He said to her, “Let the children be fed first. For it is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” Mark 7:27 NABRE
Jesus travels to the district of Tyre, approximately forty miles northwest of the Sea of Galilee and Capernaum where Jesus had been healing and teaching. This district is predominately a Gentle area and the message from Mark contrast Jesus removing the boundaries of purity and eating kosher food which precedes these verses with Jesus being in an area that has few Jews, providing another lesson in tearing down boundaries between Jews and non-Jews. It seems Jesus goes to the area in the hopes of not being recognized, but there is a Gentile woman who has discovered the news of Jesus healing and finds Him in the territory. She is a mother desperate for help as she has a demon possessed daughter. She shows a mother’s depth of love for her child and won’t let the opportunity to have this miracle making Rabbi help. She comes begging to Jesus and He indicates that He is here for the children of Israel. Jesus even uses a pejorative, the term dog, as if to say the dogs of a household have no privileges, they do not take food from the children of the household. However Jesus using the term “first” indicates the message is indeed intended for all of humanity. We know after Jesus passion, death and resurrection Gentiles will share in the inheritance of God’s children.
Of course the mother is able to persuade Jesus to help, primarily through her faith and her daughter is healed. But the message has a deeper meaning over a simple healing; Jesus is breaking down the barriers between Jews and Gentiles and in time the message of the kingdom of God will be announced to all humanity.
How do you treat those outside your common fellowship? Do you share with aliens generously?
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