A mother who SUBMITS to Jesus
After ministering primarily to Jews in Israel, Jesus goes north to the Gentile region of Tyre and Sidon. Jesus meets a local woman there who has a demonically possessed daughter. Although this Canaanite (‘pagan person of the land’) has many religious options like the temple of Eshmun, a local god of healing, she has heard about Jesus and his miracle-working ability. Though she isn’t a Jew, she submissively calls him ‘Lord’ (Gr. kurios, ‘master’) and uses the Messianic title ‘Son of David’ signifying Jesus as the king of Israel. This is a mother who sought the truth of God.
A mother who desires the MERCY of Jesus
Possibly after months or years of watching her daughter be physically and emotionally oppressed, the mother knows she is powerless to help her. She cries out for mercy from Jesus knowing she is unworthy and he has power over the natural and supernatural realms. This is a mother who sought the compassion of God.
A mother who persistently SEEKS Jesus
After Jesus is silent to her cries, the disciples figure he is ignoring her because she is an annoying Gentile, so they beg him to send her away. Jesus is not disregarding her anxiety, but rather dissecting her authenticity. The silence of God does not mean he is not concerned with us, but is frequently a test to see if we are connected to Him. Many times the darkness in our lives is not that God isn’t shining a light but the fact that we will not open our eyes. This is a mother who worked hard so her family could have the blessing of God (Prov. 31:26-30; Luke 11:8, 9).
A mother who is REWARDED by Jesus
Because most Jews considered Gentiles equal to dogs, Jesus plays off the imagery of the ‘children’ (the Jews) getting their ‘bread’ (the attention of Jesus, the Jewish Messiah) given to the
‘puppy/family pet’ (the Gentiles) instead. With great humility and wit she notes that even the family pet gets a little of what the children get! Jesus is so amazed he calls her faith ‘huge/great’
(Gr. megas) and heals her daughter without seeing her! This is a mother who sought faith in God and received favor from God.