On Sunday, May 11 designated as Mother's Day, Rev. Lisa Johnson, associate minister of First Shiloh Baptist Church in Mechanicsville,Virginia preached at New Canaan Worship Center in Richmond, Virginia. She preached "When a Mother Cries" based on Matthew 15:21-28 about the Syrophoenician woman who went to Jesus because her daughter was grievously vexed with a demon.
Rev. Johnson said we do not know the name of the woman in the text, but what we do know is that the woman was desperate for Jesus to help her daughter. She never called out to the disciples who wanted to send her away, but she called out to Jesus saying, "O Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me." This woman didn't care what other people said or thought of her. She was only thinking about her sick daughter who needed to be healed. This woman's request became her worship.
The text begins with "Then" which means something had happened before Jesus came to this region. Jesus had been on a healing spree. There was a desperate mother and a demon-possessed daughter. Therefore, the need to heal the mother's daughter had brought Jesus to this Gentile region.
The minister told the listening congregation what it means to move from desperation to determination. She pointed out three things we must do.
Acknowledge who Jesus is. Bow down at Jesus' feet and give Him reverence. We shouldn't allow our situation to be bigger than our God. We should go to Jesus and point others toward God.
Acknowledge your situation. Stop going to the phone, but go to the throne. Go directly to Jesus like the desperate woman did. Even when Jesus used the common language for Gentiles of that day and made a reference to a dog, the woman was still determined.
Acknowledge what Jesus' power is able to do. When the woman got home, her daughter was already healed because Jesus sent His word. Jesus didn't have to go for the healing to take place. Because of the woman's fortitude and her attitude, her daughter was healed that very hour.
Rev. Johnson shared personal testimonies and told several stories during her sermon. The story that was the most profound came at the end of her sermon. She told about a little boy who designed a boat. When he put it in the creek, the current took the boat out of sight, and he couldn't find it. When he returned home he told his mother that the boat did what it was supposed to do, but it did it too well. The next day the boy saw his boat in a shop's window. When the boy told the shop keeper that the boat was his, he was told the boat was for sell for $1.00. The boy ran home and emptied his piggy bank. He had exactly $1.00. When he got back to the shop, he bought back his own boat. He hugged his boat and said "It is twice mine."
- First of all, he created it.
- Then he purchased it.
That's what God has done for us. He first created us, and then Jesus purchased us back with His own blood. Therefore, we are twice His.