Summary: From the Canaanite woman's we learn that the key to being a good mom is: out of one’s unworthiness cry out to the Master for mercy and when opposition comes have faith to do what God asks with the assurance that He who gave you your child will teach you how to rightly raise your child!

Seven Crumbs from the Master’s Table

Matthew 15:21-28

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Nine months of nerve-racking mood swings, cravings for weird food combinations, a bladder that never stops flowing, constant back aches, swollen ankles and overall general fatigue become but a distant memory the moment you held your bundle of joy in your arms for the very first time. Gazing into those beautiful eyes you could not help but feel incredible love and see many blissful futures for your son or daughter and yet this euphoria of happiness soon dissipates with night feedings, mending busted knees, bullying incidents, dealing with utter defiance, friends from the wrong side of the track, and your child’s romantic adventures that while seem quite grand to them just keep you up late at night! In light of the trials and tribulations of parenthood that you go through you can’t help but wonder, am I truly a good mother to the children God has given me? When you read the stories of Jochebed who had the wisdom to put her son Moses in a basket and then later nurse him for his adopted mother, Hannah who dedicated her child to the Lord, Elizabeth who believed in miracles, and Mary who listened and believed the angel who told her the Holy Ghost had impregnated her with Son of God; you can’t help but be inspired that being a good mom might not be out of your reach! In today’s sermon we are going to review another of these great mothers in the Bible, a Canaanite woman, who despite us not knowing her full identity has become a model mother of faith that is still talked about today! From her story in Matthew 15:21-28 we are going to learn that the key to being a good mom is: out of one’s unworthiness and tribulations cry out to the Master for mercy and when opposition comes have the unsurmountable faith to do what God asks with the assurance that He who gave you your child will teach you how to rightly raise your child!

A Humble Attitude of Unworthiness and Redemption

Verse 21 begins by stating that the background of this incredible story occurred in the region of Tyre and Sidon. This journey was significant for not only would it have taken several months to complete but its inhabitants were primarily unclean Gentiles! The purpose of Jesus’ visit to the Gentile region was unlikely evangelism, as verse 24 makes plain, but to retreat from the pressures of controversy and popularity experienced in Galilee. Despite being outside of the covenantal promise and a direct enemy of God’s chosen people, a Canaanite woman purposely choose not to seek Eshmun, her nation’s god of healing, but goes out to meet Jesus seeking a cure for her daughter. This brings me to my first suggestion in being a good mom.

Crumb #1. While there are many sources of advice on how to raise your child, they pale in comparison to the Lord who knit your child in your womb and knows everything about them (Psalms 139)!

When you approach His throne of grace for such advice never forget that while you are unclean by your own merit (Ephesians 2:8-9), by your humility and faith in the atoning sacrifice of Christ you can boldly knock on His door, enter (Matthew 7:7-8) and be taught by your Creator how to rightly raise the children He has given you! This of course will not happen in pride or in a sense of entitlement but in humble submission and thanksgiving in one’s heart!

A Cry for Mercy

As she got closer to Jesus this Canaanite woman kept cried out “Son of David, have mercy on me for my daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly!” (verse 22). Whether or not she had already accepted Jesus as her Messiah or not is not known but what we can be certain of is she had faith Jesus was able to heal her child! Mom I know you have your own “horror stories” to tell concerning child raising but can you think of any worse situation for a child than to be possessed by evil spirits? Yet this Canaanite did not give up hope but had “great faith” that despite being outside the covenant of promise the Lord would hear her cries and consider doing what she could not do … heal her child! This brings me to my second suggestion in being a good mom.

Crumb #2. No matter how bleak your child rearing experience is or how lost you are right now, cry out to Jesus, for the Great Physician is near to all those who call upon Him (Psalms 145:18).

While your request for healing, even if given in faith, will not always result in healing (1 John 5:14), you can be rest assured that God will draw nearer to you in your time of need (James 4:8) and give you the way to handle your child that is right and a sweet fragrance unto Him! And if your child is like this Canaanite woman and has been possessed by this world, never stop praying that he/she might recognize Christ’s atoning “pity,” bow a knee to the only one who can cast out his/her demons and take up residence in his/her heart!

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