Summary: Mother’s Day Sermon that examines the qualities of an unnamed mother in Mt 15 and Mk 7

1. Title: What Only A Mother Can Do

2. Text: Matthew 15:1-18; Mark 7:24-30

3. Audience: Villa Heights Christian Church, AM crowd, May 14, 2006, Mother’s Day.


-for the people to understand the qualities of the unnamed woman that speak of her outstanding faith; for them to appreciate that these qualities were found in a mother and were applied by her for the sake of her daughter; for them to understand how we can build and uphold those qualities in our homes today

-for the people to feel encouraged to have faith that makes them persistent and humble before God

-for the people to

5. When I finish my sermon I want my audience to

6. Type: Mother’s Day, of course

7. Dominant Thought: Qualities of great faith can be found in a great mother

8. Outline:

Intro: OK, moms, I don’t know what your kids may have written or said to you today, but here’s what some children wrote to their mothers for Mother’s Day:

• Angie, 8 years old: "Dear Mother, I’m going to make dinner for you on Mother’s Day. It’s going to be a surprise. P.S. I hope you like pizza & popcorn."

• Robert: "I got you a turtle for Mother’s Day. I hope you like the turtle better than the snake I got you last year."

• Eileen: "Dear Mother, I wish Mother’s Day wasn’t always on Sunday. It would be better if it were on Monday so we wouldn’t have to go to school."

• Diane: "I hope you like the flowers I got you for Mother’s Day. I picked them myself when Mr. Smith wasn’t looking."

• Carol: "Dear Mother, Here are two aspirins. Have a happy Mother’s Day!"

Ill – It was Robert Fulghum who wrote "All I Really Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten." It appeared in a number of different places. You’ve probably seen some of it around schools and other places. Fulghum touches on an important fact of life – that we develop our basic values for life by the time we’re 5-6 yrs old. In other words, those values that we especially learn from mothers. See if that doesn’t ring true in these words:

"All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be, I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School. (then he goes on to share the things he learned like: Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours.) Then he says: Think what a better world it would be if we all -- the whole world -- had cookies and milk about 3 o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or, if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess. And it is still true, no matter how old you are -- when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together."

This morning, I want us to look together at the story of a mother. We’re not even given her name, but she gives a great sampling of godly mothering that we can all learn from, and Jesus pays her a great compliment. So, let’s see her story together. I’ve taken the text from Matthew and Mark and harmonized them together. So, you can turn either or both of those and find these words from the NIV translation. Here’s what they sound like all put together:

(Harmony of Matthew 15:21-28 and Mark 7:24-30)

Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an evil spirit came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession." Jesus did not answer a word. His disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us." He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel." The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said. He replied, "First let the children eat all they want. It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs." "Yes, Lord," she replied, "but even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs." Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! For such a reply, your request is granted. The demon has left your daughter. You may go." Her daughter was healed from that very hour. She went home and found her lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

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