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Mark 7:24-37 – A Difficult Passage: Meditative Musing for Dec 3

This section has the most difficult passage in Mark. Though it ends “He has done all things well,” Jesus seems to be uncaring for the Syrophonician woman. This seems out of character for one who loves us.

The woman heard He was there, found Him, and asked for help. He ignored her, but she persisted, following Him around. The disciples asked Him to send her away. Finally He said He was sent to the House of Israel and it is not fitting to give the children’s bread to the dogs.

Did Jesus really say that? Why say such a thing?

Remember three things.  First, Jesus did give her what she asked in the end. Her daughter was freed. Second, Jesus is a master teacher who taught not only by what He said but what He did. Third, He knew she would persist in asking – and how she would respond to His calling her a “dog.”

He was teaching His disciples Gentiles can have faith. His language was what they themselves might have used about a Gentile. Did He deliberately say this to her to teach them a lesson? It was one they would need in the months to come.

When she said even the little dogs under the table eat the crumbs, Jesus commended her faith and cast the demon from her daughter. She went and found her daughter healed as He had said.

Can we follow her faith? Or do we get “hung up” on what preceded the miracle?


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