How a Mother Should Love
Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines the word Schism as “Division or Separation”. The word Schism could be used to describe “racism”, which is a division or separation of people. In the Old Testament, the Lord called Abraham to Himself, and made out of Abraham a people called Israel, or the Hebrews. After God called and made the nation of Israel, the rest of the people were then known as Gentiles. So there was a division between God’s people, the Jews and the Gentiles. The Israelites, in times past, had a right, even a commandment “not” to mingle with the ungodly people, but when Jesus came on the scene, He broke down the barrier between the Jews and the Gentiles, and made it possible for all men to be saved.
I would like to introduce you to the woman in this story, she was a Gentile, she was a Canaanite woman. She was a mother, and in desperate need of help for her daughter. Jesus and His disciples, were the Israelites to whom this woman went to seek help.
The following scriptures contain the details of this story. St. Matthew 15:21-28
15:21 Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.
15:22 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.
Right away, we see this woman coming to Jesus with a very serious problem, she has a daughter, who is possessed of the devil. This mother does not mince words, she gets right to the point: “….. Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.”
The Word of God does not tell us here, how the woman knew that the problem her daughter was experiencing was caused from demonic oppression, but we can safely guess that the girl was displaying some abnormal behavior. Perhaps she was speaking evil words, such as extreme profanity. Perhaps she was foaming at the mouth, which sometimes has been attributed to demonic influence, or she may have become extremely violent, either toward herself, or toward others. Either way, this mother decided that she needed help for her child, and she was on a mission to get that help from the Lord, God.
How many of us today, in this woman’s situation, would have taken the child to a doctor, and eventually had the child admitted to a mental institution? Or if the person was older, would have removed the person from the home, and placed him/her in a convalescent home, when all the person really needed was God.
Let us see how Jesus handles this request from this loving mother.
15:23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
The Lord, of course, is “a Master” at testing a person’s will, motives and desires. So initially Jesus did not respond to the woman at all. “But he answered her not a word…..” She then turns and goes after the Lord’s disciples, and tries to get them to help her. And the disciples, in turn went to Jesus, and begged Jesus to “get the woman off their backs!”
“…..And the disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.” Not much compassion her for this woman, from the disciples. But I love her perseverance. This is the power of love for her child, at work.
After Jesus’ disciples had the opportunity to respond to the woman, and failed to do so, Jesus then turned to her, and spoke these words to her:
15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
She understood exactly what this meant. Jesus indicated to her that the only people that could qualify for help from the Lord, was the people of Israel. If I were that woman, at that point, I probably would have turned and ran away, weeping as I went. But not this loving mother. Instead, she had a completely different reaction, she began to “worship” the Lord!
15:25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
Instead of becoming angry, upset, and disappointed, this mother no doubt, bowed herself to the ground, and worshiped the Lord. One pastor put it this way, “Worship is how we touch God’s heart.” I have always found this to be true. Try this yourself, instead of expressing your disappointment to the Lord about what He has, or has not, done for you, learn to worship Him instead.
Nevertheless, even after the woman falls down and worships the Lord, the Lord gives her yet another the test. He gave her the “racism test”. Few of us can pass that test. The Gentiles were sometimes looked upon by the Jews as less than human, “as dogs”, as it were. This woman was very much aware of this, as Jesus spoke to her:
15:26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.
What would you have done if this Man, whom you believed had the power to heal your child, called you “a dog”! The Lord gave this woman the ultimate test of endurance. He insulted her. What will she do now?!! Most people would have retaliated and called the Lord a name in return, or defended themselves, and let the Lord know that they were sorely displeased with His words. But this mother fooled us all, and taught us all a great lesson. The Lesson: If you know without a shadow of doubt, where you stand in God, “stand fast.” Do not let negative words stop you. Look at her response:
15:27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.
This is power of love personified. This mother cannot afford to allow words to turn her from her goal. Her daughter is at home, suffering. Her home is in a wreck. This mother needs God’s help. Even if she is tempted to let the words stop her, she has no one else to whom she can go. She believed that this Jewish Savior was her last hope. After the Lord spoke these words to her, and implied that she as a Gentile, was no more than “a dog”. She wisely responded, “…..Truth, Lord:” She never faulted, she stayed her course. What she was saying to the Lord, for future generations was: “If you say so, I’ll be a dog, but at least Lord, be as nice to me, as the average person is to his dog. Let me have the crumbs that fall from the Master’s table.”
Persistence paid off. The Reward is received:
15:28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
This Canaanite woman had the persistence that only a mother could have. She stood the test. She sought the Lord on behalf of her child. She worshiped the Lord, and she received her petition from the Lord.
There are three major issues covered in this lesson:
- Parents, pray for your children: We as parents must first know the Lord for ourselves, then we must pray for our children to be saved. We must fight to help our children be delivered from the hands of the Enemy;
- Recognize the devices of Satan: Through study of God’s Word, we must learn to recognize the devices of Satan, and how he operates. We must not mistakenly identify the devils devices in our lives, or the lives of our children.
- Don’t allow our feelings to rule us: With the help of God’s Holy Spirit, we must fight past the feelings of rejection, racism, or hate, in order to reach our godly goals in life; whether that be helping our children, ourselves, or others. God bless you.
[ special thanks to http://www.paulstravelblog.com/ for wonderful pictures ]