Title: I just need a little
Text: Mark 7: 24-30
Intro: We have all experienced seasons in our life that we need a little help but we just can’t find it. You are little short on your rent. You need your baby’s dad help out a little more. Your credit score is a little low for the loan. You need a little help. You need God to cut you some slack. You are not asking for much. But personally you may feel that you don’t have nothing going for you to get the help you need because who you are and what you are not. In the past, the odds have been against you for getting that help. But if God does not extend his hand of mercy towards you, you are going to be in more trouble. What you need from Him is small compared to what He is able to do and what He has done for others. All you are asking is for a little bit to get thru this hurdle. You just need God to look past what you are not and bless you.
Background: Mark chapter 7 opens up with Jesus contending with the Pharisees on what is clean and what is unclean. The Pharisees believed in doing certain rituals that one would be deemed holy. However, Jesus comes along and shifts the paradigm by challenging them that it is not what you do that makes you clean but who you are on the inside that make you clean. You can do all the ceremonial rituals you want but if your heart is not changed, you are far from the Lord. Jesus teaches us that it is not what comes from the outside that defiles you and make you unclean but what is on the inside of you. The real issue is with the heart meaning your inner self. The sin that you are doing has nothing to with your environment but what is in your heart. It is here that we enter our story for today. Jesus enters the borders of Tyre and Sidon and goes into a house trying to be low-key and rest but it did not happen. His fame exposed him. He did one too many wonderful things not to be unknown. He touched one too many people. He did one too many miracles. He was a celebrity of that day. The Paparazzi did not let him have an ounce of privacy. His fame was heard by a desperate woman who according the Pharisees was unclean trying to get her daughter some help. Though she was customarily unclean she had pure heart toward Jesus. What she heard about Jesus was enough for her to have…
I. Faith to find Jesus vv. 24-26a
Here we have a woman with a major need. Her child has a problem. But this was not one of those problems that punishment will take care of. It is not the type of problem that a spanking would handle. This problem was so detrimental; this mother had to get outside intervention. Some of you mothers could testify that there are some things that your children are dealing with that you can’t handle. And what they are dealing with it is not only harmful to them but to yourself. This woman had one of those circumstances. The text says that her daughter had an unclean spirit. She had something on the inside of her that controlled who she really was and it was evil. Our young people today are in trouble mainly because something inside of them is not good and it possesses them. Some of our young people have anger inside of them and it possesses them. They have lust and hopelessness on the inside of them and it possesses them. Some of you share this nightmare of this sister in our text. Your child is full of the devil and you don’t know what to do. But this woman tells us what do in this type of dilemma. You have to find where Jesus is and go to him. The text says that she heard of him. She did not know him. She did not see him. She only heard. And what she heard about Jesus was enough for her to take a chance to see if He could help her with her trouble. She had faith in what she heard Jesus can do. We know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. This challenges some of us because we lack faith. The reason is that we don’t hear to well. We need to be better listeners about what God can do in our life. We have too much stuff that blocks our hearing. We have a wax build up cause by sin.
This mother found Jesus. When she saw him, she fell prostrate at his feet. This was a sign of humility, surrender and worshipped. This women tells us when got a bad situation at home we have find Jesus and worship him. Worship gets His attention. In worship, He sees our heart and our needs.
But we see something problematic for this worshiping woman. The text tells us something about her that is not favorable in the Jewish culture of Jesus. She was considered unclean because who she was. She was a Greek. Not only a Greek but she was Syrophencian. She was Gentile, those outside the Jewish faith that were look down upon and to add being a woman. The odds were against her. Some of you have felt like that you have had the odds against you because who you are and where you are from. You did not get treated right. People have look down on you in your time of need. But there times when the odds are against you, you have to go against the odds to get what you need. So what you grew up poor. So what you were raised by a single mother. So what you parents were on drugs. Don’t let your background stop you from getting to God to get what you need. This woman did not let her cultural barriers stop her. This leads us to our next point.
