Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Syro-Phoenician’s Daughter

Mark 7:24-29

“And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid.” (Mark 7:24)

From the area west of the Sea of Galilee, Jesus went Northwest into present day Lebanon.  He tried to go secretly, but was unable to hide his identity. 

“For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet: The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter.” (Mark 7:25-26)

One of the people who heard Jesus was there was a Greek woman who had been raise in the part of the old Phoenician Empire which had been joined with Syria under the Roman Empire.  She came and worshipped Jesus, asking him to cast a demon out of her daughter. 

“But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.

And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs.

And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter.  And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.” (Mark 7:27-29)

Because of the prophecies, it was important that the Jews be given the first opportunity to receive Christ.  Jesus used the illustration of taking care of one’s family before taking care of the pets to illustrate what he was doing.  The woman pointed out that even when the focus was on feeding one’s family, the dogs were allowed to eat the things that fell off the table.  She was not asking him to deprive the Jews, but just to drop a few crumbs for her.   It would require very little on his part to heal her daughter. 

It was obvious she recognized him as having more than enough power to heal her daughter and still accomplish his goal.  Because of her faith, as demonstrated by what she said. Jesus said her daughter was healed.  She accepted his word and went home.    When she got home, she found her daughter sleeping naturally and the demon gone.  Like the Roman centurion, she believed Jesus could do what he promised, even without going to her house.  

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