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Humble Faith Unleashes Limitless Power (Mark Sermon 33)

Series: Mark

Humble Faith Unleashes Limitless Power (Mark Sermon 33)

November 27, 2022 | Andy Davis
Mark 7:24-30
Faith, Trials, Supremacy of Christ

Learn about one woman's great faith, and Jesus’ greater compassion and power!


- Sermon Transcript - 

Usually when I begin preaching week after week as we're moving through the Gospel of Mark, I tell you to open in your Bibles to the text that you just heard read. I'm going to say, open your Bibles to Mark 7: 24-30. But I'm also going to urge you to put your finger over in Matthew 15:21-28 if you'd like, because I'm going to be moving back and forth between these two accounts. God in his grace gave us four gospels. The four gospels, all of them are perfect and three of them, Matthew, Mark, and Luke are called synoptic because they run over often basically the same material, but in different ways. My desire always is to accept them as an errant, as perfect and flawless and necessary and helpful. Sometimes, I just take Mark's account and just walk through it, and that's certainly fine.

Today, I'm not going to do that. I'm going to be harmonizing the account of this encounter with the Canaanite woman, the Syrophoenician woman from both Matthew 15 and Mark 7. This is a story of a mother's humble and persistent faith because of which Jesus unleashes unlimited power, great faith, and greater power. We're called on in the text to marvel at her faith and to learn from it, but even more we are summoned by the text to join her in falling at Jesus's feet and beseeching him by faith for every blessing that He alone can bestow. We're looking in two directions this morning as we look at this text. We're looking at the woman to learn from her faith and at the Savior to worship him for his wisdom, grace and power. Jesus is always the main point, always.

This woman is in a desperate plight. Her little daughter is demon possessed. The horror of that affliction is overwhelming and her spiritual condition is terrible. She's a pagan living in a pagan land, but she turns away from all of the idols of her paganism and her pagan heritage to Christ. She knows that He alone can save her daughter, and she cries out to him desperately and persistently for his mercy on her little girl. Some of you may be in a desperate plight yourselves this morning, not anything perhaps like this woman, but maybe you are hurting deeply in some affliction in your life and God brought you here to join with this woman and imitate her faith. Of course, you won't be saved at all from looking at the woman, ultimately. She can't save you, but Jesus can. This account calls on you to see Jesus, to drink in his nature, specifically his compassion and power anew and trust in him alone.

When I was a new Christian, a friend of mine, the guy who had led me to Christ, gave me a copy of a book that has continued to be precious to me. It was a devotional written by Charles Persian called Morning and Evening. Some of you have used it before. In Morning and Evening, it's throughout the calendar, January 1st, December 31st with a reading for the morning and reading for the evening. In that, he deals with this story twice. In the over 700 devotional that he gives, he deals with her twice. He spoke first in Matthew's account about the fact that in this encounter between the Canaanite woman and Jesus, "He did not answer her a word.” He began by not saying anything to her at all, just ignoring her, it seems. She's desperately begging Jesus to heal her daughter and He ignores her like she doesn't even exist. Spurgeon picked up on that and meditated on it, and I want to read from him and quote from him, extensively. 

 "Genuine seekers who as yet have not obtained the blessing may take comfort in the story before us. The Savior did not at once bestow the blessing, even though the woman had great faith in him. He intended to give it, but he waited a while. He answered her not a word. Were not her prayers good? Never better in the world. Was not her case needy? Sorrowfully needy. Did she not feel her needs sufficiently? Oh, she felt it overwhelmingly. Was she not an earnest enough? Oh, she was intensely so. Had she no faith? She had such a high degree of faith that Jesus was amazed and said, ‘Oh woman, great is your faith.’ See then, although it is true that faith brings peace, yet it does not always bring it instantly. There may be certain reasons calling for the trial of faith rather than for the reward of faith.

Genuine faith may be in the soul like a hidden seed, but as yet, it may not have budded and blossomed into joy and peace. A painful silence from the Savior is the trial of many seeking soul, but heavier still is the harsh cutting reply such as this, ‘It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs.’ Many in waiting upon the Lord find immediate delight, but this is not the case with all. A deeper sense of sin may be given to you instead of a sense of pardon. In such a case, you'll need to have patience to bear the heavy blow. Ah, poor heart. Though Christ beat and bruise you or even slay you, you must trust in him. Though he should give you an angry word, believe in the love in his heart. Do not, I beg you, give up, seeking or trusting the master because you have not yet obtained the conscious joy which you long for.  Cast yourself upon him persevering depend where you cannot yet rejoicingly hope.”

