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Are You Too Sensitive?

Matthew 15:21-28

Franklin Camp (I am including this sermon that I outlined and adapted from a  book titled, "Old Truths in New Robes", Vol. 2, Roberts & Son, Brimingham, Alabama. 1972, pg. 98-100 by Franklin Camp. I have outlined it and adapted it for my use in the pulpit. Although he has passed from this life, this sermon, I believe remains relevant because it reveals timeless truth, which is relevant for every age.)

Introduction:

"Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. 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. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. 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." (Matthew 15:21-28)

1. Sensitivity is a wonderful thing as long as it is not misdirected. We should be sensitive to the physical and spiritual needs of others. We should be sensitive to our personal needs. It is a wonderful thing to see Christians sensitive to their problems.

2. There are many members of he church that are too sensitivity. Many have quit the church because someone hurt their feelings. There are others who still attend, but they are no longer active in the Lord's work because someone hurt their feelings.

A. These people feel they are justified for their actions because their feelings have been wounded. Surely this is being overly sensitive.

B. Is it not being overly sensitive when one lets their wounded feelings place their soul in danger of being lost? This is the condition of all who quit the church or cease to be active just because sermons hurt their feelings.

3. Our feelings are like red lights on the dashboard of life. When we began to become sensitive with jealousy, hurt feelings, a feeling of rejection these are red lights lighting up telling us that we have not got our lives properly focussed.

4. Let us look at the story of the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:21-28. Let us take the test that the Lord put her through and see how she reacted. Let us think about how we would have reacted.

I. The First Test.

A. A Canaanitish woman cried: "Have mercy on me, O lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil." The next verse says, "But he answered her nor a word.

1. Does this not seem cruel? Was this not a time, if there was ever such a time, for someone's feelings to get hurt? Was this not a good time for her to have turned away and said, "Well, if that is the way you act, I will never ask you for anything else?"

2. What would most of us do if we should ask the preacher a question and receive no reply? Would not our feelings be hurt?

3. The chances are that we would quit the church. Many would feel that they would be justified in doing so. But would they?

4. This woman did not let the silence of Christ turn her away. Was she a woman without feelings? No, but she was a woman that needed something, and she knew that Christ was the only one that could supply that need. The life of her child was in danger and she thought more of her daughter than she did of her own feelings.

B. How many of us would past this first test that Jesus put this woman through.

II. The Second Test.

A. The silence of Christ was only her first test. Most would not have passed the first test; and, very few would have passed the second test.

1. When Christ did not answer, his disciples struck at her feelings. They said, "Send her away; for she crieth after us."

2. Surely this would have been enough to send her away with wounded feelings. But, did she leave? No, her need was too great to let Christ's disciples stand in her way. She would not let them rob her of blessings needed.

3. Suppose you came to someone in the church and made a request and was ignored. Would you stay or leave? If you, like this woman, knew your needs and why you came, you would remain in spite of what they said. If you turned your back because your feelings were hurt, would you not be the one to lose?

4. Of course, God would not be pleased with the actions of any that would try to turn you away, but their actions would not justify your quitting.

B. If you should let even this cause you to quit the church, what condition would your soul be in? All that know anything about the Bible know that they would be lost if they quit the church.

1. Is your soul more important than your feelings?

2. To let even this make you forsake the church would mean that you were too sensitive.

C. We must desire to know the truth regardless of the obstacles that seem to get in our way.

John 8:31-32

D. We must remember that our souls are in danger, and Christ and the church are the only places where safety can be found.

III. The Third Test.

A. As if these first two tests were not enough the woman had more test yet to face.

1. Jesus said to her, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel."

2. What would you do if someone should say the blessings of the Lord are not for you? Would you get all ruffled up and leave without them? Not this woman?

3. "Then she came and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me."

a. How many of us could worship under such circumstances? We would get "mad enough to bite rusty nails" and refuse to stay much less worship. But should we give up?

b. Is it more important that we obey the gospel and serve the Lord in the church, or run home with our feelings hurt?

B. Our success or failures in passing test such as these are indicative of our real desire to do what is right. All that know anything about the Bible, know that they would be lost if they quit the church.  Is your soul more important than your feelings?

IV. The Fourth Test.

A. She had one more test to pass would it hurt her feelings and drive her away? Jesus said, "It is not meet to take the children's bread and to cast it to dogs."

1. Not many of us would have carried the conversation far enough to hear this statement. But, what would we have done? What would you do if someone should call you a dog?

a. Most of us would think this would be enough to justify our getting to heaven without ever passing by the church again.

b. But this woman simply said, "Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat the crumbs." That is saying, "I know how unworthy I am; I do not ask for anything but the crumbs." This woman obtained the mercy she sought."

c. Was it worth it? It would have been so easy to let her feelings rob her and her daughter of the healing she desired and needed.

2. When we meet God in judgment, will we have let our feelings rob us of that plaudit, "Well done?"

B. We tell the world that we walk by faith, not by feelings. What are you walking by? Are you a quitter because you have had your feelings hurt? Are you walking by faith, even though your feelings have been hurt?

Conclusion:

"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." (Matthew 15:28)
 
 

 

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