Sermon Transcript – The Tenacious Faith of a Dog

Series A – Eleventh Sunday After Pentecost – Sunday, August 24, 2014 | Pr. Chris Rosebrough

Welcome to the Teaching Ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. Kongsvinger is a beacon for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of Northwestern Minnesota.
We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and salvation by grace through faith alone, and now, here’s a message from Pastor Chris Rosebrough:
Intro bumper
Time StampTranscript
0:27The holy Gospel
0:29According to Saint Matthew the 15th
0:33verses 21-28
0:37leaving that place Jesus withdrew to the
0:40region of tire and sidon a Canaanite
0:43woman from that vicinity came to him
0:45crying out Lord son of David have mercy
0:48on me my daughter is suffering terribly
0:52from demon possession
0:55Jesus did not answer a word
0:58so his disciples came to him and urged
1:00him send her away she keeps crying out
1:03after us
1:04he answered I was sent only to the lost
1:07sheep of Israel
1:09so then the woman came and knelt before
1:10him Lord help me she said
1:13he replied it’s not right to take the
1:15children’s bread and toss it to their
1:19Yes Lord she said
1:22but even the dogs eat the crumbs that
1:24fall from their master’s table
1:26then Jesus answered woman
1:28oh woman you have great faith your
1:31request is granted and her daughter was
1:33healed from that very hour this is the
1:37gospel of the Lord
1:38praise to you of Christ
1:42in the name of Jesus
1:46all right there are many threads that we
1:48can pull on in this story
1:49but before we do that let’s get a little
1:52bit of backstory I kind of I think it’s
1:54going to help here now this woman who
1:55came in desperation to seek help for her
1:58daughter from Jesus was a Canaanite
2:01those were the people who possessed the
2:03promised land prior to Israel’s arrival
2:0640 years after the Exodus listen to
2:08these words from the book of Exodus
2:10Exodus chapter 34 verses 10 through 16
2:13reads and he said this is the Lord
2:16saying behold I am making a covenant
2:18before all your people I will do Marvels
2:21such as have not been created in all the
2:24Earth or in any nation and all the
2:26people among whom you are shall see the
2:28work of the Lord for it is an awesome
2:30thing that I will do with You observe
2:32what I command you this day behold I God
2:37will drive out before you the amorites
2:39the Canaanites the high tights the
2:41perizzites the hivites and the jebusites
2:44or like I used to say to my kids and and
2:47the ballet tights and the uptights right
2:51so God’s going to drive them out notice
2:53that on the list was the Canaanite so
2:55take care lest you make a covenant with
2:57the inhabitants of the land to which you
2:59go lest it become a snare in your midst
3:02you shall tear down their altars and
3:05break their pillars cut down their
3:08ashirim for you shall worship no other
3:11God assuring these are Ashira polls
3:13fertility goddess right for the Lord
3:16whose name is jealous is a jealous God
3:19lest you make a covenant with the
3:20inhabitants of the land and when they
3:23after their gods and sacrifice to
3:25their gods and you are invited you eat
3:28of his sacrifice and you take of their
3:30daughters for your sons and their
3:32daughters who are after their gods and
3:34make your sons after their gods
3:37pretty strong language and by the way in
3:40the Old Testament over and again
3:43idolatry is likened to spiritual
3:49okay this is how God is speaking these
3:52are not the words of men this is the
3:53word of God and so he is describing
3:56those who are chasing after false gods
3:59religions of their own making as Horrors
4:03okay so yeah try preaching this in
4:07polite company like I’m doing it’s a
4:09little difficult okay
4:12so think of this in the end Israel
4:15actually didn’t do their job of driving
4:17out the Canaanites and in the Old
4:19Testament we read how their daughters
4:21yeah the daughters of the Canaanites and
4:24their Idols the idols of the Canaanites
4:26ball Ashira Molech became a snare to
4:29Israel this ultimately culminated in the
4:31Babylonian exile of Israel as a
4:34punishment for their idolatry because
4:36they wouldn’t repent and only a Remnant
4:38survived 90 of Israel was destroyed
4:41because of their idolatry because of
4:43God’s punishment so after returning from
4:46Exile the Jews who lived and the
4:50Canaanites well let’s just put it this
4:52way they weren’t exactly on talking
4:53terms Israel was in no hurry to go back
4:58and and recommit the sins of their
5:01fathers and it got kind of hostile in
5:03fact it was so bad that Jewish rabbis
5:06called the Canaanites dogs
5:09and think of it this way for that time
5:13in history it didn’t get much lower than
