Summary: A Mother's Day sermon about the woman with a demon possessed daughter that emphasizes faith in God and prayer when facing tough times with our children.
Woman of Great Faith
May 10, 2015
TEXT: Please turn to Matthew 15
Being a mother is a great privilege, but also a great challenge. I like the way the late Erma Bombeck put it:
I’ve always told [my children], “The easiest part of being a mother is giving birth. The hardest part is showing up for it each day.”
Mother’s Day is traditionally the day when children give something back to their mothers for all the spit they produced to wash dirty faces, all the old gum they held in their hands, all the noses…they wiped, and all the bloody knees they made “well” with a kiss.
This is the day mothers are rewarded for washing all those sheets in the middle of the night, driving kids to school when they missed the bus, and enduring all the football games in the rain.
It’s appreciation day for making your children finish something they said they couldn’t do, not believing them when they said, “I hate you,” and sharing their good times and their bad times.
Their cards probably won’t reflect it, but what they are trying to say is, “Thank you for showing up.”
There are many women in the Bible who would provide excellent sermon texts for Mother’s Day. I’m thinking of women such as Jochabed, the mother of Moses; or Hannah, the mother of Samuel; or Mary, the mother of Jesus.
But today I’ve chosen an almost unknown woman. Matthew does not even tell us her name. She had everything stacked against her. But she was a woman of great faith. She exemplifies for ALL of us the kind of faith and prayer life we should have, whether you’re a mom or not; whether you’re male or female; whether married or single. And she was a woman who received an answer to her prayer.
Look with me at our text as we consider three points this morning.
I. FIRST, WE NOTE A MOTHER WHO REVEALED HER PROBLEM – Look with me at verses 21-23 – “Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. 23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.”
There are many troubled mothers in the world. There are many mothers with broken hearts today. There are mothers who are troubled because one of their children is suffering some terrible ailment or handicap or mental or physical or developmental incapacity. There are mothers trying to protect their children from the ravages of war or famine or disease or a poor environment in a drug-infested neighborhood. There are mothers with troubles in their marriages who are trying to hold things together for the sake of the kids—but it’s rough.
The mother in our text also was troubled because she had a desperate need! She had other problems, I’m sure, but they seemed small in comparison to the problem she was facing right then. No doubt she had faced many trials with her daughter before, both great and small. Like any mother, she knew what it was to be by the bedside of her sick child when she developed a high fever. In that primitive day without modern medicine, she undoubtedly had experienced the fear and anxiety that gripped parents when their children became ill, knowing there was a good chance it could kill her daughter. To all parents, all other problems seem small when our children are at stake.
But this woman was now facing a need that was greater than anything she had ever faced before—something I doubt anyone in this building has ever been up against. Her daughter was demon possessed. And not simply possessed, but this woman told Jesus her daughter she was “grievously vexed,” meaning that the demon tormented her mercilessly.
I believe that a demon can only have control of a person’s life if they voluntarily give over a critical area of their life to satanic control, so this leads me to believe that this daughter was probably at least a teenager.
You know, any problem a mother faces can be deeply troubling, but the most distressing of all parental problems is the devil’s attack on our children. That’s why we must constantly pray for God would to protect them from sinful things which can allow the enemy to get a foothold in their lives. We cannot be with them twenty-four hours a day, so they need constant prayer because it’s when they’re not under our supervision and guidance that they’re most vulnerable to attack.