Happy Mother’s Day!
There are many nameless women in the Bible. This is mainly because of the patriarchal system in the biblical times. But we are glad that although they were nameless, their stories are in the Bible. There was one nameless mother whom Jesus encountered. The daughter of this woman was suffering from demon possession.
In this encounter, Jesus said to this mother, “Woman, you have great faith.” These words were not even used by Jesus to his disciples. Jesus even called them, “O ye of little faith.” All of us can learn from the faith of this nameless mother.
This nameless mother had the courage to cross great barriers. She was persistent even in the midst of demoralizing situations. And she was humble in her appeal to Jesus.
We can see the following barriers that this nameless mother faced:
First, she was a woman. Women in the Old Testament were considered as properties, and second class citizens. They often stayed at home. They could not talk directly to a rabbi. But this mother broke all traditions. She had the courage to cross barriers.
Second, she was a Gentile. This means that she was not a Jew. Jews felt that since they are the chosen people of God, they have the right to look down on others. In Matthew 15:24 Jesus answered to her, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” This was actually a test of Jesus. Jesus is for everyone and not for Israel only. But Jesus wanted to test her faith. She passed with flying colors. She had the courage to cross barriers.
Third, she was a Canaanite. Canaanites hated the Israelites. Why? Israel is the new name that the Israelites gave to the Promised Land. The original name of the land was Canaan. Another name of Canaan is Palestine. This is why the hatred is there even until now. The Israelites call it the land given by God, while the Palestinians insist that it is their land since their ancestors were born there. But this woman did not think about this hatred. She persisted even if Jesus was silent at first about her request. She continued to persist when the disciples told her to go away. She had the courage to cross barriers.
Faith requires us to have the courage to cross whatever barriers that may stand in our way.
What barriers are you facing right now? Let us learn from this nameless mother whose love for her daughter knew no bounds. She crossed the barriers with great courage and faith. Because of this, her daughter was healed.
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on
May 15, 2017