Just wanted to share my notes from a recent sermon, titled…
IF I COULD JUST GET TO JESUS
Derek E. Eurales, Jr.
Text: Matthew 15:21-28
A Sermon Exploring the Truths of What Can Happen
Once a Person Gets to Jesus
Matthew 15:21-28 (AKJV):
21 Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. 23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. 24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. 26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. 27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. 28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
The notion that ‘once I get to Jesus, everything is going to be alright’ is challenged in this passage because once the woman in this story gets to Jesus, she has her faith and her resolve tested. So today’s lesson expands on the part of getting to Jesus, and further illustrates that sometimes there is more required when there is more desired.
Eurales scripture commentaries below are in bold.
21 Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. After silencing the Pharissees for their hypocricy over such a small issue as washing one’s hands before a meal while ignoring matters of murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, and blasphemies, Jesus withdrew to the outskirts of Tyre and Sidon, two principal cities of Phoenicia. Most likely this was to get some rest. But when there is a great anointing on a person, others recognize it and pull on it at every opportunity.
22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. Jesus’ fame and influence was well known, not only among Jews, but also among the Gentiles. This Syrophenician woman found out Jesus was nearby, and went out of her place of comfort to make her plea. We do not know all the circumstances surrounding the woman’s daughter’s demon possession, but we can gather from the context of the story that her daughter’s situation was grave; so grave that the mother took on the problem as her very own.
** How often does a child’s problem become the issue of the parent?
23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. We don’t particularly notice this fact right away, but a series of conversations occur in this passage. First, the woman makes her initial plea to Jesus. The master does not answer her. She then proceeds to make her plea to the disciples for their help in convincing Christ to heal her daughter. The disciples then make a plea to Jesus on behalf of the woman, knowing that if the woman did not get what she desired, she would continue to press them, and would not leave them alone.
24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Imagine the disciples displeasure with having to deliver this message to the woman after having made their plea. But the woman would NOT be denied because…
25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. Note the persistence of this woman, an outsider, who not only acknowledged Jesus as Savior, but also as Lord, and God (worship is only given to and rightfully accepted by God).
26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. Jesus used common terminology as it related to the relationship of the Jews (children of the promise), bread (God’s word, provisions, healings, blessings, favor), and dogs (a term used for Gentiles).
27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. The Phoenicians were known for their elegant and smooth ways of speaking, and this woman illustrates it beautifully, responding with understanding and in a way that was both pleasant and graceful. How many of us would respond in such a way after being referred to as an “outsider”? (referencing the term ‘dogs’)
28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour. The struggle is now over, the test has ended, and the reward comes. The Lord was pleased with the woman’s faith. (note: Hebrews 11:6 tells us that “…without faith it is impossible to please him) Mark’s account (Mark 7:24-30) says the woman found her daughter lying in bed, quiet, easy, and perfectly well.
So what does this passage tell us?
When you get to Jesus, expect to be changed. Three things to note about such a change:
1. A change for the better will oftentimes require a challenge. Every now and then, your resolve must be challenged. The things you desire so much from the Lord should cause you to evaluate the desired outcome as it relates to how willing you are to persevere until the things desired come to pass.
2. A change for the better will most certainly require the testing of one’s faith. (see James 1:2-4)
3. A change for the better will most likely not happen overnight. We are not told how long the Syrophoenician woman’s daughter had been troubled by the demon, but it would be safe to say that it was for a long time.
Think about your situation. Consider your test. How will you respond when your faith is being tested by God? What would you do if you could JUST GET TO JESUS?
Author, speaker, musician DEREK E. EURALES, Jr., loves to share his faith, motivation, and music. His book, Principles of Christian Living, has become a “must read” for believers of all ages. To order your copy, click here.