Read: Mark 7:24-30
The woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. (v. 26)
A tendency we human beings have is to like those who are like us. And then, on the contrary, we hold at a distance those who are not like us. But Jesus was introducing a gospel that included all people—Jew and Greek, male and female, and slave or free.
This was not a popularly held belief at the time. Different races and ethnic groups kept mainly to themselves. In today’s Scripture, however, we see Jesus leaving the land of Israel and walking on foreign soil. Could it be that Jesus was beginning to reach out to Phoenicians and Greeks? If so, Jesus was fulfilling God’s ancient promise to Abraham, that in him, all the nations of the earth will be blessed.
Jesus indeed was introducing a gospel for all people, but there was an order in which the gospel would be presented. Jesus came first to the Jew, and then the Gentile. Paul says as much in Romans 1:16. Jesus implies this by his comment to the Greek woman who sought healing for her daughter: “Let the children be fed first” (v. 27). But Jesus is so pleased with the woman’s persistent response of faith that he heals the little girl. Obviously, Jesus couldn’t wait to respond to this lady. Her being a Gentile didn’t matter to him. She had faith! And likewise, no matter who you are or where you come from, Jesus can’t wait to respond to you!
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for reaching out to us and caring for us, no matter who we are. Amen.