"Genuine faith may be in the soul like a hidden seed, but as yet, it may not have budded and blossomed into joy and peace.  … A deeper sense of sin may be given to you instead of a sense of pardon. In such a case, you'll need to have patience to bear the heavy blow."

That's the lesson on persevering faith we learn from this woman. Her faith was great, but Jesus’ compassion and power are greater. What struck me when I was doing scripture memory in the Gospel of Mark , I came to this account, and thought of the phrase, "effortless power," on the part of Jesus. It first hit me in this account, effortless power, and I've used it for all the other miracles, but it started for me first in this encounter, effortless power that Jesus displays over the demon. In a split second, I mean, literally, split second, He drives a demon out without moving a muscle, without speaking a word. Look at verse 29 and 30 in Mark 7. “Then he told her, ‘For such a reply, you may go. The demon has left your daughter.’ She went home and found her daughter, her child lying on the bed and the demon gone.” That is simply astonishing.

One moment the demon was inhabiting this little girl, and the next moment after her statement, the demon had been evicted; not the demon will leave presently, no, the demon has gone. When? Now, a moment ago. How? By the power of his thoughts. As I said, Jesus just didn't move a muscle. He didn't walk over to her home. He didn't lay hands on her as He usually liked to do. He didn't rebuke the demon or speak any words to the demon. He did nothing but exert spiritual force on the demon, the force of his sovereign kingly power overall things, and the demon was gone. The demon had no choice but to be gone. So for me, this I think is the clearest example of effortless power on Jesus part. What effort physically did he make? None. It's just his kingly power. I've talked about it throughout the gospel of Mark.

At the beginning of the sermon, I've already laid out all my cards on the table. What's left to do? We've talked about the woman and how wonderful her faith is. We've talked about Jesus's effortless power. We could just pray and go home now, but I'm not going to do that. We're going to walk through the texts, both of them to some degree, and try to learn the details. I've already told you the point of the story. Let's walk through it. 

I. Jesus’ Strategic Retreat

It begins with Jesus' strategic retreat. Look at verse 24 in Mark 7, “Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it. Yet he could not keep his presence a secret.”  Matthew 15:21, “Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.” Why this retreat? The Greek word in Matthew is stronger than just “he went away”. This was a strategic retreat on his part, and the reason I think was to escape the building pressure in the Jewish country that would bring issues to a head too soon. Jesus had a strong sense of the timing of his mission. Everything had been planned out to the detail, especially his death. In John's Gospel, we have this repeated phrase. Many times they sought to arrest Jesus and kill him or take him away, but John tells us, “his time had not yet come.” 

Everything was timed out, but there's a human factor in this. The human pressures are mounting to a point of explosion. The pot's about to boil over.  You've got the huge crowds that are constantly pressing in, physically pressing in on Jesus for healing, depriving him sometimes even of air, and they want, in John 6, to take him away by force to make him king. They're going to take matters in their own hands and just make him king. You've got Herod Antipas, the wicked king that executed John the Baptist after that alluring dance done by that young woman, who would certainly have opposed Jesus and fought against him and perhaps incarcerated him and killed him as well. Most of all though, you've got the religious leaders, the Jewish religious leaders, the chief Scribes and Pharisees, who are increasingly hostile to Jesus, already plotting and scheming his death.

For all these reasons, Jesus had to get away. He had to affect a strategic retreat, but I think it was especially to focus on the twelve apostles. He wanted to spend time with them and shape them and mold them and prepare them for their future mission, even to the ends of the earth, including gentile areas. He wanted to pour into them and train them, away from those mounting Jewish pressures. He retreated to Tyre and Sidon. It's a Gentile area, as I've said. It's away from the Jewish nation, away from Judea and Galilee. Jesus would not be as well known there. Tyre and Sidon were notorious centers of Gentile wickedness. They were port cities known for trade across the Mediterranean and all the wickedness of the world just pooled there like a cesspool of wickedness. Ezekiel 28 openly implies that Satan was the king of Tyre. He's the power behind that economic throne.  Tyre's a perfect place for Jesus to retreat to. The Jewish crowds are not going to follow him there, and He would not be as well known there. 

