Mark 7:24-30 (NIV)
Jesus Honors a Syrophoenician Woman’s Faith
24 Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it, yet he could not keep his presence secret. 25 In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at his feet. 26 The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter. 27 “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” 28 “Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29 Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.” 30 She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
Were the words of Jesus overly harsh?
You came for the broken, the sick, the outsider, and the sinner. You bring salvation for all people completely independent of religious merit but totally dependant on Your grace. This woman knew that as a Gentile and as a woman dealing with unclean spirits with her daughter, she would have been considered untouchable to a Jew, especially to a rabbi. You did not turn her away but engaged with her. We are all spiritually broken, sick, and condemned and are alienated from You because of our sin. Give me unwavering faith to not be deterred by who I am not, but have the faith to lay my concerns at Your feet because of who You are. Lord, often You speak in parables, using metaphors to get a message across. Your word pictures of small dogs or puppies under a table of children was a test of her faith and unlike the disciples, she got it. She knew that You were speaking of the order or hierarchy to who you had come. But she believed in the abundance of Your mercy that even the crumbs from Your table were enough. Like the dogs, she had nothing to offer, but she recognized Your authority and understood her dependence on Your mercy. She was not demanding her rights, as is common today. She was not saying that she deserved anything but was instead asking for what she didn’t deserve on the basis of Your goodness. Help me to recognize my desperate need for Your mercy. It’s only when I realize that I have no leverage in my position before You that I will hear and understand Your voice and call on my life. Let my genuine faith provide courage and hope to act on my trust in You and at the same time humbly approach Your throne with my requests. Jesus, I humbly lay at Your feet placing myself at Your mercy. I lean on Your grace alone. Amen