Summary: A Christian Mother needs "great faith" in order to make her a good mother.
Matthew 15:21-28 (Mk. 7:24-30) A Mother of Great Faith
Intro: Today we come together not only to celebrate the Lord’s Day, but also to honor someone very important to all of us – mother’s.
The Bible is full of stories of women, who were mothers. Many of them seemed to be good mothers, however not all of them were good mothers.
Jesus told only two people that they had “great (Greek mega) faith”. He said that a Roman Centurion who wanted his servant healed had “great faith” (Matt. 8:10). Thon only other person told this too is the mother in our text today. This is a mother who had “great faith”.
The setting for our story in found in Matt. 15:21 & Mark 7:24.
(Mar 7:24) And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into a house, and would have no man know it, but he could not be hid.
Jesus took His disciples with Him to get away for awhile.
All sorts of reasons are speculated as to why He went into a Gentile area:
- To get away from the pressure of those who wanted to make king.
- To get away from Herod Antipas who wanted to arrest Him.
- To get away from the Jewish religious leaders who wanted him dead.
- To get away for a time of refreshment and to be alone with the disciples.
For whatever the reason, He withdrew & didn’t want to be disturbed.
However, as Archbishop Trench stated, “Like perfume betrays itself, so He whose name is perfume poured out cannot be hid.”
A Gentile mother came to see Jesus on behalf of her daughter.
Prop: A Christian mother should be a woman of great faith.
I. A good mother is concerned about her children’s welfare (22).
One thing is blatantly obvious that this mother is concerned about her daughter.
Matthew says her daughter is “grievously vexed with a devil” (Matt. 15:22).
Mark describes her daughter as having an “unclean spirit” (Mark 7:25).
Note in verse 22 she pleads with Jesus to “have mercy on her” by helping her daughter. I think seeing her daughter had affected her greatly.
Normally when a child suffers, the other members of the family suffer too, especially the mother.
The mother is usually the one who stays home and takes care of a sick child, or gets up with them in the middle of the night, or stays with them in the hospital room, sleeping on an uncomfortable chair…
I think the very word “mother” is closely associated with words like love, concern, compassion & protection in the minds of most people.
Illustration: When I was sick with a fever it was primarily my mom who would feel for a temperature, wipe my forehead with a cold wet rag, and cover me with a blanket…. It is not that my dad wasn’t concerned, but my mom displayed it best.
II. A Good mother will do whatever she can to help her children (21).
A. She was willing to go quite some distance for help.
We aren’t told exactly where she lived expect that she lived in the area of
Tyre & Sidon. These places are about 25 miles apart and are located on the coast north of Galilee. So, she may have traveled up to about 25 miles to go see Jesus.
That is quite a distance in that day & age to travel to see someone you have only heard about.
B. She was willing to put aside religious barriers.
She was a Gentile, a heathen, and a product of old Canaanite Baal worship.
She probably worshipped Astarte and other pagan deities that were popular at that time.
C. She was willing to put aside cultural obstacles.
Mark 7:26 tells us the woman was a Syro-Phoenician.
There was no love lost between the Jews and the Phoenicians.
I suppose the enmity between the two groups began when God commanded Israel to “utterly destroy” all of the people from this region in Deut. 7:2.
Of course, due to sin and disobedience, Israel didn’t fully destroy them.
Josephus stated that the people from Tyre are “our bitterest enemies”.
Josephus also wrote that when the Jews revolted against Rome that the people of Tyre killed and imprisoned many Jews.
The woman therefore is from one of Israel’s greatest foes.
Trans: So, this mother traveled some distance and set aside both religious and cultural barriers so that she might get the help her daughter needed.
III. A good mother will put her faith in Jesus Christ.
A. A good mother will recognize Jesus for who He really is.
1. A good mother will recognized Him as Lord (22) –
By addressing Him as “Lord” she was recognizing Him as the One who is supreme in authority, and as the sovereign and omnipotent One.