II. A Mother’s Desperate Plea

However, this desperate woman found him anyway. Look at verse 24 in Mark 7, “He entered the house and did not want anyone to know it, yet he could not keep his presence a secret.” That brings us to this mother and her desperate plea, look at verse 25, “In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an evil spirit came and fell at his feet.” Matthew 15 says she falls at his feet. Putting it together, where we go back a little bit in time with the beginning of the encounter, Matthew gives us more of the full encounter. In Matthew 15:22, she was crying out. It says, "Lord, son of David, have mercy on me. My daughter is suffering terribly from demon possession."

Who is this woman? It ways in Mark 7:26, the woman was a Greek, we're told born in Syrian Phoenicia. That's why she's called a Syrophoenician. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter. She's a Canaanite. These are the very people of the land that the Jews under Joshua had driven out of the Promised Land, the ones that they were never supposed to intermarry with. The ones that are known for their paganism and their wickedness, that's who she was. This woman would've been a complete outcast as far as the Jews were concerned. She was a pagan woman, but she has this desperate plight. She says in Matthew's account, "My daughter is suffering terribly from demon possession.”  The Greek there is intensive, as if the demon is thrashing this little girl around, beating her up, abusing her daily and the daughter is little. This tender little girl, powerless against this spiritual force, and there's nothing the mother can do. She makes repeated pleas. Mark gives us the sense that she's repeatedly crying out to Jesus again and again. She uses this Jewish term in Matthew, "Lord's son of David," so she seems to understand the significance of that title. Mark gives us a sense of her bodily position. Mark says she casts herself down before him at his feet, a position of abject weakness and a description also of majesty to Jesus by calling him Lord and throwing herself at his feet. She may be ready to worship him, but especially, she has nowhere else to turn, and yet she has no doubts whatsoever that Jesus has the power to heal her little girl.

III. Jesus Tests Her Faith - She Passes the Test 

Then, Jesus tests her faith and she passes the test. Back in Matthew, we get, as I said, Jesus's initial strange response that Spurgeon talked about. Jesus did not answer her a word,  He just ignores her. He acted like she wasn't even there. This is a picture of a basic theological fact. God doesn't have to listen to you. He doesn't owe you a hearing if you're a sinner apart from Christ. He doesn't have to listen to anything you say. He’s not under obligation. He does hear everything because He is omnipotent, but this is a picture showing that we don't necessarily have a hearing. We don't necessarily have access to the throne.

The disciples are shown in Matthew's account at this point with simple annoyance. That's all that's going on for them, straight annoyance. Matthew 15:23, “The disciples came to him and urged him, ‘Send her away for she keeps crying out after us.’" They don't want anything to do with this woman. Like any typical Jewish person of that day, they almost certainly would've disdain her, looked at her only as a noisy annoyance, no compassion. I don't read any compassion in them at all for her. Then, Jesus makes his first verbal response, lost to them, but it's certainly relevant to the woman. In Matthew 15:24, he answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."

Jesus there strategically borders his ministry, geographically, ethnically to the Jewish nation, but we know this is only temporary, but this is what He says, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel." Next, the woman then presses in, and Jesus answers her directly. I mean, isn't she marvelous? She will not be ignored. She will not be denied. So beautiful, such a picture of persistent faith. Matthew 15:25-26, “The woman came and knelt before him. ‘Lord, help me,’ she says.” I mean it's not much different than Peter's sinking prayer, "Lord, save me." It's just that simple, "Lord, help me." Then He says to her, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs." Now, we must admit, this is troubling. This is a troubling statement. It's a difficult statement. It seems harsh. It seems demeaning to her as a human being. It seems so unlike Jesus, wouldn't you agree? It doesn't seem to be what He was about. He was very tenderhearted toward people who were in suffering situations, especially women.

