Summary: A Mother's Day sermon to honor our mother's by looking at the divine disposition of a woman whom embodied the godly traits of a biblical mother.
What is a mom? Is she the one that gave birth to your life? Is she one who raised you with the warm embrace of her arms? Is she the woman who gives the all of life, so that yours could be prosperous and long? Many mothers are probably all theses, and many things more.
Moms are often masters of motivation and makers of memories. They are often the madams of the manor, the makers of meals, and more often than not, the maid of the mansion. She carries the motif of morality; she’s the mayor of mandates, and the magistrate over mayhem. She leads as a mentor of minors for the young who abide near her feet.
For many, moms are ministers of mercy, comforting their young with a spiritual milk of magnesia, for a mom’s soothing nature takes away pain and makes everything better. Still, on this day, what is a mom if not all that? For a woman with qualities like this, I think we’d all tip our hats and say, “WOW, what a MOM!”
Today, we’re going to honor our mothers by looking at the divine disposition of a woman whom I believe embodied the godly traits of a biblical mother. So… with that, please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel according to Matthew 15:21–28, and let’s look upon one of Jesus’ encounters with a most outstanding mother. Let’s read the Gospel story again.
SHE PUTS HER DAUGHTER’S NEEDS BEFORE HER OWN
Okay before we dig in; let’s consider this woman’s fright and sense of gloom. She gave birth to this darling little girl, who —for reasons untold —came under the possession of demon, not a sickness or anything this mother could make better. She probably felt helpless, lacking, and paralyzed — three traits no mother wants to fulfill. Yet, this was her condition: she was a mother who had to overcome mayhem by managing the possessed maiden within her home.
She lived a life that most of will never know. She mourned for her possessed daughter — a child that society most assuredly would rather leave for dead — one who was stricken with a thing for which there was no earthly cure. What could she do but hope and pray, that someday, somehow, her daughter —whom she loved with the full fabric of her being — would be healed of her hell-bound suffering.
With that picture painted, the first thing Matthew tells us is that Jesus and his disciples withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. But, why is it important for us to know this little tid-bit? On today’s map, this area is about 50-60 miles north of the Israeli and Lebanese border, in the region between the modern-day cities of Beirut and Tripoli.
Okay, the reason this mini-geography point is important, is for us to know that Jesus and his followers where a long way from home. They were traveling through a foreign country, whose people were not the sons of daughters of Israel that the Father had sent Jesus to first minster and save.
That little bit being out of the way, Jesus and the disciples are walking along, and out from who knows where, the mother we just heard about rushes onto the scene. Now she had to have heard something of this amazing Jesus: this minster of might who’d been sent from heaven above, and just happened to have been passing through. And it’s here in the ancient-Phoenician hillside that she encounters the master of miracles, the one she runs towards with hopes he’ll make everything all right.
As a loving mother would, she puts her daughter’s needs before her own. She risked it all by running to Jesus for comfort and aid. She put her livelihood in peril, and faced the real possibility for rejection, shunning and dismissal. For she was not a Jewish male, but considered something lesser: she was a woman, Canaanite, and a foreigner to these men.
Yet, she didn’t care about the cultural barriers that stood in her way. She ran to Jesus, despite her plight, and pleaded for mercy to the maker of life. Let’s look at her actions and words to see how she is one of the bible’s most outstanding mothers.
SHE CRIES WITH PLEAS OF FAITH
She cried out two short phrases to the master of miracles, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David.” We can see this precise wording three times in Matthew’s Gospel account. The first instance is Matthew 9:27: the passage where Jesus healed two men: one blind and the other mute. The second occurrence is here within Matthew 15; and the last is located in Matthew 20:30 — where two blind who were sitting alongside the roadside cried-out to Jesus to be healed of their blindness, despite the shushing and the shunning of the crowds.