Andy Hollifield 4-13-18
Matthew 15:22 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.
Mark 9:24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
Mark 10:48 And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
I am not sure exactly how I got on this line of thinking, but I began to think about the woman that followed Jesus crying out and needing help for her daughter. You can read the whole account of the story from verses 22 through 28 in Matthew 15. You will find in those verses that she continually pestered Jesus and just wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. She was so persistent that the disciples got tired of her and asked the Lord to send her away saying to him; “She crieth after us.” I looked up the word “cried” as used in verse 22 and then the word “crieth” as she was described by the disciples. I hadn’t ever realized it before but “cried” denotes that she was crying out or calling out or shouting. By the time you get to the word “crieth” she is screaming or bawling or even just shrieking to Jesus for help for her daughter. That is the picture of a loving, concerned parent desperate for help and beginning to lose hope. It also indicates that she might have even been crying out in contempt but I don’t really believe that is the case. If you look at verse 25, you see that she is calmed down but still desperate. It says that she came “and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.” The word “contempt” means to speak with disdain or hatred. She wouldn’t have been worshipping if she had disdain and hatred for him. She was, as we would say, wound tight trying to get help for her daughter. After all the bawling and screaming and such, she came and worshipped and just submitted herself to him. You might even could say she “gave up” and said “Lord, help me.” If you look up the word “saying” and it would point to her calming down because it means to exhort or advise or even just mention. That sounds to me like she just threw herself at his mercy because there was nothing else she could do.
If you look at the next scripture; Mark 9:24; you see that the father of this boy, just like the woman above, is screeching and bawling that he believes and ask Jesus to help his unbelief. It is an humble and helpless place when you have to ask God to just help you believe. When you get so desperate that, even though you know what the Lord can do because you have seen it before both in your life and the lives of others, you just have trouble mustering up any belief and hope because you have been disappointed before, it feels like a hopeless position. I assure you that you may be helpless but, if you bring your need before the Lord, you are by no means hopeless. It is easy to understand this man because we have probably all been there at some point in our lives. We know we should believe and we want to believe but we have got our hopes up before only to have them shot down. This man was at least honest with Jesus and in so many words said, Help me because I am having trouble believing. Can you imagine what this man must have been going through at that moment? He had seen what Jesus could do and was probably afraid that Jesus’ action was dependent upon his belief. He was likely afraid that his son’s best chance of survival was about to slip away because he was having doubts. Just like the woman above was desperate to get her daughter help, this man was at his wit’s end and just wanting to get help for his son. Let me stop and say this; God’s ability to do is not affected by our ability to believe. I am glad of that aren’t you? As a matter of fact, 2 Corinthians 12:9 tells us that God’s grace is sufficient for us and his strength is made perfect in our weakness.
The last one I want to look at is Bartimaeus in Mark 10:48. Once he found out who was passing by, he wasn’t having any trouble believing, but he just needed to get to him. He had need of mercy and for Jesus to address his condition. He didn’t ask the crowd’s opinion or anyone else’s. He just asked for mercy and when Jesus was hearing that plea for help, it got his attention and he stopped the whole crowd because this one man had a need. One thing I want you to notice is that when Bartimaeus came to Jesus, he had to cast away his stuff. If our stuff could help us, we wouldn’t have the problem or burden that we do and would seemingly not need Jesus.
In all three of these cases, these folks were desperate for Jesus’ attention. Did you notice that he didn’t get angry with any of them but simply met their need. It never would have happened had they not came to him and cried out in desperation. This woman’s daughter was hanging in the balance. The man’s son was hanging in the balance. And Bartimaeus himself was hanging in the balance. They all pestered the Lord because they had an important purpose. What is your important purpose? Maybe it is a “who” instead of what. When we get to the end of our strength, that is when God’s strength takes over. When we,in desperation submit ourselves and purpose to him, he can do something with it. When he does it we know that it is done right. Abraham pestered God about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah because it was important to him. How important is your cause? Pester the Lord with purpose. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!
Andy Hollifield 4-13-18