5:15that dogs were not domesticated you
5:18didn’t buy them at the local pound or
5:20you know at the local pet shop or
5:22anything they were mangy dirty garbage
5:24picking scavengers okay to call somebody
5:27a dog is like well back in those days
5:30close to the ultimate insult
5:33so the rabbis called the Canaanites dogs
5:35now to say then that the Jews and the
5:38Canaanites didn’t get along well that
5:40would be an example of gross
5:42understatement yeah they didn’t get
5:44along right
5:46so this is kind of the back story that
5:49you need to know
5:50so in our story this morning this
5:53Canaanite woman okay not just Canaanite
5:56but Canaanite woman yeah not only do
5:59Jews not have dealings with Canaanites
6:01but women are not to permitted in this
6:03time and to address men in public
6:06so this woman is like breaking every
6:08rule known to humanity at this point
6:10right why well her daughter is severely
6:16demonized this is what the Greek says it
6:18says she’s severely demonized now have
6:21you ever seen one of those scary movies
6:22that depicts paranormal experiences with
6:25demons okay at The Exorcism of Emily
6:28Rose The Exorcist I know this is a genre
6:30that not a lot of people like okay but
6:33think of it this way this wasn’t fiction
6:36this was her life
6:39okay it doesn’t tell us how her daughter
6:42became demonized whether it was through
6:44idolatry practicing the occult it
6:46doesn’t say but we know that she is at
6:49this point demon-possessed and it’s a
6:51severe possession and believe me when I
6:54tell you demons are things you don’t
6:55want to mess with and then you’re gonna
6:57some of you might be going really you
6:59believe in demons Pastor Rose bro yeah I
7:02do because Jesus cast him out if Jesus
7:06believed in them I’d be kind of silly to
7:07not believe in them you know what I’m
7:08saying I’m going to go with Jesus on
7:10this okay notice that Jesus response to
7:12her wasn’t oh demons don’t exist just
7:14get over it’s a figment of your
7:15imagination okay come on get with the
7:18times we live in the modern era I mean
7:20it’s it’s at this point you know what 30
7:22A.D I mean you’re still believing in
7:26okay notice the facetiousness right
7:28there so demons are real they’re not a
7:30myth and this woman had been living in a
7:34Bonafide for Real Paranormal nightmare
7:36which culminated in her daughter being
7:39possessed by a demon
7:43we now have kind of the backdrop here
7:46she’s coming she’s Breaking All the
7:47Rules why she’s desperate and this is
7:50why she’s doing this and she’s trying to
7:52get the attention and help of the Jewish
7:54rabbi Jesus who happens to be visiting
7:57town right he’s outside of Israel his
7:59entire inside so here’s what she does
8:01she cries out listen carefully what she
8:03says have mercy on me O Lord
8:08son of David
8:10did you hear that
8:12she called Jesus both Lord and Son of
8:17now son of David is Messiah talk
8:20here’s this Canaanite woman who’s
8:22recognizing that Jesus is the Messiah of
8:26how odd is that but notice this he says
8:29O Lord
8:31she’s actually invoking Jesus as if he’s
8:35she knows who he is
8:37so she called Jesus both Lord and Son of
8:41and then she says this my daughter is
8:44severely oppressed by a demon okay
8:47severely demonizes what the Greek says
8:49and here’s Jesus’s response
8:57he ignores her
8:59he doesn’t answer her
9:01now if Jesus were doing this today I’m
9:03sure being the popular Pastor that he
9:06was at this time the paparazzi would
9:08probably be following him around right
9:09so as soon as they see this story
9:12beginning to unfold This Woman’s
9:14screaming out calling him son of David
9:16calling him Lord and Jesus is ignoring
9:20her everybody in that region knows the
9:24prejudices against Jews and Canaanites
9:26it’s similar to what you know to the
9:28Prejudice of Jews and Muslims today
9:30right so they know there’s a story so if
9:32the paparazzi were there today they
9:34Quick Camera get your get your notepad
9:36out they’ve got a story about ready to
9:39unfold here
9:40so things get so bad because this woman
9:43she’s persisting
9:45things get so bad the disciples can’t
9:47bear it anymore and his disciples came
9:49and begged Jesus saying send her away
9:52for she’s crying out after us
9:55embarrassing right
9:57so he he doesn’t even address the woman
9:59he’s talking to his disciples and he
10:01says yeah I was sent only to the lost
10:04sheep of the House of Israel
10:06now comes the fun part she sees that
10:10Jesus is talking about her so she breaks
10:13through the crowd she came and the text
10:15says knelt before him saying Lord help
10:17me but it’s actually a lot stronger than
10:19that knelt is too weak of a translation
10:22the Greek here is Pros Cuneo and it
10:26means that she is on her face
