“Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre.[g]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.” Mark 7.24-30
Everyone wanted a piece of Jesus. Whether it was the Jews or this Syrian-Phoenician woman, people were desperate to get to Jesus. They had heard what he could do and were determined to get an audience from this miracle working Rabbi.
Jesus went to Tyre which is northern Judea close to modern Lebanon. Here he was met by the woman whose little daughter was possessed by a demon. The first question that comes to mind is how did a little girl end up demon possessed? I always believed that humans allowed demons in because of sin, addictions or disobedience. If this girl was indeed “little,” perhaps 2 to 4 years old, why or how would she be filled with an evil spirit? Perhaps family influence or generational sin or curses caused her to have a demon. (I’m just speculating.)
Jesus doesn’t address this question however, but talks with the mother who in desperation finds Jesus and falls at his feet. Shes a mother who will do anything to make his child well. Yet because she was not Jewish, Jesus says to her “First let the children eat all they want, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” Jesus was speaking about the promise of God given first to the Jews, and that his offer of salvation was intended first and foremost to God’s Chosen people of Israel.
It’s the mother’s recognition of this, and humility that causes Jesus to stir with compassion and bring healing to the daughter. The mother says, “Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” She was not only comparing herself and her own people to a “dog” but making a case that even dogs eat the crumbs under the table — arguing that the blessings of God could be made available to all people and not just the Jews.
Jesus is moved by her response and said so — “for your reply,” Jesus said, “you may go. The demon as left your daughter.” Jesus sees and responds to desperation and faith — the longing in the human heart to be made whole and to believe that he is God can do what he says he will do.
It is by faith that we walk, by faith that we call upon the name of the Lord, by faith that we cling to the cross of Christ. He is our hope, our source of salvation, our Messiah and King. Each and every moment of the day can be filled with our offerings of praise and cries for help. God is not distant, he is near. Through the presence of the Holy Spirit we are tap in to the power of God which is accessible to all people if we will only believe.
Do you believe? Will you by faith call out to the Lord? He is with you this very moment.
“O Lord God, you are good. Thank you for loving us. Thank you for allowing us to know the power and the presence of your work around us. Thank you for even the crumbs that we Gentiles enjoy! Thank you for allowing all people to come before the Cross, to fall before your throne, and to find life now and live to come. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen