A Mother’s Display of Faith

Matthew 15:21-28

One day, a little girl is sitting and watching her
mother do the dishes at the kitchen sink. She
suddenly notices that her mother has several
strands of white hair sticking out in contrast to
her brunette hair. She looks at her mother and
inquisitively asks: “Why are some of your hairs
white, Mom?”

Her mother replied: “Well, every time that you
do something wrong and make me cry or
unhappy, one of my hairs turns white.”

The little girl thought about this revelation for a
while and then asked: “Momma, how come all of
grandma’s hairs are white?”

This morning we are going to see a mother’s display
of faith.
Her story is found in
Matthew 15:21-28

Before we get too far, let me just say that I’m
grateful to have a praying mother. I know that
she has lifted my sisters and I up in prayer
countless times over the years.

When my youngest sister was 20 she was very
sick and ended up in the hospital. She had
developed an infection in her blood. My mom
tells the story of Julie’s skin color being grey.
She was in severe pain. My mom told my sister
she was going to pray for God’s healing. God
answered that prayer and just minutes later the
color came back to my sister’s face.
It was nothing short of a miracle. I’m so glad
my mom understood the power of prayer.

Now let’s talk about the faith of this Canaanite mother

She had Bold Faith

Her status as a woman and a Gentile should have
prevented her from approaching Jesus.

Jews and Gentiles didn’t associate with one another
Jews despised the Gentiles
It was not acceptable for a woman to approach Jesus,
let alone speak to Him.
Remember the woman with the issue of blood. She
simply touched the fringe of His robe in order to be
healed because she knew she couldn’t approach Him

This Canaanite woman’s daughter was demon
possessed. Her prayer was for Jesus to cast out the
demon and free her daughter from this terrible
It took courage for her to come out and to cry out to
Jesus. She had Bold Faith!
She didn’t let her fear of consequences sway her
resolve to ask Jesus for a miracle.
She came boldly to the Son of David, asking for Him
to have mercy on her.

She had Persistent Faith

The first time the mother cried out to Jesus, she only
heard crickets. Jesus didn’t even acknowledge her.
But she kept on crying out to Him.

In fact, she was so persistent that the disciples
implored Him to send her away.
They said, she keeps shouting at us.
Some argue that they wanted her to heal her and
send her away, others argue that they wanted Him to
just send her away so they didn’t have to hear her
cries for mercy anymore.

Jesus responds to the disciples with a statement
about His mission being to the Jews, the lost sheep of
the house of Israel.

That response didn’t deter this mother from pleading
for her ailing daughter. This time she came to Jesus
bowing down before Him saying, Lord, help me!
The word for bow down can also be translated worship
She fell down at the feet of Jesus and worshiped Him.

This is true worship in its most basic form—to
cast ourselves on God in helplessness,
acknowledging the Lord’s power, love, and
wisdom as our only source of help.
Weber, S. K. (2000). Matthew (Vol. 1, p. 231). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

She didn’t get upset, she didn’t give up.
She kept on calling out to the One who had the power
to heal her daughter.

It seemed as if Jesus was going to keep denying her
prayer. This time He responded with a statement
about it not being good to take bread from the
children and throw it to the dogs.

We have to keep the context in mind here.
Jews often referred to Gentiles as dogs, but there are
two Greek words for dogs. One refers to street dogs
and was a derogatory term for Gentiles.

The other referred to little puppies or house dogs.
This would have been less offensive to the Gentile
woman, but He still didn’t answer her prayer.

Her response shows that;
She had Genuine Faith

This Canaanite woman understood her place in
society, but came boldly to the author and perfecter
of faith asking for healing for her daughter.

She knew she was a lower class than the Jews who
were God’s chosen people. She also knew that the
power that Jesus had was great and even His ‘scraps’
were enough to make the demon flee from her

In Matthew’s gospel there are only two people who
are described as having great faith, this Canaanite
mother and the Roman Centurion who asked Jesus to
heal his servant who was sick.

Jesus knew her heart and understood that she had
great faith. He saw her boldness, her persistence and
her genuineness in prayer.
And He healed her daughter immediately.
I love that about Jesus. He can heal someone
instantly. The Bible doesn’t say where the daughter
was, but she was definitely healed right when Jesus
said it wherever she was.


This Canaanite mother had her faith on display.
She didn’t keep quiet, she asked for what she needed.
She didn’t give up when it seemed Jesus wasn’t going
to answer.
She didn’t doubt that Jesus had the power to do what
seemed impossible.

We can all learn this morning from this faithful mom.

Be a Living Example of Faith

How will you let others see your faith this week?
Paul said he was not ashamed of the gospel because
it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who
believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

What can you do to live out your faith?
It could mean witnessing a neighbor or coworker.
It could mean sharing your testimony or something
God has done in your life.
It could be serving someone who is less fortunate.

Bring Your Requests Before God Consistently

Who do you need to intercede for this week?
We should all have a list of people we know who don’t
know the Lord. We should be persistently praying for
God to save them.
We should also be praying for one another. Everyone
here has something they are dealing with right now.

We should not lose heart or become discouraged.
God wants us to be diligent about praying for
salvation and for fellow believers.