Hey guys a little heads up: Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday! You still have time to get your mom a card and some flowers or a little gift.
Mother’s Day is a special day where we get a chance to honor and pamper our moms for all of the things they do or have done for us trough the years. They deserve every bit of it and a little more. After watching my mom and my wife it is not a easy job being a mom
This coming Sunday there will be a wide variety of sermons preached encouraging Moms on their special day. For the most part the sermons will be centered on stories such as Hannah (1 Samuel 1-2), the Noble Woman in Proverbs 31, or Eunice who was Timothy’s mother (2 Timothy 1:5). These are all great examples but today I want us to take a look at a lesser known woman and her story is found in Mark 7 and Matthew 15.
We do not know her name or her background. All we know she is Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia and has a daughter who is demon possessed. In the first reading of the text it appears Jesus is being hard on the woman but in reality he is using her faith as an example to those who are following Him.
As Jesus was passing by she came to Him, begging to help her daughter. Jesus pretends to ignore her plead and keeps walking. She then turns to His disciples and kept crying out to them for their assistance but they became annoyed by her begging. They go to Jesus and tell him to send her away.
He stops and turns to her saying, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” One would think that would discourage her and she would go back home. Not this mother. She knelt before him and cried, “Lord, help me!”
Jesus finally answers her but again on the surface it is not your typical response you would expect from him. He says, to her, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” Wait a second, did Jesus just call this woman and her daughter dogs? Why would he say such a thing? He calls her a dog not because of her looks but because she is a Gentile. Remember, Jesus knows her faith.
I would think most mothers would of been devastated and left in tears. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised that she was hurt and tears were running down her cheeks but she didn’t give up. She is persistent and answered Jesus right away. “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” What a reply! This unnamedwoman demonstrated a beautiful spirit of faith and humility. In essences she is saying, I may just be a poor Gentile and I am not begging for the loaf of bread but just the leftover crumbs that fall on the floor. That is all I need for my daughter to be healed.” (Side note: Made me think of the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16:19).
Jesus smiles and looks into her eyes and answers her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” The demon has left your daughter.” She goes home and finds her daughter lying on the bed, and the demon is gone.
There is only one other occurrence when Jesus refers to someone as having a “great faith” and that is the Centurian’s servant in Matthew 8and Luke 7. It is also interesting to note in both occurrences the person he is referring to is a Gentile.
In our story today we see a mother with a great love for her daughter and has a great faith in Jesus. This is the kind of mom’s who need to be honored this Mother’s Day.