The Faith of a Gentile Woman (Reading Tips and Resources in Right Panel)
The Gospel of Mark Chapter 7, v. 24: Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre. He didn’t want anyone to know which house he was staying in, but he couldn’t keep it a secret.25 Right away a woman who had heard about him came and fell at his feet. Her little girl was possessed by an evil spirit, 26 and she begged him to cast out the demon from her daughter.
Since she was a Gentile, born in Syrian Phoenicia, 27 Jesus told her, “First I should feed the children—my own family, the Jews. It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.” 28 She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even the dogs under the table are allowed to eat the scraps from the children’s plates.” 29 “Good answer!” he said. “Now go home, for the demon has left your daughter.” 30 And when she arrived home, she found her little girl lying quietly in bed, and the demon was gone.
Jesus Heals a Deaf Man
31 Jesus left Tyre and went up to Sidon before going back to the Sea of Galilee and the region of the Ten Towns. 32 A deaf man with a speech impediment was brought to him, and the people begged Jesus to lay his hands on the man to heal him. 33 Jesus led him away from the crowd so they could be alone. He put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then, spitting on his own fingers, he touched the man’s tongue. 34 Looking up to heaven, he sighed and said, “Ephphatha,” which means, “Be opened!” 35 Instantly the man could hear perfectly, and his tongue was freed so he could speak plainly!
36 Jesus told the crowd not to tell anyone, but the more he told them not to, the more they spread the news. 37 They were completely amazed and said again and again, “Everything he does is wonderful. He even makes the deaf to hear and gives speech to those who cannot speak.”
About today's contributor . . . Donjiro is an advertising executive and lives in upstate New York with his wife and two children.
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For someone born on a mission to save the world, Jesus often seems quite human – almost annoyed by the role he has to play sometimes. In the first story with the Gentile woman, Jesus seems to be acting like anyone does right before dinner – kind of hoping this woman would just go away until he and his crew could eat something. Although what Jesus says to her does not sound very Christian, her quick wit and persistence pleases him. I like that this woman was not dissuaded by his first (snarky) answer. Instead, she kept her cool, and threw it right back at him. And got what she wanted.
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Bible Reading Tips . . .
Start by asking God to interact with you
Ask for a fresh perspective
Expect to be challenged in your assumptions
Try imagining yourself in the story
Slow down and pay attention to your feelings, thoughts and reactions
When something bothers you, talk to God about it
Want to dig deeper? We recommend "The Bible for Normal People" podcast.