Ordinary Woman that did extraordinary things. Part 3

Ordinary women that did extraordinary things.

My Best is a product of my worst!

Matthew 15: 21-28

21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 

22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”

23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

In 1972 a two year old Chinese boy, Hu Jen-chuan, fell from a table and went into a coma. When he woke up after six days he was not able to talk or move. Like any parent, his mother, was terrible distressed. Yet her distress was multiplied by the fact that she could not afford to place him in a nursing home.

Instead she has cared for Hu Jen-chuan herself, and her care has shown the unfathomable depth of her mother-love. You see, because he is unable to move Hu Jen-chuan is liable to get terrible bed-sores. So for the past thirty years his mother has done the unbelievable – she has carried her son on her back. As of May 2002 Liu Kuei-lan was 65 years old and weighed 40 kilograms (88.18 lbs.). Her son, now a grown man, weighed 82kg (180.7 lbs.). On many occasions Liu has fallen and fractured bones while carrying her son. Yet she continues to carry him. When asked how she can do it her reply is simple: “he ain’t heavy, he’s my son.”

Two weeks ago I began a series entitled Ordinary women that did extraordinary things, with the subtitle, my best is a product of my worst.  We talked about the woman at the well, and how Jesus spoke to her in spite of the fact that Jews did not associate with Samaritans, men did not speak to women in public arenas, and she had some baggage. She had man problems.  But despite all of that, Jesus knew she had potential.  Jesus knew the same thing about her that he knows about us, that our best is a product of our worst, and that is why he used ordinary woman in the Bible to do extraordinary things.  Jesus is able to see our potential because he looks beneath the surface, he looks between the signs, and he looks beyond our sin.  Last week, we learned about the woman that washed and anointed the feet of Jesus.  I stressed to you the fact that she was so focused to get to Jesus that she went to a dinner party that she wasn’t even invited to, knowing that people would talk about her and judge her, and mistreat her.  But she new that her best would be a product of her worst if she did what we need to do, humble ourselves, have a heart to serve, and hear the savior.  And today I would like to talk about another ordinary woman.

Another ordinary woman that was able to do an extraordinary thing.  

Another woman who’s best was a product of her worst.  

The woman that I would like to talk about today is the Canaanite woman that begged Jesus to heal her demon possessed daughter.  Have you ever been so desperate to help your child or your children that you would do just about anything.  I believe this is the place this Canaanite woman was in, in our story today.  Shall we look at the text.  

21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 

(That place Jesus left was called Gennesaret, where he just corrected the Pharisees on ceremonial cleansing.  Letting them know that it does not matter how much you wash your hands if your heart is not right.  It’s not what goes into a man’s mouth that defiles him, but what comes out of a man’s mouth that defiles him.  Because what comes out of your mouth is what’s in your heart. So he was leaving that situation and walking into a different situation). 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”

23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”

24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.

This ordinary woman did an extraordinary thing.  Her best was a product of her worst.  She was able to get Christ’s attention. (Have you ever needed to get God’s attention before?) This woman was able to get Jesus’s attention.  Ask Him for assistance, and convince him to act!  This was no small feat and many scholars believe that this is the point in Jesus’ ministry when he realizes that he is not here just for the Jews and he begins to extend his love to others.  Which is a great thing for you and I have mentioned this many times before, I don’t believe that there are many people in our church or watching online that are Jewish. So let me share with you why such an ordinary woman could do such an extraordinary thing and how we can do the same as well!

First of all this woman was Distressed just like the woman in our opening story, distressed is suffering from anxiety, sorrow, or pain.  Her daughter was demon possessed and suffering terribly.  

She was suffering from anxiety, sorrow, and pain. 

She needed help, and was willing to do anything to get it.  

Like go into a crowd of Jews when she was a Canaanite woman and cry out to Jesus, have mercy on me!” 

So let me ask you parenthetically on the way to where I am going, have you ever needed to cry out to Jesus.  Because you knew that only Jesus could hear your cry and actually do something about it.

You could call your husband

You could call your wife

You could call you mother

You could call your father

You could call your brother

You could call your sister

You could call your cousin Pookie

You could call your best friend

You could even call the pastor

But you know the only person that can help you is Jesus

So you cry Jesus, have mercy on me! 

This is where this Canaanite woman was in our story.  This is how any mother feels when their baby is in trouble, hurt, in danger, sick, or just messing up.  And you can be 2, 22, 30, 40, 50, or 60 years old and you are still your mamma’s baby, and she will be right their when you need her.  And its not just mothers, fathers feel the same way.  We may not act like it, but we do.  A kids arm will be falling off and mom is losing her mind and dad is looking at the kid and saying, I don’t think its that bad.  I think he’s going to be alright.  Fathers play the tough role, but we care just as much!

But this woman was distressed to the point of desperation, and we all know that when a parent is desperate to help their children there is not much that they won’t do.  

Has anybody ever been desperate before.  

Has anybody ever needed something so bad before that you were willing to do anything to get it.  You were distressed, and all you wanted was for someone to notice your pain and suffering and do something about it.  This is where we find this woman in the story.  Her baby girl was going through and she was distressed. 

But not only was she distressed, she was deliberate.  Deliberate is defined as done consciously and intentionally. For example, “a deliberate attempt to provoke conflict”

She was intentional 

Calculated

Conscious 

Intended

Planned

Studied

Knowing

Willful

Purposeful 

Premeditated 

Voluntary
She knew exactly what she was doing and she knew exactly who she needed to go to.  She was a woman and not even Jewish, but she went to Jesus on purpose because she new that he could heal her daughter.  That is like going to your mortal enemy and asking for help.  I remember when one of my co-workers told me a story  about a parent….  

Anyway could you imagine going to your enemy or a person who does not like you to ask for help.  Now don’t look at me in that tone of voice and act like you don’t have any enemies and everyone likes you.  I know you have over 500 friends on FB and 200 instagram followers, but all those people are not your friends, and most of them don’t even like you.  They’re just nosy and want to know our business.   There is not a person in the world that does not have an enemy or two or is liked by everybody.  So think about what this woman was going through, she was willing to go to her enemy because she knew only her enemy could help her.  She was deliberate.  If you want to make the best a product of your worst you have to be deliberate.

So, she was distressed, she was deliberate, she was direct.  I learn something researching this point.  Did you know that the word direct has about 28 different definitions?  I would like to focus on definition 18 for this point which is to be straightforward, frank, and/or candid.  The Canaanite woman did not beat around the bush she got straight to the point.  Jesus have mercy on me.  My daughter is demon possessed and is suffering terribly.  

She didn’t mix her words

She didn’t try to flatter Jesus

She didn’t try to fill his head with compliments 

She didn’t try to break the ice

She wasn’t trying to act like she was his friend to get what she wanted.

She got right down to business 

She told him exactly what she wanted…

This is what we don’t do enough of.  We always want to play games and act like we really don’t know what we want.  But I truly believe that if we were direct with God more often we’d have much more success in our prayer lives.  If our best is going to be a product of our worst we have to be direct.  

She was distressed.  She was deliberate.  She was direct.  And she was determined.  Has anyone ever been determined before? Listen to this exchange between her and Jesus.  After the disciples tell Jesus to tell her to go away!

24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”

25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.

26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” 

27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.  

No matter what Jesus said, she had a rebuttal.  

She had a come back.  

She had a response 

She had an answer

She had a counter offer

Many of us would have given up when we heard the disciples telling Jesus to get rid of her or when Jesus said no the first time.  But this woman continued to plead her case until she got the answer that she wanted, until she got her desired outcome.

She was determined 

She wasn’t backing down

She wasn’t giving up

She wasn’t throwing in the towel

She wasn’t taking her ball and going home

She wasn’t playing games

She was all in

She was committed

She was willing to pay the price 

She was willing to sacrifice it all

She was determined and we must be determined too if we want our best to be a product of our worst.

Check this out beloved, because she was distressed, because she was deliberate, because she was direct, and because she was determined her daughter was delivered.  The Bible says at that very moment the demon left her daughter. 

And I was just wondering if there is anybody here distressed enough

Is there anybody here deliberate enough 

Is there anybody here direct enough

Is there anybody here determined enough

To get an at this moment blessing

An at this moment breakthrough 

An at this moment healing

An at this moment revelation 

An at this moment word from the Lord

An at this moment solution to your problem 

An at this moment escape from your temptation 

An at this moment deliverance from your predicament 

An at this moment reason to go on

If this is you, do me a favor and take your distressed circumstance 

Get deliberate 

Get direct

Get determined 

By standing on your feet, putting your ten stringed instruments together, opening up your mouth and giving God praise.  A patty cake praise is not going to do it this time.  

God desires a total praise this afternoon like we talked about last week.  

You need to praise the God of your salvation with every ounce of your being.  

Because I don’t know about you, but the God I serve is worthy to be praised!

The God I serve is worthy to be lifted up

The God I serve is worthy to be glorified 

The God I serve is the true and living God

The God I serve is the creator of the world

The God I serve is the lamb that was slain 

The God I serve is the balm of Gilead

The God I serve is the rose of Sharon

The God I serve is the prince of peace

The God I serve is the king of kings

The God I serve is the lord of lords

The God I serve is the alpha and omega

The God I serve is the beginning and the end

The God I serve is able to do anything but fail

The God I serve is the great I am

And when you praise God…

He will deliver you!  

He will make your ordinary extraordinary!

He will make your best a product of your worst!


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