"Meanderings in Mark"
Series on Mark, Lesson 28

How To Have Great Faith

Read: Mark 7:24-30

Text: (Mat 15:28 KJV) 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.

Theme: Great faith is a faith that takes God at His word and will not let go until God meets the need.


Introduction:

This is an amazing story in the life of Jesus for several reasons:

  1. He is in Gentile territory! (The only time recorded.)
  2. He is trying to get away from it all. (cf. 6:31)
  1. He utters a "hard saying," when He calls this woman a DOG.
  1. This is one of the few times that Jesus healed at a distance without speaking a word.
  2. This is one of only two instances where Jesus used the term "GREAT FAITH."

(Mat 8:8 KJV) The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

I want us to concentrate on the fact that Jesus called this woman's faith GREAT.

"Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith…"

Let's notice 3 things we can learn about How To Have Great Faith:


I. Her Faith Was A Humble Faith.

A. Humble in that it recognized its place.

1. Jesus called her a dog.

2. She WAS a dog! (and recognized such)

"YES LORD" - Shows her recognition and admission. Yes Lord, I am a dog.

QUOTE (John MacArthur, Study Bible) - "She knew she was sinful and undeserving of any of God's blessing."

3. You and I are dogs.

(Isa 64:6 KJV) But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

(Rom 3:23 KJV) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

B. Humble in that it sought help.

1. Some would have sought man's help.

ILLUS. Asa, diseased in his feet:

(2 Chr 14:1-2, 16:12KJV) So Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Asa his son reigned in his stead. In his days the land was quiet ten years. And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God: And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the LORD, but to the physicians.

2. Some would be too proud to ask for help.

3. True help only comes from Jesus Christ.

C. Humble in that it was not offended at the solution.

ILLUS. Naaman, when told to wash in the Jordan river by Elisha. (2 Kings 5)

1. The cross is an offense to many.

2. The simplicity of the gospel is an offense (stumbling block) to many.

D. Great faith comes HUMBLY.

ILLUS. The Pharisee and the Publican

ILLUS. The Centurion (Mat 8:8 KJV) The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority,

(He humbly recognized Jesus' authority.)

II. Her Faith Believed In Spite Of Opposition.

A. She faced much opposition.

1. Jesus was hard to find.

(Mark 7:24 KJV) And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid.

2. At her first request, He ignored her!

(Mat 15:23 KJV) But he answered her not a word

3. Then the disciples chimed in and asked Him to send her away!

(Mat 15:23 KJV) …And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.

4. Jesus, addressing the disciples, indicated she had no part in His ministry!

(Mat 15:24 KJV) But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

5. Jesus called her a dog, and said she would have to wait her turn.

(Mark 7:27 KJV) But Jesus said unto 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.

B. Great faith BELIEVES, no matter the opposition.

ILLUS. Job had great faith: (Job 19:25-26 KJV) For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:

ILLUS. Paul had great faith: (2 Tim 1:12 KJV) For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

(Acts 16:31 KJV) And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

(Mat 21:22 KJV) And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

(Mat 17:20 KJV) And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

III. Her Faith Was A Persistent Faith.

A. Only YES was an acceptable answer.

QUOTE (Warren Weirsbe) - "Great faith is faith that takes God at His Word and will not let go until God meets the need. Great faith can lay hold of even the slightest encouragement and turn it into a fulfilled promise."

B. Many have demonstrated such persistence.

ILLUS. Jacob wrestling with an angel.

(Gen 32:26 KJV) And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.

ILLUS. Elijah praying for rain.

(1 Ki 18:42-44 KJV) So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not.

C. Jesus taught the importance of such persistence.

(Luke 11:8-10 KJV) I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

D. Great faith NEVER GIVES UP.

1. Most Christians quit to soon.

ILLUS. Samson, whose greatest victory came after his death.

2. This woman NEVER GAVE UP, and neither should we.

(Gal 6:9 KJV) And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.


Conclusion:

(Mat 15:28 KJV) 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.

Great faith:

What is it that you want or need from God?

GREAT FAITH IS THE ANSWER.

(Mat 15:28 KJV) 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 disciples understood this:

(Luke 17:5 KJV) And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.

May we have the same prayer, today, "Lord, Increase Our Faith. Give us GREAT FAITH."


Please direct questions, comments, and submissions to William E. Johnson
Copyright © 1997 William E. Johnson.