Summary: Do we seek the Lord in prayer on behalf of our children?
Intro. Please look at the person sitting on your right. Notice his or her size, build, and length of arms. Now, imagine what that person looked like moments after birth: Messy - Wrinkled skin - Eyes squinting - Head out of shape -Rolls of fat in the legs -Short little arms that can’t reach to the top of his head - Unable to speak, walk or crawl. But well able to cry as he takes his first gulps of air, able to demand what they needed! That is how you started life. So who took care of this helpless infant, this bundle of fat? Most of you, moments after birth, were wrapped and given to your mother to hold. And she looked into your eyes, and loved you deeply from her heart. She knew you belonged to her, and she committed herself to giving herself to you. Only a mother could.
I. This Mother’s Family Caused her to be Distanced -A Stranger- A gentile woman.
A. Known as an Enemy of God’s People - Called a Syrophenician in Mark’s account. The Phoenicians were descended from the Canaanites.
Col 1:21 "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled"
B. Had absolutely no Connection Ephesians 2:12 "That at that time ye
were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:" But this mother was not deterred by her own position.
II. This Mother was Focused in her Direction - 15:22
A. She Cried unto HIM
1. Her Attention - We do not know how she heard of Jesus, but she turned toward the Answer.
2. Her Admission - She cried on the basis of His Messiahship.
3. Her Affection - Her love for her daughter drove her to cry and beg for mercy! Spurgeon said of this “What will not a mother’s love achieve? Her need had abolished the barrier between Gentile and Jew, she appealed to Jesus as though she I were of the same country as his disciples. She asked the healing of her child as a mercy to herself: "Have mercy on me."
B. She Acknowledged her own Failures - have mercy on ME Lord.
We find no mercy until we admit we need it! Oh that moms and dad would seek the mercy of God!
III. This Mother was Faced with Discouragement - vs. 22
A. Desperate - vs. 22 - child was vexed - (believed to have been a little girl)
1. The Sorrow - Her daughter was miserably possessed by a demon.
More than likely, the mother had lived a lifestyle that brought this upon her child.
2. The Separation - could not take her in public, could not play with friends.
B. Despised - vs. 23 - Now the disciples wanted her gone!
C. Disheartened - vs. 24, Jesus did not respond.
1. He did not speak to her
2. His statement was to the Disciples - He knew that he would answer her, and he left a hope in this, but to His disciples, He was teaching them that He was Sovereign, fulfilling the Scriptures. He came to Israel in the flesh, first, but it would not stop there: Isa 49:6 "And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth."
IV. This Mother was Filled with Determination
A. The Surrender - vs. 25
1. Her Praise - She Approached in Worship - She took her request to a new level. THIS MOTHER PERSISTED IN THE RIGHT WAY! She fell down before Him and Worshiped (Repentance)
She had cried to Jesus before on the basis of His Position as the seed of David. But now, she worships Him as the living God! She approached in Praise!
2. Her Profession - Lord - Her surrender was that of heart and mind!
B. The Supplication - She heard what Jesus said, and, as Spurgeon said, she “felt it to be a side blow, which struck heavily at her hopes.”
1. Her Plea - Lord HELP ME - for her child to hurt, she hurt too.
Personal - not “help my daughter”, but “help me.” What if she had prayed without the genuine heart.
C. The Statement
1. A Common statement - Gentiles were known as “dogs” to the Jews.
2. A Confirming Statement
- had He turned from the Jews and gone immediately to Gentiles, it would have closed the doors to the Jews, and would have effected prophecy! He had to be revealed to the Jews as the Messiah!