May 04, 2015
From the desk of Dr. A.J. Higgins
A Long Way and a Wrong Way
“It is not meet to take the children’s bread and to cast it unto the dogs.”
It was long journey on foot. But God’s Servant was not deterred by distances. He traveled from Galilee up to Tyre and Sidon. It was a distance of perhaps somewhere between 30 and 60 miles depending on His starting point. But what is distance when there are multitudes to be reached? But what if it were only one soul? And what if it was a Gentile? And a woman?
The Lord Jesus traveled all the way up to the region of Tyre and Sidon because He knew there was one woman who had faith to believe His Word. Yet, His actions do not seem anything like a Man Who has come to dispense blessing. Just the opposite. He is silent before the entreaties of the Syrophenician woman.
If He came a long way, she was coming the wrong way. She was coming claiming Jewish ground, addressing Him as though she were a Jew (see Matthew’s account – “Son of David”). His reply to her, while sounding strange to our ears, was actually full of compassion and hope to hers.
She accepted what He said. If the children are fed first, as a little dog at the foot of the table she is content with the crumbs. What she is saying, in effect, is that if she can only have a crumb of His power, she will be content; His power is so vast that even a crumb will meet her need. Little wonder the Lord Jesus said to her, “Go thy way. The demon is gone out of thy daughter.”
God’s servant was marked by care, compassion, sacrifice, discernment, kindness, and skill. All displayed to reach one Gentile sinner.
- Isn’t it significant that this Gentile woman is the only person in Mark’s Gospel who addressed Christ as “Lord.”
- What links can you make between this incident and the woman at the well in John 4?
- “He could not be hid” (v 24). What do you think this means? Why couldn’t He be hid?