How Dogs Get Fed

Mark 7:24-30

24 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 secret. 25 In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at his feet. 26 The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.

27 “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

28 “Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

29 Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”

30 She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

 

This is an interesting story about Jesus and His deliverance ministry. There are things included in the story that are very interesting. Questions are raised that are not answered in the text.

Jesus seeks to keep what He is doing a secret. This tells you that He is tired of being harassed by people to be a problem solver without them submitting to God. (My supposition). Is Jesus being harassed by people? Is Jesus being used by people? Are people being selfish with Him? This is one reason for the Twelve!

So, in opposition to His desire and action to move around in secret, this Greek woman comes to Him. Think about this: Jesus is ministering to Jews and they are following Him about in very large numbers. His primary ministry is to Jewish people.

John 10: 14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

This focus of Jesus’ ministry is clearly God’s will.

How many people in the world, how many people in this area are not Jewish? How many people can He be harassed by? Jesus tells people to keep what God has done through Him a secret and they go about proclaiming it. What if we open the door to the Greeks, to Gentiles!? How many more people will be coming around demanding of Him? View Jesus as a man. I think this sets the stage for this interaction.

What right does this Greek woman have to claim ministry from Jesus?

So, this morning I want us to think about asking God to work in our lives. We pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done…” And then we ask God to do for us what we desire. Will God act on our behalf?

 

  1. What Does God Owe You?

 

 

  1. What is the reason for our troubles?

This woman’s little daughter is demonized! There are reasons for this!

It can be an issue of cultural invitation.

There can be parental issues.

There can be personal decisions. Witchcraft, Mediums,         Astrology, Drug abuse. Etc.

 

Does it matter the reasons? Has Jesus not come to destroy the    works of the Devil?

 

There can always be a reason for trouble. Think about your   own life. If we had no weaknesses, we would experience much less trouble. Can we really ever be innocent?

 

  1. Can we ever be innocent?

 

No. The impact of sin will be felt by all of us. And even if we are   not the source of our trouble, the sins of the fathers, and the sins    of the culture are passed down.

A crude example: Dirty apron syndrome.

 

Since everyone is guilty, no one will earn God’s action on their     behalf.

You don’t earn God’s acting in your life.

 

 

  1. Wrath is what all people deserve

No one deserves God’s grace: Grace is receiving something from God that we do not deserve. Mercy is the prevention of receiving       something that is negative from God.

Look at Hebrews 4:

12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Scripture lays our issues bare before God. And we are judged by Him. Obviously, we will not be found innocent.

 

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[f] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Jesus is our great intercessor. He mediates our guilt before God.

We are invited in Jesus to approach God with confidence.

We can expect to find help from God!!!!

The words used are mercy and grace. This interaction in Christ is not about what we deserve!  So…

 

Since God does not owe people grace, how can we get Him to act on our behalf?

  1. Appeal to God’s Mercy
  2. God is rich in mercy and love

 

Ephesians 2: As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 

The basis of every person’s relationship with God is His great love and the riches of His mercy.

This causes us to be saved by Jesus because of God’s grace alone!!!!

Later in Ephesians Paul prays for those people who have received the grace of God and are saved by Jesus: Ephesians 3:

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Do you want this to be true of you? Do you want to know the love of God that surpasses knowledge so that you might be filled up with the fullness of God?

Is God able to do this for you?

20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,

 

 

  1. God’s mercies are new every morning

        Lamentations 3:

A description of the bad things that are deserved:

13 He pierced my heart with arrows from his quiver.
14 I became the laughingstock of all my people;
they mock me in song all day long.
15 He has filled me with bitter herbs and given me gall to drink.

16 He has broken my teeth with gravel; he has trampled me in the dust.
17 I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is.
18 So I say, “My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the Lord.”

The result of the bad things deserved:

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.

Why is there not a never ending cycle of depression and despair?

21 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail. (Compassions= Mercies)
23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

The appropriate self talk:

24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

 

 

  1. God obviously is being merciful regardless

 

Whether or not Jesus drives out the demon in response to this woman’s plea, God remains gracious and merciful because His grace and mercy can NEVER BE DESERVED. Therefore we cannot ask why or why not God has not acted as we may have desired.

  1. It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
  2. To do otherwise is to believe that He is not at work and that we are on our own.
  3. Trusting in Him we receive all the possibilities that He will perform!!

 

 

III. Wait on God in Humility

 

 

  1. Mary at the wedding

 

When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

 

 

  1. What is true here?

 

Is she a dog? Compared to whom?

 

Do Gentiles not deserve what Jews deserve?

 

Is Jesus coming to removing the dividing wall?

 

If Jesus casts out the demon, will the end be even worse? Will     that one return with seven others?

 

  1. She calls Jesus Lord.
  2. She demonstrates humility.

 

The final exhortation to trust in God’s merciful character    for not only ourselves, but for the dogs!

 

  1. The parable of the persistent widow

 

Luke 18: 

            1Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

 

 

“When the Son of Man comes will He find faith on the earth.”