Pleasing Faith

Posted by Karah

PAUSE

Take a moment in prayer and ask God to help you clearly see His message in today’s passage.

“Then He told her, ‘Because of this reply, you may go. The demon has gone out of your daughter.’” —Mark 7:29

Read Mark 7:24-30. Don’t skim this passage lightly. Look carefully at what this conversation revealed about the motives of both Jesus and the woman.

Think through these questions:

• In verse 26, highlight the word “kept.” The Gentile woman absolutely believed Jesus could do something about the demons possessing her daughter. How did that display the woman’s faith in Jesus?

• Why is it important that the woman recognized Jesus could do something about the evil spirits that possessed her daughter?

It may seem at first that Jesus was callous to this woman’s cry for help, but this exchange actually sheds light on the gospel in a historical context. Jesus came first for the Jews, but ultimately salvation would be available for all.

Jesus told the woman that it was not yet her turn for salvation (v. 27). Her response showed that she understood Jesus’ power had no boundaries (v.28). In this way, her faith surpassed many of the Jews’. Not only did this Gentile woman acknowledge Jesus as her Lord, but she was content with just a crumb of His mercy.

• How did Jesus honor her undaunted trust in Him?

RESPOND

You can’t be a Christ-follower without faith. Salvation can’t be earned and we can’t be saved from sin if we don’t have faith in the God who saves.

• This woman had faith that Jesus could heal her daughter from the demons that possessed her. Think about how you approach Jesus. Would you describe your faith as absolute? Why or why not?

• Can you think of someone who shows this kind of faith? In your journal, list some people who seem to have unshakable faith and the characteristics they have.

• For further study on absolute faith read Hebrews 11:6.

BEHIND THE STORY

One of the most dramatic ways Jesus upset the culture in His day was through interaction with Gentiles. From the beginning, the promised Messiah was believed to be deliverance for the Jews, yet on several occasions Jesus ministered to “outsiders”. In a time of great racism, it was both a religious and a cultural problem for Jesus to even speak with this woman, much less grant her request for healing.

THE POINT

Sincere and persistent faith is what pleases God.


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