itself.

You doubt the authority of Christ? You doubt his power? You doubt his ability? Why would you do that, my friends? Jesus not only demonstrated his authority over diseases by walking into people’s lives and healing them instantaneously.

No process involved, but Jesus would interrupt funerals and he would raise people from the dead. Jesus not only interrupt funerals before the person was even buried, but Jesus showed up four days late at Lazarus tomb and he raised Lazarus from the dead.

Do you doubt his ability and authority over death? Jesus did what no one has ever done. The Bible tells us that three days after his crucifixion, Jesus rose from the tomb. And I tell you friends, he’s ascended into heaven and that he is at the right hand of the father and he is interceding for you.

And that is that God is praying for you that the savior is someone that you can bring your burdens to. He is someone that you can bring your trials to because he is a God who is able to meet every need in our hearts and in our lives.

She is persistent because she knows who Jesus is. She is persistent because she will not quit. She will not quit. Would you notice in verse 23? He answered her not a word. Her response to his non -response is that she continued to pray.

I know that there are times that we call out on God and we say, God, can you see me? Can you hear me? Hey, I’m down here, God. I’m going through these trials and troubles. I’m dealing with this anxiety.

I’m dealing with this distress. My children are not living. for you and you wonder could God ever ever intercede in your life I assure you that even though you cannot hear God and maybe you are not seeing the evidence of his work in your life and you may feel like your prayers are not going any farther than the ceilings of your rooms there’s a God who hears you it’s not based upon how you feel it’s not based upon what you experience it’s not based upon even what you might sense in the moment it’s based upon his promise when he told us to cast all our care upon him why because he cares for you I don’t always have a mushy feeling when I pray I don’t always have strong emotions when I pray I don’t always feel like God somehow heard my prayers but I just know he did because he promised that he would I know that he heard my prayers because Jesus went to the cross for me and the veil split from top to bottom and now I have access to the Holy of Holies and the Bible.

The Hebrew writer says that we can come boldly or confidently to the throne of grace and that we can find help in the time of need. Aren’t you thankful for what Jesus Christ did on the cross for you?

He not only saved your soul through the cross, but he made access to the Father. He made access that we can bring our prayers to Him to the throne of grace. But this woman, even though Jesus did not answer, she would not give up.

She would not quit. Sometimes the answers to our prayers don’t come immediately. And it could be for several reasons. It could be because you’re not ready. I’m sure every 14 -year -old teenager is praying, God, please give me a car.

I’m sure that some of you are praying or have prayed, Lord, boy, I really would like that person to be my wife or my husband. Turned out their life is a mess and they don’t live for Jesus Christ and you’re saying, God, thank you for not answering that prayer.

You see, sometimes you’re not ready. And I want you to understand that when God doesn’t answer the way we want Him to, sometimes He’s not ready. He’s got a grander plan, a better plan. I mean, some of us are asking for baloney and God’s saying, I wanna give you steak.

So I’m gonna hold back on the baloney. But I’ll just tell you, some of you are missing out because you’re asking for the baloney and God’s saying, wait, I got steak for you. So I wanna encourage you to be encouraged and not to give up your prayers, even though they may not come immediately.

I also wanna say to you that you will note that this woman was persistent despite the fact that the disciples wanted her sent away. Would you see this in the text again? That in verse 23, that after Jesus answered her, not a word, His disciples came and indulged Him saying, send her away for she cries out after us.

Lord, you won’t answer her. Now she’s coming to us, driving us crazy. Send this woman away. Tell her that you’re not gonna answer a prayer. I wanna tell you, sometimes Christians with the best, intentions really aren’t in tune with God.

Did you know that? The disciples wanted to send her away, but Jesus had a better plan. Jesus had something special that he was doing in her heart. He was developing her, strengthening her. He was testing her faith to see how sincere she was.

He was working in her life to make sure that she was authentic in her requests, that she wasn’t just wanting it for the moment, but that she really loved God and she wanted his glory manifested in her life and she wanted to truly follow the Lord Jesus Christ.

Here comes the disciples, in all of their ignorance, in all of their foolishness, they said, get rid of her, Lord. I want to warn you, sometimes God’s doing something. Be careful that you don’t try to hinder the work of God.

Many people meant well only to cause problems in the kingdom of Christ. As a pastor, I see this all the time. You remember when Peter spoke up, Jesus told him he was gonna die on a cross. Peter said, it’s never gonna happen, Lord.

