“Lord, help me.”
Thinking about this passage from the Canaanite mother’s position raises many questions. I wonder how long this mother’s daughter had been suffering with this demon? Is she a single mother? Does she have a supportive family or community that has been able to come alongside her when she has needed help? How many hours, days, weeks, months or years has her daughter been suffering? And was this the last straw? Was her mother at her wit’s end to gather the courage to seek out Jesus among the insults being hurled at her from the disciples…
“Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.”
Knowing what we do about the disciples and their contentious attitudes throughout the New Testament, I am sure there were other choice words they had for this woman. I believe this lady knew Jesus’ status and the healing power that He possessed that led her, as a first century woman, to get to Jesus. Did the fear of being rejected by Jesus cross this woman’s mind? Jesus’ disciples were doing a fanciful job encouraging Jesus to reject her. Instead, Jesus does the exact opposite of the disciples’ wishes. He first applauds the woman for her faith and just how great it is. And then, He heals her daughter instantly.
He not only heals this mother’s daughter, but we are told he heals her daughter “instantly.” There are other examples of Jesus’ miracles where he traveled to the person or community to perform the miracle, but this is one of those cases where Jesus acted swiftly, or instantly, to help solve this woman’s problem.
In light of Mother’s Day, this passage calls us to the sobering reality that love for one another can bring us into moments where we are called to demonstrate great courage. And in this case, the Canaanite woman comes before God in a desperate plea. Such a beautiful example of a Mother who loves her child so much that in that moment she finds herself in total abandonment kneeling before God to ask for something that she needs.
Thinking about my mom, and my wife who is a mom to our two little girls, I see them as beautiful mothers who display courage as an act of love for their children. Mothers are special sages who are wise beyond their years, no matter how old they are! I believe the encounter of the Canaanite woman calls us to look deep within our own lives, look for those moments when we need help, and muster the courage to ask.
“Ask, and it will be given you, search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” – Matthew 7:7-8
May we, as followers of Jesus, recognize that loving our neighbor as ourselves will call us into moments where we step out in faith with great courage. God bless mothers and those who are like mothers to us, who God places in our lives as examples of courageous faith. They are the ones who go beyond boundaries to demonstrate the hands and feet of Jesus in our midst.
Jesus, we thank you for this story of such courage and faith. Thank you for the mothers in our lives, along with the many who have stepped out in great faith to help us in our time of need. May we boldly love one another with the same courage. Amen.
Written by Matt Clay
Matt and his wife Joanna and have two young daughters, Emery and Madisen. The Clay’s have been members of the Sheridan community since 2014. Matt enjoys writing devotions for Sheridan and serving in the One Sent Market.