Summary: A Mother's Day sermon that gives five characteristics of good mothers derived from the Canaanite woman who begged Jesus to heal her demon-possessed daughter.
“A Mother’s Faith”
Text: 2 Timothy 1:3-5
While we are to honor our mothers each day of our lives, we do want to take a moment and wish everyone a Happy Mother’s Day. We all had a mother or we wouldn’t be here this morning. Yet, this can be a very bittersweet day for so many reasons. I hope you had a godly mother whether it was your birth mother, foster mother, adopted mother or someone else who loved you and helped raise you. Anna Jarvis of Grafton, WV began a campaign in 1905 to make “Mother’s Day” a nationally recognized holiday. President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation in 1914 designating the second Sunday in May as a national holiday to honor mothers. So, may we invoke the LORD’s blessing on all our wonderful mothers this morning with the words of Numbers 6:24-26 –
“The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”
As we celebrate and honor our mothers this morning, we are reminded of this general truth from Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.
That is perhaps the most important job God has given parents. But, I also know that mothers bear the lion’s share of this burden. Charles Spurgeon offered some great advice on this passage when he said, “Train up a child in the way he should go – but be sure you go that way yourself.” It is so important for our mothers and fathers to be people of faith. A good example of this is found in our scripture reading this morning from 2 Timothy 1:3-5 – I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. What a great servant of the Lord Timothy turned out to be but his faith was passed on to him by his mother Eunice – and her mother Lois had passed it on to her. This morning I want us to look at one mother’s faith from scripture – a faith that received the highest commendation possible. I hope you’ll turn with me in your Bibles to Matthew 15:21-28 as we look at an unlikely model for a mother’s faith. As always, we urge you to be like the Bereans in Acts 17:11 and search the scriptures daily to make sure we’re teaching the truth.
Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. It is important to understand that Jesus had been in Gennesaret – a town on the northwest coast of the Sea of Galilee. He had been engaged in a dispute with scribes and Pharisees from Jerusalem. They were more concerned with the traditions of men than with the commandments of God – and Jesus used one of their own traditions to show that they were failing to honor their fathers and mothers. How appropriate is that context for a lesson this morning to honor our mothers! From this encounter, Jesus left for the region of Tyre and Sidon. These cities were 30-50 miles away in Phoenicia and perhaps Jesus was trying to take a rest from Jewish opposition. While we do not know if Jesus traveled as far as these cities, we know He crossed over into Gentile territory. Notice verse 22 of our text: And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” The parallel account beginning in Mark 7:24 states that Jesus entered a house and didn’t want anyone to know His whereabouts. Evidently, Jesus needed to get away from the crowds for some rest – but even here His fame was known. While it is difficult for us to fully understand demon-possession in those days, it must have been a horrible condition – especially to see it in your child. In Matthew 17, a man has a son who falls into fire and water. Mark and Luke further describe him as foaming at the mouth, gnashing his teeth and being left bruised by the demon. So, when this woman describes her daughter as severely demon-possessed, we’re not talking about a child with a normal illness. It was something that would physically and emotionally drain both child and parent. That brings us to the first of five characteristics of a good mother we learn from this woman. And, although it is not mentioned in the text, she was comforting. If you want to know how I know that, it is because that’s what mothers do. You let one of these little ones get hurt and most likely they’ll cry for their mommy. Even the LORD Himself assumed the role of a mother as a comforter of His people – Isaiah 66:13 – “As one whom his mother comforts,