And he said, get thee behind me, Satan. The devil can’t possess a Christian, but he certainly can persuade and influence a Christian to do the wrong thing. Before you open your mouth and enter foot, and before you resist the will of God, and before you go against what God wants, and oh, it doesn’t work out like you think it should be.

And maybe in your mind, the things don’t add up the way you want them to be. I want you to get on your knees and say, Lord, what is your will? Because I don’t wanna be an instrument. I don’t wanna be a disciple that sends people away and hinders the work of God of something special.

You’re getting ready. Remember, had she listened to those disciples who told her to go away and get away from the Lord Jesus Christ, her daughter would have never been healed. That’s what I’m trying to tell you.

She was persistent despite being discouraged by others. She worshiped the Lord. She honored him in her prayer. The Bible tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

That’s what I’m saying to you. When you’re worshiping God, when you’re living close to Jesus, when you are walking in the fear of the Lord, meaning the reverence of God, and he’s first place in your life, he’s gonna bless you with wisdom.

He’s gonna bless you with insight. You’ll see things and understand things that other Christians don’t. Why? Because they’re all operating in the flesh, and you’re operating in the spirit, and Christ is number one in your life.

Others are putting themselves before Christ, or their own fleshly needs before Christ, and this woman knew that she needed to keep on praying. The Bible tells us to ask, and it shall be given to you.

Seek and you will find. Knock and it will be open to you. What’s really interesting is the idea that Jesus taught us in Matthew 7, verse 7 is, keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking. I know that some of you have prayed once, twice, years, and you have been asking, but I want to encourage you.

to keep asking, keep believing, keep knocking, keep coming before the Lord with your request. Now let’s look at this text again in verse 24. She not only had to be persistent when the Lord was silent, she had to be persistent when other Christians were trying to discourage her, but then she had to be persistent on the strange statements of Jesus Christ.

Verse 24, he answered and said, I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then she came and worshiped him saying, Lord help me, she just wouldn’t give up. She honored him. The Bible says in verse 26, he answered and said, it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.

I want you to see what the Bible’s teaching here so you don’t misunderstand in your persistence and your prayer. The Jews would refer to Gentiles as dogs. Now we’re talking about that the Jews would refer to the Gentiles as scavenger dogs.

like wild animal dogs that were resented and chased away. The Jews looked upon Gentiles as being unclean people. And so when you first glance at this, you might think that somehow Jesus is making a very rude statement to this woman.

But I want you to know that in this text, when we look at the original Greek, that we understand that this is actually a term of endearment that he is referring to her. And I think the New King James captures it a little bit better when it refers to the little dogs.

The idea is one of a puppy that would sleep in their master’s lap. And if Jesus were to say to you, it’s not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to your little puppy or your little doggy, well, you might think, well, what is he saying here?

Do not misunderstand what he is saying here. He is saying that it’s not fair to take the children’s bread and to give it to your little doggy first. He’s talking about priorities. He’s saying first, let the children have the bread, then we feed the little puppies.

This woman who is so determined and so committed in her faith, she says in verse 27, yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs or the little puppies eat the crumbs which fall from their master’s table. She’s saying, Lord, that even when we drop a little piece of food, that those little puppies just come running and they eat it up as quickly as possible.

And Jesus, he is moved by this statement by her. What Jesus had already said to her in verse 24, I wasn’t sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, meaning he is simply teaching what the apostle Paul taught when he said in Romans 1 16, I’m not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes to the Jew first and also to the God.

meaning that the gospel first comes to the Jewish people and all Jesus was trying to make her understand is that first the gospel must go to the children of Israel but she said Lord we are so desperate and I am in such a need I’ll just take the crumbs of the gospel I’ll take the crumbs of the power of God I’ll take the crumbs of whatever’s left over and for you to work in my life and Jesus said to her look at verse 28, O woman, great is your faith.

For some of us we have fond memories of our mother others may have an estranged relationship with your mother whatever those relationships are they cannot hinder your faith today and I call you to be a woman or even a man of great faith to learn from this lady in the Bible of how we can show faith because that’s what matters most to God.

Without faith, it is impossible to please God. And I pray that God would grant each of our hearts faith that we may faithfully live for Him. This is Pastor Mike Sanders reminding you that in Christ there is hope worth having.

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