Go With Confidence, Knowing Jesus’ Promises

I have learned over the course of my life that there may be bigger and better reasons why some prayers and requests asked of God are not immediately answered. When I look back, sometimes it was because I made the mistake of going to prayer later…after trying to do something on my own, in my own power, or through the advice of others.  These are not bad things mind you, but I have found that taking a task immediately to prayer works best – even when our prayers may not immediately be answered.

Any readers here motivated to share some examples of answered prayer requests?  Of course, many of us may still be waiting for such answers with confidence in our hearts.

I could give dozens of examples of answered requests through prayer in my lifetime!  One took over 34 years!  That was the prayer request I had for the salvation of my dad.  Others, were answered in less time.  One fervent and most urgent prayer request for someone’s health issue was answered on the same day that I had asked for it!  Praise Jesus!!!

This past Sunday at Life Mission Church,* [Update!  The video is now up for viewing!] Pastor Jobey led us in a study of the account in Matthew 15:21-28 where Jesus ministers to a Canaanite woman who came to Jesus with her prayer request for the healing of her demon-possessed daughter.

Canaanites are historic enemies of the Jews.  In this portion of Scripture, her request seems to be denied, but there is more going on behind the scenes.

This particular Canaanite woman knows that Jesus is the Messiah because she calls out to him as “Lord” and “Son of David.”

In Matthew 15:22, she asks Jesus for mercy and to heal her demon-possessed daughter.

In Matthew 15:23, “he answers her not a word.” The disciples urged Jesus to send her away, but Jesus had a bigger purpose in mind.

In Matthew 15:24 – But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

The Canaanite woman made her second request.

Mat 15:25

Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”

Again, Jesus says something that might have turned the average person away.

Mat 15:26

But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”

The term “dogs” was a real insult in biblical times. But the woman did not react with her own feelings on the matter, she went with confidence, knowing His promises!

Mat 15:27

And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”

The Holy Spirit worked in her mind, but not on her feelings! She pressed in because she knew that Jesus was (and is) the promised Messiah, so she continued with her request because of her knowledge of the promised Messiah!

Mat 15:28

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.

What a great message to us today when we feel down and want to quit! Isaiah 41:9-14 brings us back! Why? Because we are His servants!

Notice how the sovereign silence of God worked out to be divine withholding to whet the appetite of the Canaanite woman for the True Bread of Life! She refused to leave!

We know that the God of Israel came for the Jews. But Gentiles were coming to the God of Israel!

Pastor Jobey put up a graphic with two circles. One circle represented Ethnic Israel. The other circle represented the Gentiles.

Romans 1 shows us that all Gentiles have fallen short. Romans 2 shows us that all Jews have fallen short. Romans 3 makes clear that ALL have fallen short.

So who is it that is worthy to be saved? Who is the “remnant” of Israel, the true, faithful Israel worthy to be called a child of God? There is only One, and it is Jesus.

And yet, it doesn’t stop there. Now, through the gift of God’s grace, anyone who calls upon the Name of the True Israel can be saved and become part of the Remnant of Israel. Jesus, through the keeping of the Covenant God made with His people, now allows anyone to hide themselves in Him to receive the full blessing of sonship.

This plan of redemption for both Jew and Gentile was not Plan B. God, from the foundations of the earth, had always planned to save a people from every tongue, tribe, and nation, and call them “My people.”

John 10:16//Ephesians 2:113:6

 

I did some additional research on the Canaanite woman’s encounter with Jesus, and you can read about it in David Guzik’s Commentary. What stood out the most to me in that commentary, was this portion:

 

c. O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire: Her faith was great enough to receive her request – what she desired from Jesus.

– Her faith was great, even compared to her other virtues. She was humble, she was patient, she was persevering, she cared for her child. Yet Jesus didn’t compliment any of these good things, but only her faith.

– Her faith was great because it was unlikely. No one might have expected a Gentile to trust Jesus so much.

– Her faith was great because she worshipped Jesus even before she had an answer from him.

– Her faith was great because it had been tested so severely. It’s hard to think of a greater test than a demon possessed child; but her faith was also tried by the seeming indifference or coldness to Jesus.

– Her faith was great because it was clever. She turned Jesus’ word inside-out and made what might have been taken as an insult as a door open for faith.

– Her faith was great because it concerned a need right in front of her, and a real need at that. Many people have faith for everything except those things that are right in front of them.

– Her faith was great because it would not give up. She did not stop until she got what she needed from Jesus.

– You could say that her faith conquered Jesus. He not only healed her daughter but He did so immediately, something that she had not even asked for.

i. We read of nothing else that Jesus did during this time in Tyre and Sidon. It would seem that His only divine appointment was to meet the need of this woman of faith and her afflicted daughter.

In closing, we can ask:

What Does This Mean For Us?

We, too, were once dogs, unworthy of being called sons and daughters. But God indiscriminately gave His grace to us. Everyone is a candidate, and there is no one we should withhold the Gospel from. We need to examine our hearts, our prejudices, and our fears, nail them to the cross, and obey the words of Jesus, to “go and make disciples.”

Jesus is the Messiah!  Only He is worthy to save us!

Revelation 5:9-10

Only Jesus was worthy to take the scroll!

 

Hat tips to all links.

*Note: video of the message will be available at above Life Mission Church TV link this week.

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: