Ain’t Too Proud To Beg

Title: Ain't Too Proud To Beg

Bible Book: Matthew 15 : 22-28

Author: Steve Wagers

Subject: Mother; Mother's Day



In response to a letter-writing campaign, organized by Anna Jarvis, designed to give special attention to mothers; on May 9, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the 2nd Sunday of May National Mothers' Day as a "public expression and reverence for the mothers of our country."

John Quincy Adams, the 6th President of the United States, said, "All that I am my mother made me."

Dwight L. Moody, the famed evangelist, declared, "All that I have ever accomplished in life I owe to my mother."

Napoleon, who was elected the emperor of France on May 18, 1804, said, "Let France have good mothers and she will have good sons."

Henry Ward Beecher, one of America's most notable preachers of the past, once said, "The memory of my sainted mother is the brightest recollection of my early years."

James Garfield was elected the 20th President of the United States in November 1880. His first act after being inaugurated president of the United States was to stoop and kiss his aged mother who sat near him.

They say that man is mighty,

He governs land and sea.

He wields a mighty scepter,

On lower powers than he.

But mightier power and stronger,

Man from his throne has hurled,

For the hand that rocks the cradle

Is the hand that rules the world.

Howard Johnson expressed it this way:

"M" is for the million things she gave me,

"O" means only that she's growing old,

"T" is for the tears she shed to save me,

"H" is for her heart of purest gold;

"E" is for her eyes, with love-light shining,

"R" means right, and right she'll always be,

Put them all together, they spell "MOTHER,"

A word that means the world to me.

The story in our text is the story of a mother. It is a story of a mother who has a desperate desire for her daughter. In simple terms, the story shows that this mother was a mother who ain’t too proud to beg in order to get help for her child.

"Ain't Too Proud to Beg" was a 1966 hit single by The Temptations. The song peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Pop Chart, and was a number-one hit on the Billboard R&B charts for 8 consecutive weeks.

I know you wanna leave me,

But I refuse to let you go

If I have to beg and plead for your sympathy,

I don't mind coz' you mean that much to me.

Ain't to proud to beg, sweet darlin

Please don't leave me girl, don't you go

Ain't to proud to plead, baby, baby

Please don't leave me girl, don't you go

I believe this mother provides a key to every mother, as well as, every other person here today. If you have a need, then I believe you can see yourself in this mother.

Furthermore, if you have a need, and a desire to have that need met, then, like this mother, when you come to Jesus, you shouldn’t’ be too proud to beg.


Many are familiar with the life of St. Augustine, one of Christianity’s brilliant theologians. What many do not know however is that young Aurelius Augustine, lived in utter immorality. For more than 30 years, his mother, Monica, prayed for him, following him to Carthage, to Rome and to Milan, weeping, pleading, and assaulting Heaven with perpetual missiles of prayer. Monica once said that the burden she carried for her son was almost too much to bear.

The mother is our story is carrying a similar burden for one of her children. However, though burdened, this mother is faced with serious complications. For one thing, she was:

A. Logistically Outcast

[22] “A woman of Canaan.”

As you know from our Sunday night studies, book by book through the Bible, the Canaanites were not friendly acquaintances of Israel. They were a tribe of people who proved to be one of Israel’s greatest enemies.

From the very beginning of their existence, they were a cursed people. Noah’s son, Ham, the father of the Canaanites, was given a harsh rebuke in Genesis 9: 25;

“Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.”

When Israel took possession of the Promised Land, the Canaanites were one of the last obstacles to be overtaken in order for Israel to conquer the land.

The last OT prophecy concerning the Canaanites is found in Zechariah 14: 21, where they are excluded from the future house of the Lord God Almighty. This is the only place any reference is given to Canaan in the entire New Testament.

Simply put, as a woman of Canaan, she was a logistical outcast. She did not belong with the people of God or to the people of God. She was an outcast, an outsider and an oddball. We would refer to her today as someone “who came from the wrong side of the tracks.”

She was a Gentile, and to top it off, a Canaanite. She was a pagan, a heathen, an idolater whose worship consisted of gods like Baal, Asheroth and Astare. She was logistically outcast, as well as:

B. Spiritually Downcast

Up to this point, in the life and ministry of Jesus, it was shocking for a Jew to cry out for Jesus. For a Gentile to cry out for Jesus was almost impossibility.

For one thing, the worship of her gods forbade her worship of the One, True and Living God. For her to cry out to the Son of God would be considered an act of treason.

Yet, here we see/hear this woman who was logistically outcast crying out to Jesus because she was spiritually downcast.

[22] “A woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.”

The word “cried” is the Greek word kraugazo. The word implies much more than whining or whimpering. The word suggests clamoring, or wailing. In other words, she is crying out to Jesus at the top of her lungs. Why? She is a mother who has a daughter in the devil’s dungeon of demonic depravity.

In other words, when it was quite rare for a Jew to approach Jesus in this manner; here comes a pagan, idolatrous Canaanite woman who intercedes for her daughter.

She turns her back on the gods of her people, and openly confesses her faith and truth in the only One she knew that could help her daughter. Her trust in the pagan gods like Baal and Astarte may have been fine as long as things were going well.

But, when daughter became full of the devil, she discovered that she could get no help from a god of stone. Thus, she leaves behind her religious system, her false belief that had no answers or power; and, she came to the only One who could help her.

Victor Yap comments, “She was a Gentile woman who disregarded historical animosity, cultural taboos, and racial differences for the sake of her daughter. It made her an outsider, and an oddball to her own people, but it was worthwhile for her daughter’s sake.” [1]

In one sense, this woman represents our condition, as Gentiles, before we were saved. There was a day when we were logistically outcast and spiritually downcast. In fact, Paul describes our past condition in Ephesians 2: 12

“That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world.”

“aliens/strangers:” Logistically Outcast

“No hope/without God:” Spiritually Downcast

We were not the friends of God, but the enemies of God, because of sin. We had no right to be able to “draw nigh” to God; thus, we had “no hope, without God in the world.”

But, there came a day when, like this woman, in utter desperation, we “called on the name of the Lord,” crying out for grace and mercy; and, not on the basis of who we were, but on the basis of WHO HE WAS, He, not only, withheld what we did deserve, but gave us what we did not deserve. He heard our prayer and saved our soul.

Here is a mother, who for the sake of her child, make her daughter’s case her very own. She is willing to turn her back on the only gods she has ever known in order to turn to the God that she must know if her daughter is to be healed.

As a Gentile Canaanite, the odds were not in this woman’s favor; in fact, the odds were stacked against her. She was confronted with complications to get what she wanted for her daughter.


It would seem that, knowing Jesus, the wailing cry of a desperate mother would immediately turn things in her favor; however, to the contrary. Not only did she face the burden of complications, but now we see a mother who felt belittled and filled with frustration. For one thing, she had to deal with:


Here is a mother who has risked everything in order to come to Jesus. She has turned her back on her family, friends, and even her faith. Yet, notice the response she receives.

[23] “But he answered her not a word.”

She pours out her heart and soul to the only One who can help her; only to receive no response at all from the only One who can help her. Jesus could have said “No,” but, instead he said nothing. She receives the silent treatment from the Son of God Himself.

John MacArthur writes, “The hardest response to accept is no response at all. In the case of this woman, the Word has no word. The fountain in sealed. The Physician holds back his remedy.” [2]

Have you ever felt that way when you came to God in prayer? Have you brought to God the burden that is pressed upon you, poured out your heart and soul unto Him, only to feel like the Heavens were brass, and God was silent?

Little Leroy strolled into the kitchen where his mother was making dinner. His 6th birthday was coming up, and he thought it was a good time to tell her what he wanted. "Mom, I want a bike for my birthday." Because Leroy was often getting into trouble at school, church, and home, she suggested that he write a letter to God and tell him why he thought he deserved a bike for his birthday. Little Leroy wrote:

Dear God,

I have been a very good boy this year, and I would like a bike for my birthday. I want a red one.

Your Friend, Leroy

A week went by, but Leroy got no answer because there was no bike. So, he tore up the 1st letter and wrote another:

Dear God,

I have been an OK boy this year. I still would really like a red bike for my birthday.

Your Friend, Leroy.

Another week went behind, still no answer and no red bike. Leroy tore up the previous letter and wrote another:

Dear God,

I know I haven't been a very good boy this year. I am very sorry. I will be a good boy for you if you just send me a red bike.

Thanks, Leroy.

Another week went by, and still no answer. By this time, he was very upset. He walked down the street to the church on the corner. He slowly opened the door and crept down to the altar. He looked around to make sure no one was watching, and then picked up a small statue of the Virgin Mary.

He slipped it under his coat and ran out the door, down the street, into his house, and up to his room. He shut the door behind him, and sat down with a piece of paper and wrote his final letter to God:

Dear God,

I've got your mama. If you want to see her again, send the red bike NOW!

Signed, You Know Who!

I would not recommend such a tactic should your prayer seem to go unanswered, but anyone who has spent time with God in prayer knows what it’s like to be given, what seems like, Heaven’s silent treatment.

There was another obstacle she had to face, that being:

B. The FEAR of Being REMOVED

She has cried out to Jesus in intercession for her daughter, only to receive no response. To make matters worse, the first response she hears is that some want to get her out of the way.

[23] “And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.”

The word “besought” is the Greek word erotao. The word is used in many ways, and in many places in the NT. The word was often used to mean, “To interrogate, question, or intreat.”

This particular word speaks of “begging, urging or pleading.” In other words, we get the idea that this woman had gotten on the disciples’ last nerve. So much so that they literally beg Jesus to get rid of her and remove her.

As you can see, things are not going well for this mother. It’s just one obstacle after another. She is logistically outcast and spiritually downcast. She is confronted with the fact of rejection and the fear of removal.

All she wants is to get help for her daughter, but the only One who can help seems unmoved, unconcerned, and uninterested. To add insult to injury, she is about to be physically removed from the presence of her only hope, the Lord Jesus.

Have you ever encountered such a plight? In your trouble or sadness, have you ever rushed to that special spot, that secret place, to appear before Jesus only to find Him silent?

Have you then heard the voice of the enemy say, “If God really loved You, why would He ignore you? Why you don’t you give up, God is not listening to you.”

Have there been things, people, or situations that have tried to remove you from getting close to Jesus? You want to stay encouraged, but it’s gets difficult when all you seem to be around are things that discourage.

What do you do? Quit? Throw in the towel? Turn your back on God? Get out of the race? Stop coming to church? Stop serving God? Stop living for Jesus? Become filled with bitterness, anger and strife?

Let’s find an answer in how this mother responds. From a burdened mothers’ complication to a broken mothers’ frustration comes:


Alexander MacLaren said, “Great faith does not give up, period. It is not deterred by obstacles, setback, disappointments, or circumstances. Great faith persists, perseveres and pushes on.”

The mother seemed to have everything working against her. She is logistically outcast and spiritually downcast. She feels the brunt of the fact of being rejected, as well as the fear of being removed.

She is down to her last resort. But, notice what this mother does in spite of the odds, opposition and obstacles.

[25] “Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.”

She would not be deterred. She would be delayed. And she would not be denied. She was undaunted, unmoved and unshaken. We get the idea that they could try to keep her quiet, but she would just cry out even louder. She would not take “No” for an answer.

Instead, she comes, falls down at His feet, and worships Him. What a response of a bold mother and her determination.