There's some mitigating factors here. First of all, we don't have Jesus's tone of voice. We don't have his facial expression. We just have the account. The Greek implies that Jesus had a longer conversation with her. None of the gospels is exhaustively complete, and there's always more that went on than was recorded. There's additional things. It says, "Jesus was saying to her, ‘It's not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs.’" “Dogs” here in the Greek is not the term of a wild stray dog that roams around viciously attacking other dogs and attacking people and looking for garbage, picking through garbage. It's a different word. Seems to be more domesticated. Yet for all of that, I will admit, it still seems strange. It seems like a strange answer on Jesus' part. Why did He do it? Let's eliminate some possibilities. Just take some right off the table, not because of this, not because of this, not because of this. Let's walk through what it couldn't have been.

It's not because Jesus didn't care about Gentiles or God doesn't care about Gentiles. Not at all. At the very beginning of the Jewish nation, the call of Abraham in Genesis 12, God said in verse 3, "I will bless those who bless you, Abraham, and whoever curses you, I will curse and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." All the Gentiles are going to be blessed through you. That's from the very beginning. God had a saving purpose to our Gentiles. Then, in Isaiah 49:6, “God, the Father says to God the Son pre-incarnate, ‘It is too small a thing for you to be my servant, to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.’" That's six centuries before Jesus was even born.

Again, in Psalm 67, the beautiful Jewish psalmist writes these words, "May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. May the peoples praise you, oh God. May all the peoples praise you. May the nations be glad and sing for joy." I could multiply verses like this from the Old Testament. That's not it. After Christ's resurrection, He will send his apostles, his disciples to the ends of the earth to make disciples of all nations. There's no doubt about that. One of the earliest places they would go would be Tyre and Sidon, so much so that at the end of his third missionary journey, Paul on route to Jerusalem, stops and visits the disciples there in Tyre, many of whom knew about Paul and welcomed him warmly and loved him.

Second, it's not because Jesus lacked the power to do miracles in a Gentile land. Jesus was God omnipotent. There is nothing He cannot do. It’s not that He's not particularly good in Gentile or Jewish lands and a little bit weaker in Gentile land. That is not the case. Jesus is very good everywhere. That's not it. Clearly, Jesus is effortlessly powerful over this demon. 

Thirdly, not because ministry in Tyre would not have been effective or somehow a waste of time. Actually, quite the opposite. Jesus was charging Jewish cities with great sin because they didn't repent, seeing a river of miracles from him. In Matthew 11:21, He says, "Woe you, Chorazin. Woe to you Bethsaida,” [Jewish cities] "If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would've repented long ago in sack cloth and ashes.” The whole city would've repented. According to his sovereign strategic will, He didn't do those miracles in Tyre and Sidon, but they would've been effective in converting the populace.

Fourth, not because Jesus lacks mercy or compassion for her plight or that of her daughter. Jesus had the most perfect compassion of any human being in history. Again and again, the gospel speak of Jesus' compassion. Anyone who came to him empty and as a beggar went away full and rich and their needs abundantly met. 

Fifth, not because Jesus was weary or annoyed, wanted a vacation, a break, and gave her a surly answer based on that. Even when Jesus was dying on the cross, He was caring about other people. Bearing the sins of the world, drinking the cup of God's wrath, He's caring for John and his mother and the thief on the cross and the centurion at the foot of the cross. He's caring about other people. 

Six, not because Jesus was taking a break from ministry and didn't want to care for her needs at that point.  Seventh, not because there's only so much bread on the table and if He takes some of that, there won't be enough for the children. Not at all. I mean, it's like Jesus is a torch and he is lighting a thousand torches. His power is not diminished by doing miracles. It's not like there's only so many miracles to go around. He could do this forever and not because she didn't ask properly or with enough faith. She did very well in how she asked. Okay, why then?

There is a salvation strategy in order that's clearly laid out in the Bible to the Jew first, then to the Gentile. Jesus says it himself. "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel." As He will say to the Samaritan woman, "Salvation is from the Jews." Paul says in Romans, "To the Jew first then to the Gentile." Paul's strategy was go to Jewish synagogues first and then when they rejected, to then go to the Gentiles. That was the redemptive plan. He was to come to the Jewish nation and the Jewish nation would reject him, and then He would go to the world. As John 1:11 says, “He came to his own and his own people did not receive him.”

