Mark Has Some Good News, Part 29, Knocking On Wood
The Syrophoenician Woman's Faith
24 And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden. 25 But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet. 26 Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 And he said to her, "Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." 28 But she answered him, "Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs." 29 And he said to her, "For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter." 30 And she went home and found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.
What does it mean when Jesus calls your bluff? I'm sure it's happened to some of you, the question is to what degree.
Was it when you followed that cute girl to youth group? Or was it when you said you know your bible and oral sex is still OK? How about when you came to church with your kids just to force good behavior out of them? The truth we encounter is Jesus knows our intentions and He'll call our bluff if we come to him with any hesitation or lack of sincerity.
And Jesus looked at a women who came seemingly for the most unselfish reasons, to save her child. I'm not sure what her intentions were in coming to Jesus for help but he stops her with a statement that would be known now as a harsh insult. Not exactly word you expect from a savior. The insult of calling someone a dog is probably best translated into five letter word that still refers to dogs historically.
But I think Jesus was up to more than that. I think he was trying to see if she would humble herself in order to get to her savior. You see she wasn't worshiping God, I know this because she wasn't a Jew and Mark called her a gentile. She had probably spent a total of 0 hours looking for the true God of the universe all her life. And as such was an easy target for demonic attack. But when. Jesus came to town she must have heard the gossip. How this man claiming to be God was healing people.
And at that moment where Jesus showed her that what God wants is not people who are like him or what he does. But rather that He wants people "to" like him and what he does. By humbling herself after being rebuked by perfection she showed Jesus
"I'm not here for a service, I'm here for a savior. If you’re really God than who cares if I'm a dog under your table, at least I'm with you, the one who can save me and my daughter."
And Jesus in the same moment that he changes His mind changed her mind. Because he has already told us about who his real family is 164 verses ago.
Ask yourself why you’re headed to Jesus and why you think you'll stay?