10:28prostrating herself before Jesus okay so
10:32spread eagle on the on the floor face
10:34down and she’s crying out Lord help me
10:37now this proscaneo this prostrating
10:40oneself I’m absolutely convinced
10:41Americans are incapable of this maneuver
10:44something about our our culture kind of
10:47makes that impossible for us but here
10:49she is she’s totally humbling herself
10:51before Jesus and uh this this is to
10:54express an attitude of complete
10:56dependence or submission to a high
10:58Authority that’s what she’s doing here
11:00she’s basically I’m in complete
11:01submission to you and she’s crying out
11:04with her face on the ground Lord help me
11:06again calling him Lord
11:09so she has no intention of leaving and
11:12now think of it this way the only way to
11:14get rid of her would be to pick her up
11:15and carry her away this is getting
11:18really awkward
11:20but just when you think it can’t get
11:22more Awkward than this Jesus opens his
11:25mouth and addresses her and you won’t
11:27believe what he said here it is
11:30it’s not right to take the children’s
11:31bread and toss it to their dogs
11:36yep that’s right Jesus called this poor
11:38woman who is only seeking help for her
11:40daughter he called her the d word
11:44called her a dog
11:46now this is a public relations nightmare
11:49if this happened today Jesus’s face and
11:51his words would be all over the media
11:53and social media could you just see the
11:55tweets and the Facebooking things going
11:57on right now talk radio would be a buzz
11:59with people weighing in and talking
12:01about how mean how cruel how racist how
12:04bigoted Jesus is
12:08headline Jesus calls Canaanite woman dog
12:13prime minister of Israel in special
12:16cabinet meeting looking to figure out
12:18how to undo the damage right
12:21so here’s the question are you offended
12:24are you ready to leave the church in the
12:26huff and go find a more respectable
12:27savior I mean what kind of Savior is
12:29that kind of Savior who calls women dogs
12:35so here’s the question how can Jesus be
12:37good how can Jesus be God by treating a
12:40woman this way who’s in need now before
12:42you write Jesus off let me remind you of
12:45a parallel story from the Old Testament
12:47the story of Joseph it actually kind of
12:49comes into play here you remember the
12:51story of Joseph Joseph he had these
12:53dreams from God and he told these dreams
12:56to his brothers and to his father and
12:59mother oh dreams like you know sheaves
13:01bowing down to his Sheaf and the sun
13:04moon and stars bowing down to him and
13:06his brothers of course loved him so much
13:09that they wanted to kill him
13:11right and they plotted to kill him but
13:15one of his brothers basically stepped in
13:18and convinced them not to kill Joseph
13:20and so they did the next best thing they
13:23sold him into slavery right so they sold
13:25them into slavery and they sent him off
13:27to Egypt he was at Potiphar’s house
13:30Potiphar’s wife had the hots for him he
13:33wouldn’t give in to her advances so she
13:36told a lie about him and he ended up in
13:38Egyptian prison now rumor has it that
13:41Egyptian prison during the BC years is
13:44not nearly up to standard as our federal
13:46prisons are today
13:49just just think about this so he spends
13:5112 13 years in prison and God
13:54miraculously rescues him and makes him
13:57second in command of all of Egypt and
13:59then uses him to save Israel and Egypt
14:03from a famine that a seven year long
14:05famine that he was going to send
14:06remember the story well when the famine
14:10Joseph’s brothers came from Israel from
14:13the promised land actually is Canaan at
14:15the time and came to purchase grain from
14:18the Egyptians and who was it that they
14:22ran into their own brother but they
14:25didn’t recognize him
14:27right and if you read the story Joseph
14:30is actually
14:32quite terse a little bit
14:35blunt with his brothers a little bit
14:38mean right
14:39and all the while he’s doing this okay
14:43it’s tearing him up inside in fact as it
14:45gets closer and closer to the time that
14:47Joseph reveals who he is okay
14:49finally you know he’s got them in his
14:51house for a meal and you know he’s
14:54there’s a series of events where he was
14:56actually kind of mean to his own
14:57Brothers but he needed to do that
14:59because he needed to see what was in
15:00their hearts right
15:03and we’ll learn more about this when
15:04Sunday school comes up because we’re
15:05going to be working through the Book of
15:06Genesis this fall right
15:08so Joseph when he’s being mean in this
15:12way he has to go into another room and
15:13he weeps and he cries because he’s this
15:16is It’s just tearing him up that he has
15:17to do this and finally when he reveals
15:19himself who he is I mean this great
15:21story of reconciliation and in the Old
15:23Testament Joseph is one of the key types
15:26and shadows of Jesus himself so in a
15:28sense think of what Jesus is doing here
15:30as similar to what Joseph did to his
15:32brothers in the Old Testament he’s being
15:35harsh with this woman but remember John
15:39Chapter 2 says that let me read this
15:42from before John chapter 2. now while he
15:43was in Jerusalem at the Passover feast
15:45many Saw The Miraculous signs that Jesus
15:47was doing and believed in his name but
15:49Jesus would not entrust himself to them
15:51for he knew all men and he did not mean
15:53need man’s testimony about man for he
15:56knew what was in a man
15:58Jesus knew what was inside this
16:00Canaanite woman and although he’s being
16:02harsh with her it’s harsh with a purpose
16:05and it’s for us that he did this believe
16:07it or not so Jesus knew it was in her
16:09heart and he’s about to draw it out into
16:12the open for the whole world to see
16:13especially us
16:15so and what is it that this woman has in
16:17her heart
16:18she has faith
16:21she’s faith
16:23from the first words out of her mouth it
16:25is clear she has faith in Jesus she
16:29invokes him as God she invokes him as
16:31the Messiah and so Jesus is going to
16:34draw this out she already confessed that
16:36Jesus is a messiah Lord because she had
16:38faith in Jesus she didn’t see Jesus’s
16:40statement that it’s not right to take
16:42the children’s bread and throw it to the
16:43dogs as an insult
16:45oddly enough she did not see it as an
16:47insult her faith saw in those words a
16:51promise in them and her faith grabbed
16:54onto that promise that was sitting right
16:56there in the middle of that awful slur
16:58the word dog
17:01believe it or not there’s a promise
17:02right there in that word dog just for
17:05her it’s the most insulting word in the
17:07passage and right in there there’s
17:08actually kind of a hidden promise
17:11she said get this yes Lord
17:17she confessed she’s right you’re right
17:18I’m a dog
17:22Jesus wasn’t wrong in saying that you’re
17:24right Lord yet
17:26even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall
17:28from their master’s table
17:30yes Lord I might be a dog
17:33but even dogs
17:34eat their eat the crumbs that fall
17:37now Luther when he preached on this text
17:39here’s what he said
17:41what a superb and wonderful object
17:44lesson this is
17:46to teach us what a mighty powerful and
17:48all-availing thing faith is Faith takes
17:53Christ captive in his word when he’s
17:56angriest and makes out of his cruel
17:58words a comforting inversion as we see
18:00here you say the woman responds that I
18:03am a dog well let it be I’m glad to be a
18:06dog now give me the consideration that
18:09you give a dog she thus catches Christ
18:11with his own words and he is happy to be
18:14caught very well she says if I’m a dog I
18:17ask no more than a dog’s rights if I am
18:19not a child or nor am I of Abraham’s
18:22seed but you are rich and you are a rich
18:25Lord instead of lavish table give me
18:27your children’s bread and a place at the
18:29table I do not wish that let me merely
18:32like a dog pick up the crumbs under the
18:34table allowing me that which the
18:36children do not need or even miss the
18:38crumbs and I will be content therewith
18:40so she catches Christ the Lord with his
18:43own words and with that wins not only
18:46the right of a dog but also that of the
18:48children of the children
18:50now then where will he go our dear Jesus
18:53he let himself be made captive and he
18:56must comply be sure of this that’s what
18:58he most deeply desires I think Luther’s
19:01right on this
19:02this woman catches Jesus in his own
19:05and says if you call me a dog guest then
19:07I’m a dog and I want the rights of a dog
19:11so then Jesus’s response then
19:14o woman great is your faith and the text
19:17says oh woman doesn’t say woman it says
19:20oh woman that’s that’s actually a
19:23statement of Honor this is what Jesus
19:25calls his own mother o woman right great
19:28is your faith be it done for you as you
19:31desire and her daughter was healed
19:36great is your faith Jesus says about a
19:40Canaanite woman that her faith is great
19:43remember two weeks ago when we heard
19:44about Peter’s lack of faith and how he
19:46doubted Jesus’s word while walking out
19:48to him on the Water right
19:51and Jesus rebuked him of why did you
19:53doubt right so here we’ve got a pagan
19:56here we’ve got a gentile not even a Jew
19:58this is not a woman who attends
20:00synagogue on a regular basis she’s a
20:02Canaanite everyone calls her a dog as a
20:04Canaanite and she has great faith
20:08Peter who grew up in Israel yet not so
20:11much so this woman who now was honored
20:14by Jesus her faith in Jesus never
20:17wavered unlike Peters even when Jesus
20:20turned his back on her and ignored her
20:22and rejected her
20:24her faith in Jesus never wavered even in
20:27the midst of all of that
20:29think about it
20:31Peter’s walking on the water his faith
20:33wavers when he sees the storm and the
20:35waves right and the wind
20:37this woman her faith in Jesus doesn’t
20:40waver even when he turns his back on her
20:44and rejects her
20:47that is huge faith
20:51now this gives us a glimpse then of
20:53Faith’s tenacity
20:55and I believe it aids us in our prayers
20:58oftentimes it seems that God does not
21:00hear us
21:02nor does he answer our prayers the way
21:03we want him to or on the in the time
21:05that he wants us to answer them
21:07but Faith keeps clinging to Jesus even
21:10when it seems like he has turned his
21:12back on you
21:14the psalmist knew all about this if
21:16you’ve ever read Psalm 13 it’s pretty
21:18potent Psalm let me read it to you the
21:21psalmist writes he says how long O Lord
21:25will you forget me forever
21:28how long will you hide your face from me
21:31how long must I take counsel in my soul
21:34and have sorrow in my heart all the day
21:37how long shall my enemy be exalted over
21:44how many days did he pray that prayer
21:46you think about what David went through
21:48he’s the anointed king of Israel and yet
21:50he’s got the present reigning king of
21:52Israel out to kill him right
21:54chasing him down hunting him down like a
21:58so he prays this prayer how long O Lord
22:01but listen this is not a prayer of
22:02Despair this is a prayer of faith and so
22:04he says consider and answer me O Lord my
22:07God light up my eyes lest I sleep the
22:09sleep of death lest my enemies say I
22:11have prevailed over him lest my foes
22:13Rejoice because I am shaken but I have
22:16trusted in your steadfast love my heart
22:20shall rejoice in your salvation and I
22:22will sing to the Lord because he is
22:24dealt bountifully with me
22:31I don’t know about you but I would have
22:33a tough time praying such a prayer in
22:35the midst of a season where I felt that
22:37God had turned his back on me
22:39but see tenacious faith
22:42even when it seems like Christ has
22:44turned his back on us and rejected us
22:47clings to the promises of God because
22:49they are sure uncertain and they’re not
22:51based upon what our experiences of it so
22:54the psalmist even the midst of this time
22:56feeling like he’s been neglected by God
22:57can still say I have trusted in your
23:00steadfast love
23:02and my heart shall rejoice in your
23:04salvation I will sing to the Lord
23:06because he has dealt bountifully with me
23:08I think Psalm 13 is a perfect example of
23:10the same type of Tenacious faith that we
23:12see in this Canaanite Pagan woman
23:15so Jesus answered the woman woman you
23:18have great faith your request is granted
23:21that’s all it took
23:23yeah nothing fancy
23:25you know didn’t have to go grab some
23:27holy water her head didn’t spin around
23:28and there was no projectile vomiting
23:30just Jesus said go your request is
23:33granted Jesus is the ultimate Exorcist
23:35right no drama just his word and it’s
23:41So This Woman’s dealing with Jesus if
23:44you really think about it was for the
23:46sake of Jesus’s disciples and I’m not
23:50only talking about the twelve
23:53talking about us
23:55Jesus wants his disciples to know what
23:57great faith looks like
23:59yeah notice I said he didn’t he wants
24:02not he wanted he wants his disciples to
24:05know what great faith looks like
24:07so one of my fathers in the Faith Pastor
24:11Bill swirla he put it this way
24:13Jesus is teaching the disciples and he’s
24:16teaching us to hang on to his words and
24:19trust them and look for the promise in
24:21them and not trust our feelings or even
24:24how God seems to be treating us cling to
24:28Jesus’s words and run with them if he
24:31says you’re nothing but a hound dog then
24:33embrace it and run straight to his table
24:36for the richest crumbs that fall from it
24:38and if he says you are a dog of a sinner
24:41and a sinner in need of forgiveness then
24:44like the Apostle Paul claimed the top
24:46dog status and be the chief of Sinners
24:48because that’s what you are and then
24:50come to the word of forgiveness and the
24:52Lord’s table and receive not crumbs but
24:54the bread of life and wine from Heaven
24:56and the body and blood of him who went
24:58to the dogs to save you
25:03it’s a story of great faith
25:05Lord grant us this faith that we may
25:08cling to your words even when it seems
25:10like you’ve turned your back on us in
25:12the name of Jesus amen
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