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Thread: what does this mean?

  1. #1
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    Question what does this mean?

    hey everyone
    i'm reading Mark and i need help understanding something that Jesus said i read this years ago but i bet i didn't understand it then and just left it

    Mark 7:24-30

    The Faith of a Syrophoenician Woman

    24 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 evil[h] 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 their dogs."

    28 "Yes, Lord," she replied, "but 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.


    ^ what the? verse 27...what does Jesus mean? and what's even more puzzling for me. what does the ladies reply mean?
    she understood what Jesus said to her. i would've been there like "um Lord...i don't know what the heck you just said but my daughter!...demon thingy!"
    "without Jesus my life on earth would be like listening to a neverending Fleetwood Mac song" BB

    -------------------------- To Live Is To Die --------------------------

  2. #2
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    The way I understand this has to do a bit with God's corporate election of people. At the time Jesus was on this earth, the Israelites where still God's chosen people (and still are, just have been set aside for the time being) to achieve his purposes. As such, Jesus came to preach and teach to Jews (the children who get the bread), not Gentiles (the dogs under the table). The woman in this passage was a gentile.

    In v27, Jesus was telling her that he came for the benefit of the Jews at that specific moment, not the gentiles. Which is true, because at that point in time, the world had not yet entered the church age (the time we're living in now) in which God uses gentiles to fulfill his purposes. So, in this verse he wasn't dismissing her, he was using this little exercise with her as a test of her faith.

    Her answer in v28 proved to Jesus (not that he really needed proof, but it shows a response from the person, as is required of us in order to be saved) that she knew who he was and was placing her faith in him. To explain it another way, when she said "but even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs", she was humbling herself before God, (she acknowledged her position in relation to Jesus and the Jews), and she was placing complete faith in Jesus (she acknowledged that Jesus was the source of the "bread" by calling him Lord and without him she was helpless).

    Had this woman not had the kind of faith in Jesus that God requires, her response to Jesus statement would probably have been one of despair and self-pity. A lot of times when we don't get what we pray for, don't we typically respond to God with anger, resentment, despair, self-pity, or other similar negative feelings? But her response wasn't like that, it was one of complete faith and trust in Jesus.

    v29 is Jesus response to her faith in him. Because she humbled herself before God and put her complete trust in him, her request was granted.

    She is an example of the kind of faith that we all should have as Christians.

    I hope that helps shed some light on this passage for you.
    Last edited by fracturedInfinity; September 24th, 2008 at 09:23 AM.
    "I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe that I may understand: for this I also believe, that unless I believe I will not understand." --Anselm of Canterbury

    Hebrews 12:3-4
    For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.

  3. #3

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    Agreed! Good explanation!

    The "children" = Israel, the "dogs" = Gentiles, at that time.
    It was a well-known expression at that time, so that is why the woman knew what He meant. She demonstrated faith in Him, from her lowly position (as a Gentile.)

  4. #4
    His Bride Guest

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    Couldn't have said it better myself. Great explanation, FracturedInfinity!

  5. #5
    Doulos Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBunny View Post
    hey everyone
    i'm reading Mark and i need help understanding something that Jesus said i read this years ago but i bet i didn't understand it then and just left it

    Mark 7:24-30

    The Faith of a Syrophoenician Woman

    24 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 evil[h] 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 their dogs."

    28 "Yes, Lord," she replied, "but 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.


    ^ what the? verse 27...what does Jesus mean? and what's even more puzzling for me. what does the ladies reply mean?
    she understood what Jesus said to her. i would've been there like "um Lord...i don't know what the heck you just said but my daughter!...demon thingy!"
    Jesus basically is expressing the same idea as the phrase 'to the Jew first and also to the Greek' that Paul uses.

  6. #6
    freyasfav Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by fracturedInfinity View Post
    The way I understand this has to do a bit with God's corporate election of people. At the time Jesus was on this earth, the Israelites where still God's chosen people (and still are, just have been set aside for the time being) to achieve his purposes. As such, Jesus came to preach and teach to Jews (the children who get the bread), not Gentiles (the dogs under the table). The woman in this passage was a gentile.

    In v27, Jesus was telling her that he came for the benefit of the Jews at that specific moment, not the gentiles. Which is true, because at that point in time, the world had not yet entered the church age (the time we're living in now) in which God uses gentiles to fulfill his purposes. So, in this verse he wasn't dismissing her, he was using this little exercise with her as a test of her faith.

    Her answer in v28 proved to Jesus (not that he really needed proof, but it shows a response from the person, as is required of us in order to be saved) that she knew who he was and was placing her faith in him. To explain it another way, when she said "but even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs", she was humbling herself before God, (she acknowledged her position in relation to Jesus and the Jews), and she was placing complete faith in Jesus (she acknowledged that Jesus was the source of the "bread" by calling him Lord and without him she was helpless).

    Had this woman not had the kind of faith in Jesus that God requires, her response to Jesus statement would probably have been one of despair and self-pity. A lot of times when we don't get what we pray for, don't we typically respond to God with anger, resentment, despair, self-pity, or other similar negative feelings? But her response wasn't like that, it was one of complete faith and trust in Jesus.

    v29 is Jesus response to her faith in him. Because she humbled herself before God and put her complete trust in him, her request was granted.

    She is an example of the kind of faith that we all should have as Christians.

    I hope that helps shed some light on this passage for you.
    As I understand it as well, though worded far more articulate than I'd have managed.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    wow thanx everyone...esp. fracturedInfinity

    i wasn't looking at the verse for the time that it was set in. ie: not the church age, Jesus had come for the Jews. so i wasn't reading the verses from the right point of view. i did think Jesus was telling her to go away but then that's the opposite to what he'd do...so you get a confused me which happens quite often. oh man...i'm a dog!?
    "without Jesus my life on earth would be like listening to a neverending Fleetwood Mac song" BB

    -------------------------- To Live Is To Die --------------------------

  8. #8
    evensocomequickly Guest

    Default haha

    "The way I understand this has to do a bit with God's corporate election of people. At the time Jesus was on this earth, the Israelites where still God's chosen people (and still are, just have been set aside for the time being) to achieve his purposes. As such, Jesus came to preach and teach to Jews (the children who get the bread), not Gentiles (the dogs under the table). The woman in this passage was a gentile."

    I wanted to say excellent explanation as well!

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