according to mark 7:24-30

7:24-27 – Then he got up and left that place and went off to the neighbourhood of Tyre. There he went into a house and wanted no one to know where he was. But it proved impossible to remain hidden. For no sooner had he got there, than a woman who had heard about him, and who had a daughter possessed by an evil spirit, arrived and prostrated herself before him. She was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth, and she asked him to drive the evil spirit out of her daughter. Jesus said to her, “You must let the children have all they want first. It is not right, you know, to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.”

7:28 – But she replied, “Yes, Lord, I know, but even the dogs under the table eat what the children leave.”

7:29 – “If you can answer like that,” Jesus said to her, “you can go home! The evil spirit has left your daughter.”

7:30 – And she went back home and found the child lying quietly on her bed, and the evil spirit gone.


4 responses

  1. Sorry for the delays — but the google upgrades seem to have caused me some log-in issues and I couldn’t post. I think all is resolved.I think we have here Paul’s insight that the gospel and therefore the Kingdom of God is by no means restricted to those who are Jews according birth or practice but that it is a universal and everlasting gospel and Kingdom — read back into the Jesus story for confirmation.It MAY be this story happened more or less as depicted. But the story is preserved because Paul’s witness made it relevant to the communities of faith being created by his and other’s evangelistic efforts.How does this apply today? We allow ourselves to be aware of — indeed watch for — signs of God’s grace manifesting outside our communities and amongst those we might ordinarily consider outside “the faith”.

  2. It’s not at all unreasonable to imagine that this story happened as told.Christ’s interactions with Gentiles must have been quite frequent, since (1) his country had long since been absorbed into the greater Hellenic world of the Seleucids, (2) a major international trade route ran right through the Jewish north where his ministry was underway, and (3) Judæa was, as an important agricultural exporter to the rest of the Roman empire, heavily invested with Roman soldiers determined to keep it part of that empire.Thus, both Christ and the disciples must have had Gentiles in their faces on a near-daily basis, and must inevitably have had religious interactions with them. And they must have had to consider, as a result of those interactions, how the Gentiles fit into God’s plan — just as the Hebrew prophets, confronted with Canaanites and Hittites and Babylonians and Assyrians and what-not in their midst, had had to do before them.Pre-Roman Israel was never, ever purely Hebrew/Jewish, and in some periods, when its nominally Jewish rulers had been irreligious or more Canaanite than Jewish, it had not been even predominantly Hebrew/Jewish. Christ could presumably have dealt with this strongly non-Jewish side of his heritage as some of the more intolerant Hebrew prophets had done, but that would have been at odds with his gospel of God’s mercy.

  3. I tend to see Jesus as aJewish prophet and Paul as a Christian apostle. Hence my spinning of wheels on the provenance of this story. Having said this — Paul of Jesus — still leaves us with the practical issue of how we deal with “outsiders” — the neo-pagansin our Quaker meetings, or, on the otherside –the steadfast Richmond Declaration (or even better — Apostle’s Creed) or the highway types — that we can find oh so irksome at times

  4. I recently heard an Episcopal minister describe this as a moment of spiritual growth for Jesus – one of overcoming prejudice against the “outsider.” Thus it models for us what we are capable of doing.

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