Secondly, Christ hadn't died yet. The Gentiles are still on the outside. The barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, was still there. Only after He died would a curtain in the temple be torn in two from top to bottom. They're still on the outside, but after He died, Ephesians 2 says, "That by the work of Jesus, there is one new man out of the two." Out of Jew and Gentile, that one new man is the believer in Christ, follower in Christ, whether Jew or Gentile, but that hasn't happened yet. I think ultimately, number three, it's to test her faith, to test her faith and to put it on display. He was testing her to see, first of all if she would humble herself because God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. The Sermon of the Mount blessed are the spiritual beggars for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “If you'll beg me, knowing you have nothing to offer me, I'll give you everything, but if you're going to be prideful, I'll give you nothing.”

Imagine if this woman hearing this statement had bristled and said, "I'm not a dog. I'm a human being and you have no right to talk to me that way,” and spun on her heel and walked away. What would she have gotten from Jesus at that point? I'm telling you, nothing. Sometimes, God humbles us in prayer and tells us who we are, reminds us who we are and who He is and starts there. Also, I believe He's testing her to develop her faith, to get it stronger, to make it come on in the pattern of a physical therapist that strengthens weakened muscles by testing them vigorously, even opposing the motion, so the patient has to exert even more force, more willpower, more strength, thus, thus developing the weak muscle. Jesus seems to oppose her, fight against her, despite the fact that He clearly desires to give her what she wants.

Finally, ultimately, He wants to put her faith on display for all of us. We who are going to read this account, we're going to learn from her how to come to Christ and beg him. He puts her faith on display. This account puts her faith on display. What do you learn from her faith? What can we learn from it? First of all, faith has a basis. She comes to Jesus, I believe, because she knows who he is and what he's done. "Lord, son of David have mercy on me." Why does she even come to him? She's heard the miracle accounts, and faith has a basis. It is with us. The more we are immersing ourselves in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and indeed in the whole Bible, the stronger our faith in Jesus will get. Faith has a basis and we have more information than this woman ever had. If your faith is weak, get in the Bible. Find out more and more about Jesus. Immerse yourself in that.

"What do you learn from her faith? What can we learn from it? First of all, faith has a basis. She comes to Jesus, I believe, because she knows who he is and what he's done."

We see also the reverence of her faith. She calls him Lord. She bows down. She falls at his feet. She worships him. She's submissive. She's reverent. She doesn't presume on him or demand from him. She knows that he's exalted and treats him accordingly. We see the confidence of her faith. There's no doubt in her mind whatsoever that Jesus is capable of doing this. That's why she's so persistent. We see the repentance of her faith. She says, "Have mercy on me." She doesn't deserve anything. She's asking for mercy. She can't demand mercy.

We see the persistence of her faith. Jesus puts up these roadblocks, and yet she's persistent. She doesn't give up. We see also the love of her faith. It's amazing. She has taken her daughter's condition as though it's her own. Now, you mothers are like, "Well, yeah, that's what mothers do," but still, that's another human being there, and what is she saying? "Have mercy on me. Lord, help me," and that's what happens with prayer. When you're interceding for someone else and they're suffering and you're not, the more you pray, the more your heart gets knit up with their condition and you start to love your neighbor as yourself. You start to love as though it's happening to you. Faith overcomes all of these obstacles and keeps persistent. Jacob wrestled all night with an angel saying, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." 

We see the humility of her faith. She says, "Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master's table," so faith takes its rightful place and says these appropriate things.  Remember, the centurion who had paralyzed servant? He said, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof." I love what John the Baptist said when he says, "I'm not worthy to stoop down and untie his sandals." I mean, the more you elevate that sense of the exalted majesty of Jesus, the fact the seraphim are covering their faces in his presence, the better you'll be in your prayer life. 

IV. Jesus Unleashes Effortless Power

We see ultimately the reward of her faith. She gets what she wants. Her persistent faith was rewarded. Jesus unleashes effortless power, verse 29 -30,  “Then He told her, ‘For such a reply, you may go, the demon has left your daughter.’ She went home and found her child lying in the bed, the demon gone.” The healing is instantaneous. As we said, it's effortless. This is an amazing picture of the power of Jesus. Demons are vastly more powerful than we are, but Jesus is infinitely more powerful than all of them.

Is it just me? Maybe I'm just geeky this way, but I'm hugely into the timeframe here. It's like, when did that happen? "For such a reply, you may go. The demon is gone." What's the timeframe of that? I'm thinking half a second. That's amazing. God can do immeasurably more than all you ask or imagine. That's omnipotence on display. As Jeremiah said, "Ah, sovereign Lord, you made the heaven and the earth by your great power and your outstretched arm. Nothing is too difficult for you.” 

V. Timeless Lessons

I would hope you'd be able to tell me what some of them are by now. I've been super clear right from the beginning of the sermon, but let's walk through some of these timeless lessons. Let's start with Jesus. What do we learn about Jesus, the majesty of Christ here? This woman had great thoughts about Jesus' lavish bounty. Let's go back to Spurgeon now. Let's listen to what Spurgeon says,

 "This woman had thought great thoughts about Christ. She thought, I know you are so generous a master of the feast that they're sure to be abundant bread on your table, that if even a crumb fell to the ground, that would suffice for me.”

Remember, for the woman having a demon cast out of her daughter is a very great thing, but she had such high thoughts of Jesus that she knew for him it was like a crumb falling from his banqueting table.

“Dear child of God, think great thoughts of Christ, thinking great thoughts of your sin alone will drive you to despair, but great thoughts of Christ and his atonement will navigate your troubled soul to its peaceful haven. Though your sins may be many and mighty, it is nothing for Christ to atone for them and remove them from you by His work on cross." [Spurgeon]

Think great thoughts of Jesus. Think great thoughts of his atoning work on the cross. I love what he said,"If you think great thoughts of your sins alone, you will despair. But if you think great thoughts of Christ, in light of your sin, you'll flee to the cross and find forgiveness." [Spurgeon] Effortless power. Nothing is too difficult for him. John 1:3, "Through him, all things were made and without him, nothing was made that has been made."

Isaiah 40:26, Speaking to the stars, “Lift up your eyes and look at these. Look at the heavens. Who created all these? He who brings out the starry hosts one by one and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and his mighty strength, not one of those stars is missing." That's the power of God. It's the power of Christ. I cannot understand the power of Jesus in the invisible spiritual realm. I don't know how that works. That's okay. I don't understand gravity or magnetism either, and neither do you. Somewhere between the sun and us, there's nothing but vacuum, but the sun's exerting some force on us. I don't get that, I don't need to. Same thing in the spiritual realms. When Jesus thinks it, it's just done.

Is there any situation in your life that you're facing right now that Jesus cannot handle? You need to understand. I was talking to somebody right before worship. I had this thought. Effortless power means intentionality in your suffering. You realize that. Do you realize that like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, He could put a bubble of pleasure around you and you would live the rest of your life in that bubble if He wanted you to. He could take away all of your diseases. He could take away all of your inflictions, everything that's causing you difficulty. He could put a bubble of ease around you and in that bubble, you would move through this world of suffering until at last, it popped and you were in heaven, and you're like, "Pastor, I'm into that. That sounds really good." Effortless power. He could do that. He's not doing that. Why? He has purpose. He has a purpose in your suffering, all of it. How long it will last, how intense it is. There's purpose. We need to understand that.

Secondly, don't be discouraged about God's silence when you pray. As Spurgeon said, "Don't be discouraged. Don't be put off." Be like that woman. Press in. Pray more, not less. Ask more intensely. Keep praying and be like this woman. Learn the lessons of her faith. Make sure that your faith has a basis in the word of God. You're asking according to his will, and you're asking the Jesus of the Bible that you know and love. Be reverent in your approach to God. Understand how exalted He is and speak to him accordingly, respectfully. Be strength in your faith and growing confidence. Don't flicker or waiver, not certain whether He can hear you or not. Don't be like that. Be humble and repentant. Remember the Pharisee and the tax collector. The tax collector, the sinner, beat his breast and would not look up to heaven, but said, "Be merciful to me, oh God.” Be persistent. Don't give up quickly and wait on God until you have at last faith's reward.

Close with me in prayer. Lord, we thank you for the time that we've had to study this incredible encounter that Jesus had with this Canaanite woman, and thank you for the things that we can learn from it and pray that you would help us to put these lessons into practice for our lives. I thank you for Jesus' tenderness and thank you for his love, his concern for us as his children. Lord, I thank you for the way he dealt with her and the daughter, and I pray, oh Lord, that you would strengthen us in our faith and especially in our prayer lives that we would receive from you, obtain from you the reward of faith. In Jesus name, Amen.

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