27 And He was saying to her, “Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 28 But she answered and *said to Him, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs under the table feed on the children’s crumbs.” 29 And He said to her, “Because of this answer go; the demon has gone out of your daughter.” 30 And going back to her home, she found the child lying on the bed, the demon having left.
Message: The Faith of a Gentile Woman
Time: Mark's personal connection with Peter gave him the source material for this book. This book was composed probably between AD 57 and AD 59. It's a book that is on the move, leading to the cross. 39 times is the word 'immediately' used. Mark reveals Jesus as God's servant, reaching into the lives of people and effecting physical and circumstantial change.
What the Lord is Saying:
Preface: Jesus speaks to all the people, going beyond just the scribes, and declares clearly that when speaking of being clean, the key is what comes out of a person, not what is taken in. Jesus goes to the region of Tyre and Sido in an attempt to get away from ministry in Galilee for a time, perhaps in hopes of getting away from the crowds. But news of him is there as well and a woman appears to him requesting that an unclean spirit (demon) be removed from her daughter.
Mark mentions this Gentile woman who begs Jesus to cast a demon out of her daughter. And He was saying to her, “Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” Jesus had previously commissioned his disciples to go and preach, first to the children of Israel and then later, to go into all the world. This exchange with this woman seems odd to me as the words from the Syrophoenician woman were just begging him to cast a demon out of her daughter, so why the response about children by satisfied first. Commentators have said that Jesus' words referred to Israel (the children), the gospel (bread), and the Gentiles (dogs). Thus, he was implying that she was a dog, but it seems that his exchange was not necessarily to be taken seriously or rather his purpose in saying the words he did was to get the response that he did. But she answered and said to Him, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs under the table feed on the children’s crumbs.” Thus, the woman had faith and believed that the dogs or Gentiles still had a claim to the gospel. So, what Jesus was doing was continuing to teach his disciples. He wanted them to see the value there is in all persons. Prejudices were obviously present. People shows favoritism for different classes of people and Jesus did not want his disciples to approach people in this way.
Jesus shows here that he is looking for faith. This woman responded with faith in stating that even those individuals who may not have been the primary audience for the gospel can benefit from it. But, I don't think Jesus is saying this. He is looking for faith. He is wanting people to show that they have the faith and whenever they do, he backs up the truck and gives them what they ask.
Verse 30 is interesting because the woman seems to have gone to Jesus without her daughter. And going back to her home, she found the child lying on the bed, the demon having left. Tabletalk records here these words --
Ultimately, the encounter is about the place of Jews and Gentiles in God’s kingdom. The children—the Jews—get presented the kingdom first, and afterward, the dogs—the Gentiles—hear of it as well. This Gentile woman recognized the propriety of that plan. She did not ask for first place but in faith believed that Christ was for her as well.Summary - Jesus goes to the regions of Tyre and Sidon and upon his arrival, a woman comes to him (without her daughter by her side) asking Jesus to heal her daughter, possessed by a demon. Jesus uses the situation to teach his disciples that faith is what he is looking for in people, not heritage (i.e. a Jew or even a Gentile). The woman shows her faith and she is healed.
Promise: Jesus lavishes his grace upon us. He wants to see us acknowledge our faith in him.
Prayer: Lord, I have faith in you. I do. And yet sometimes the way I act in my life gives the idea that I don't. I believe you are the Creator of all. I believe that you have saved me. I have faith in you. When I pray, I believe that you will do what I ask. Keep me aligned with you each day. Keep me focused on you, believing that you will do what you said, what you say.