II. Faith in what Jesus can do vv. 26b-28
This is your motivation. This woman had faith in what Jesus could do for her. The text says she besought Jesus to cast out the devil from her daughter. The word besought in the means to beg repeatedly. She kept asking. Don’t stop asking God for what you need. Keep asking. Be persistent. This points us to the principal of prayer. We have not because we ask not. You have to pray in faith knowing that Jesus is for you and nothing can stop you. That is the kind of faith magnifies Him and tells Him that you are solely dependent on Him. It is that mustard seed type of faith that grows big. It is that type of faith that moves mountains. It is an unshakeable faith that you won’t be persuaded. She came to Jesus knowing that he was able cast the devil out of her daughter. However, Jesus did not respond favorably to this desperate woman. His language some would say was harsh. But it was intentional. He says to her, “Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs”. Did he just call her a dog? Jesus was speaking from His Jewish context in this scripture. The Israelites were the children of God and those outside, the Gentiles were considered dogs. The Jews thought dogs were shameless scavengers. Jesus is making an illustration: the children must be fed before the pets, and the Jewish people therefore had first claim of His blessings. He said this only to test this woman’s faith to if she just wanted healing from a pagan magician of that time. He wanted her demonstrate faith in the supremacy of the true God. Faith that is not tested is not faith. My beloved, your faith has to be tested. You did not have faith in God as Jehovah Jireh until you were in need of provision. You did not have faith in God as Jehovah-rapha until you are in need a healing. For the believer, life circumstances are a test of our faith.
Jesus wanted to see this woman’s faith. How this woman responded to Jesus in faith after he compared her to a dog blew me away. She answered Jesus with great humility in her cultural reference to dogs. She says, “Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs. First of all, she gave the right reverence to Jesus. She said “yes Lord”. In order to receive what we need from Jesus, you have to have a Yes Lord spirit. Despite what he says, in obedience and reverence we must say “yes Lord”. She said Yes Lord, I might be a dog, but the dogs I know eat the crumbs of the children’s bread from the table. Unlike the Jews, the Greeks had pet dogs. While people eat as they did with their hands, they would wipe them off and the crumbs would fall from the table and the dogs would eat them. It was not the same amount of food but it was the same food. My brothers and my sisters, you may have the odds against you but if you hang out at the table where the Lord is serving bread if you get the crumbs that fall off the table you will get what you need. After awhile crumbs will add up to loaf. This is the type of faith that the Lord loves that type of faith that says “anyway you bless me, I will be satisfied”! It is this type of faith that leads us to our third point…
III. Faith activates Favor vv. 29-30
This woman had Hebrews 11:6 faith. That is the kind of faith that comes to God and believes that he is and gets rewarded because you diligently seek Him. He is what? He is everything you need Him to be. Her faith pleased Jesus so much he honored her request. Look at what he says in v. 29 “And he said to her, “For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.” When this woman went back home low and behold what Jesus said had “came to pass” the devil was gone out of her daughter and the little girl was lying in bed. We see here that Jesus can deal with your demons. We also see that Jesus did not need to go to this women house to heal her daughter. He is that powerful. All he has to do is speak it and it is done! So whatever I am concern about at home, if Jesus speaks to it by the time I get home everything will be alright! But we also see that not only the deliverance of this little girl from the devil’s clutch but this mother also got delivered. You mother’s know if your child is going through, you are going thru with them. Jesus broke both of them out of bondage and set them free. It is nothing like seeing you child resting and having peace within. But better than that you are free and don’t have to worry about them any longer. But it is all because you came and worshipped Jesus in faith and that activated His favor. My brothers and my sisters, your persevering faith will not go under rewarded. Your persistent prayers will be heard. You have to seek the Lord, humble yourself and worship Him. You may have to break through some barriers. You may have to take the Lord’s rebuke but don’t let it stop you from getting blessed.
Celebration: There is a lesson I learned from this sister in the text. This woman teaches me that I may not have had the perfect lifestyle. I may not be all what people expect me to be. I may not be that religious. But because of my faith in Jesus, I am not too far away from my blessing. By faith, I am going to go the table lick up every crumb that falls my way. If I can’t have all the bread on the table Jesus, just break me of piece. Because what ever in the bread, it is in the crumbs. Call me a crumb snatcher. I will snatch anything that falls my way. So Jesus, break me off a piece of mercy. Break me off a piece of grace, piece of strength, a piece of joy. Just give me something to help me!