The disciples try to remove her, but Jesus responds:

[24] “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

That statement has sparked great controversy among many students of the Word. However, the statement does not reflect a lack of concern or compassion on the part of Jesus. Rather, it outlines the focus of his initial ministry.

At this point in Biblical history, the primary ministry of Jesus was still to the children of the covenant. Although they would ultimately reject Him, He, nonetheless, first “came unto His own.”

In other words, the statement represents the fact that it was not yet time to move to the Gentile nations, because the full opportunity to Israel had not as yet been presented. [3]

As if that statement wasn’t enough, Jesus responds to the woman’s cry for help by saying:

[26] “It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.”

Those 2 words, “children” and “dogs,” were common terminology in that day. “Children” was a word used to refer to Jews; and, “dogs” was a word used to speak of Gentiles. Jesus basically says, “Woman, it is not proper, fit, or meet to take what belongs to the Jewish children and cast it to the Gentile dogs.”

As if she has not faced enough obstacles, now she is called a “dog” by the Lord Jesus. But, not even that could keep here away. She replies:

[27] “Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.”

In other words, for this mother to get what she needed for her daughter, she was willing to assume the position of a dog if necessary.

Humility, arrogance and pride have been thrown out the window. She has faced rejection, ridicule and reproach. She has dealt with silence, slander, and shame. But, if that what it took for her daughter to get what she needed, then, to this mother, it was worth it.

Pride has always amazed me. For one thing, what do we have to be proud of? And also, where has our pride gotten us? The answers are “Nothing” and “Nowhere.” But, our pride, self-reliance and self-conceit has robbed us of spiritual bounty and blessings.

It was J. Oswald Sanders who correctly wrote of pride, "Nothing is more distasteful to God than self-conceit. This first and fundamental sin aims at enthroning self at the expense of God. Pride is a sin of whose presence its victim is least conscious. If we are honest, when we measure ourselves by the life of our Lord Jesus, who humbled Himself even to death on a cross, we cannot but be overwhelmed with the tawdriness, shabbiness, and vileness of our hearts."

Pride does not bring us closer to God, but drives us away from God. As long as allow pride to steer our course, we will never be driven to see how needy we really are.

Pride keeps us from admitting our weaknesses and wrongs. Pride keeps us from falling down before God in sheer desperation and despair. Pride keeps us from bowed head, bent knees, and broken hearts. Pride is a roof that blocks God’s blessing, and a robber that steals God’s bounty.

Pride would have never done what this woman did. As soon as it had been rejected, removed, or ridiculed; and, as soon as it had been called a “dog,” pride would have packed its bags and went back to the house of “I Can Do It My Way!”

However, this woman is desperate, so there is no room for pride. She was willing to assume any position, even if meant being a dog.


When Jesus used this terminology, it’s quite interesting to notice the particular word that He chose. In the New Testament, there are 2 different Greek words for “dogs.” One refers to mangy mongrels that run in packs, and live largely off of garbage, and refuse.

That is not the word Jesus used when speaking to this mother. He used the other word Greek word, kunarion, which speaks of a “puppy, or house pet.” The mother seems to understand the difference, because she makes reference to “the master’s table,” where you would not find a mongrel, but a house pet.

Thus, when Jesus referred to her race of people as “dogs,” it was not meant to ridicule, or demean her; it was the reality of the fact. As a Gentile, a Canaanite, a pagan, she, and her entire race of people, were referred to as “dogs.”

But, in this case, Jesus could have chosen the word that would have called her a mongrel. Instead, he uses a word to give an illustration of a broken, pampered, and well-cared for house pet.

She picks up on it and replies:

[27] “Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.”

In other words, she knew she was sinful and unworthy of anything He had to offer her. Furthermore, she was willing to concede that she was less deserving than the “children,” or the Jews.

But, she was willing to settle for the “crumbs which fall from the masters’ table,” because that would be enough to meet her needs. A tiny leftover, or crumb, of Jesus’ great power would heal her daughter in an instant, and that was all she had asked for in the first place.

