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. But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 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.” But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” And he said to her, “For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.” And she went home and found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.
Comment: Jesus sought a rest and went to a quiet place in a presumably private home. But this woman with a sick child found Him. You may remember the record of Jesus touching the leper, and Jews were not meant to touch lepers. They were also not meant to have close contacts with gentiles, and His visitor here was a gentile woman. His words to our ears sound very harsh and maybe nasty and unacceptable to come from the lips of Jesus! The gentiles were called ‘dogs’ by the Jews. In my childhood times Italians were called ‘Dagoes’. People from New Guinea were often called ‘Wogs’. And the words can be used in a voice which is offensive or in a voice which is gentle. This woman wasn’t offended. She made a very smart and ‘to the point’ reply, playing on the word ‘dog’. Was Jesus just trying to get her to be absolutely open with Him? She was, and the Master from a Jewish background healed her Gentile child. He has dealt very graciously with, may I say, billions of Gentiles over the intervening years, of whom I am one.
Prayer: Thank You, Jesus.