Read Matthew 15:21-28
This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Year of Supernatural Manifestation”, with our mini-series on “The Miracles of Jesus”. Allow me to introduce you to the Syro–Phoenician. This is a powerful story about faith. We will be covering this story for the next few days.
In Matthew 15 Jesus entered the region of Tyre and Sidon. This area was also known as Syro-Phoenicia. A Syro–Phoenician woman came to Jesus crying and said, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.” Now, let’s slow down for a moment to identify with this woman. Earlier in this series we covered a miracle where another parent came to Jesus, seeking for help for a sick daughter. The difference is that the previous parent (Jairus) was a man and a Jew. This woman was neither. It was not customary for a woman to address a man in public. It was even more uncommon for a non-Jewish woman to address a Jewish man. But this woman needed a breakthrough for her daughter, so she did it.
The Syro–Phoenician woman’s little daughter was demon possessed. The girl was being severely tormented. What would you do in her situation? What would you do if your child needed a breakthrough and you heard about a man, from a different culture, with a different religion, who had the power to deliver your child? This woman ignored cultural differences and social norms and she headed out looking for the man who could help her daughter. She was determined to see her daughter delivered. I am convinced that miracles are not as commonplace today in the United States because we are too comfortable. Desperation is the breeding ground of miracles. This woman was desperate. She needed a breakthrough and she would not take “NO”, for an answer.
So what do you think Jesus did? Surely our loving, caring, and compassionate Jesus immediately helped the woman, right? Wrong! Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Jesus completely ignored her and the disciples urged him to send her away. They said, “Tell her to go away. She is bothering us with all her begging.” Then Jesus said to the woman, “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.” But this woman was undeterred. She bowed down before Jesus and said, “Lord, help me!” Jesus answered her again and said, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and give it to the dogs.” That could easily be taken as a disrespectful statement. Jesus basically called her a dog.
I will stop here for today.
So what does this mean to you today? Two things:
1. Honor God. The Syro–Phoenician woman addressed Jesus as the “Son of David” and not “Jesus of Nazareth”. This seems insignificant, but it is not.
a) The Pharisees and Sadducees, in an attempt to belittle Jesus, often addressed Him as “Jesus of Nazareth”. Nazareth was basically a ghetto. So, they were trying to connect Him to something insignificant. The Pharisees identified Jesus with his past. This woman identified Jesus with this destiny. She called him the “Son of David”. This was an acknowledgement of his lineage and it alluded to the fact that He was the Messiah. And every time she addressed Jesus after her initial statement, she called Him “Lord”. We can learn from this woman.
b) It is interesting to me that a Gentile would address Jesus this way. She honored Jesus more than many Jews did. She started from a position of honor and it helped her get her breakthrough. My point is that if you want something from God you must first properly acknowledge and honor who He is! This woman offered Jesus the proper respect. You would do well to come to the Father this way. When you approach God, you should do so from a position of honor and respect. Properly acknowledge WHO He is, before you ask Him for anything.
2. Don’t get offended. If allow yourself to cross over into offense, while you are expecting a breakthrough from God, you will be waiting a long time.
a) Make no mistake, how you wait does impact how long you wait.
b) Once you start operating in the spirit of offense, you will hinder God from operating in your life.
c) Even though Jesus seemingly disrespected the Syro–Phoenician woman, calling her a dog, she refused to get offended. Her desire for a breakthrough was stronger than her feelings.
d) Don’t let your feelings get in the way when you are believing God for something. If you allow yourself to get “in your feelings”, you will fall out-of-faith and you then run the risk of missing out on your breakthrough.
e) God called you to live by faith, not by feelings. Overly emotional people have a hard time receiving from God.
Closing Confession: Father, this is a year of Great Victory for me. I experience Your best this year, because I choose to honor You daily. I call upon no other name. I acknowledge no other deity. I recognize no other god. You alone are God! You alone are Lord! You alone are the Most High! I worship You! I come to You with clean hands and a pure heart. I have been made clean by the Blood of Jesus and I thank You for it! I pursue Your best every day of my life and I will never allow the spirit of offense to get ahold of my heart. I will remain in love, I will rule over my emotions, and I will keep my faith switch in the “ON” position. If I have to, I will tell my feelings how to feel. But I will never allow my feelings to cause me to release my faith! Living this way, I am determined to become the man/woman You called me to be, and to leave a mark in this world that will not easily be erased! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.