In other words, here is a mother who ‘ain’t too proud to beg,’ like a dog, just to get a crumb that might fall from the master’s table.

As a result of her humility and desperation, Jesus is moved to say:

[28] “O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.”

Spurgeon said, “The Lord of Glory surrendered to the faith of the woman. She kept asking until she received. She kept seeking until she found. She kept knocking until the door was opened.” [4]

We earlier looked at the word “worshipped” in verse 25. The Greek word is proskuneo. The interesting feature about the word is that it was often used to refer to how a dog would like his master’s hand.

Here is a mother who is out of options. She has turned her back on the gods of her people, and placed her faith in the only God who can help her. She is confronted with one obstacle after another; and, ultimately, referred to as a “dog.”

But, in her case, if that’s what it took to get what she needed for her daughter, then so be it. If she had to be a “dog” sitting at the master’s table waiting on a crumb to fall, that was all right, just as long as she could kiss the hand of the Master.

Ladies and gentlemen, if I understand the Bible that is how everyone, who expects help, must come to Jesus. Honestly, humbly, desperately, determinedly, willingly and wholeheartedly, laying aside all self-righteousness, making no claim to entitlement, and making no demands. That type of desperation causes God to say, “Great is thy faith.”


My wife and I are dog lovers. In fact, I’m convinced, if it came down to it, Kim would get rid of me before she got rid of our dogs. They are not mongrels, or mangy mutts. They have it better than I do in a lot of ways.

They have their own room, their own bowls for food and water, their own blankets, and their beds. When they’re hungry, they don’t go through the neighborhood rummaging through the garbage. Dumb dogs go to the trash can; but, smart dogs go to the table.

We try not to skimp on dog food. Their bowls will normally be filled with Pedigree, Kibbles-n-Bits, or in the worst case, Gravy Train or Alpo. But, when we sit down as a family for supper, you know where you’ll find our dogs? Not by their own bowls filled with food, but under the table of their master.

Why? It is because even a dog is smart enough to figure out that the:


Ladies and gentlemen, I submit unto you that if you will come to God in utter humility and brokenness, you will not be denied. If you are willing to assume the position of a dog, if necessary, you will discover that the:


One day, the crumbs of the gospel did indeed fall from the table of the Jews, and it fed poor, vile, sinful Gentile dogs with the Bread of Life. If Jesus could take care of our greatest need with a crumb, don’t you think He could certainly take care of any other need we have?

I recently read a story that told of a woman who went to a neighbor's produce stand to purchase grapes. She stood in line while the farmer waited on other customers. Each person seemed to get special attention and the line was long. When the woman finally got to the head of the line, the farmer greeted her with a warm smile of recognition. She ordered her grapes, but the farmer did not immediately fill the order. Instead, he took her produce basket and walked away.

Having to wait again, the woman began to fume, thinking about how the farmer had taken such care of the strangers in front of her, not wanting them to become impatient, but with her he took his time, because he knew his nearby neighbor would be reluctant to put up a fuss. Her smoldering anger was doused, however, by the farmer's explanation as he returned with the basket full of beautiful, perfectly ripened grapes. He said, "I know I kept you waiting. But I needed the time to get you the very best."

Jesus gave us a promise,

“For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. [9]Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? [10]Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? [11]If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7: 8-11)

Thou art coming to a King,

Large petitions with thee bring.

For His grace and power are such,

None can ever ask too much!

I can’t speak for you, but I want to be like this mother who AIN’T TOO PROUD TO BEG, because that may be all it takes for me to get His very best.


1) “Just a Crumb,” Sermon by Victor Yap, Pastor-Riverside Alliance Community Church.

2) Matthew 8-15 (The MacArthur New Testament Commentary), John MacArthur, pg. 472.

3) IBID.

4) “Matthew,” D. A. Carson, pg. 201.

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