Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | January 4, 2010

“Yes, Lord, but even the dogs under the table feed on the children’s crumbs.”

Today’s devotion covers Mark 7:24-30 which is the story of the Gentile woman, of the Syrophoenician race, who kept asking Jesus to cast the demon out of her daughter.  We will focus on verses 27 though 30. 

27  And He (Jesus) was saying to her, “Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”

 28  But she answered and said to Him, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs under the table feed on the children’s crumbs.”

 29  And He said to her, “Because of this answer go; the demon has gone out of your daughter.”

 30  And going back to her home, she found the child lying on the bed, the demon having left.”  Mark 7:27-30.  (Emphasis and parenthetical comment added.)

Because Jesus attributes the reason why He cast out the demon of the Gentile woman’s daughter to the answer of the Gentile woman, we would do well to consider her answer.  What do we see in her answer?  I see three things upon which I want to comment, but you may find more. 

First, I see humility.  Instead of bristling with anger at being called a dog, the Gentile woman was humble.  She begins her answer with “Yes, Lord“.  I am reminded of James 4:6:  “But He gives a greater grace.  Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”  

Second, I see persistence.  Instead of giving up to Jesus’ statement that indicated that He was not likely to grant her request to cast the demon out of her daughter, the Gentile woman was persistent.  She adds the “but” and persists:   “Yes, Lord, but …”.  I am reminded of yesterday’s morning sermon by my Pastor Bob Burridge which emphasized and was titled “Persisting in Prayer”.  The sermon’s Scripture was Luke 11:5-13.

Third, I see knowledge and insight (wisdom).  Instead of giving up hope that the facts of this case precluded Jesus from helping, the Gentile woman found a “loophole”.  She had knowledge and insight that even dogs get crumbs, and thus, there may be hope that although her case was the exception, her daughter might get help as the exception, as the dog that gets the crumbs.  I would like to expand on this point.

We first should give credit to God for giving us that knowledge and insight (wisdom).  1 Corinthians 2:12-13 states:  “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.”  

But, second, we also seek to meditate on God’s Word that we might gain such knowledge and insight (wisdom).  Colossians 3:16 exhorts us:  “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”  Proverbs is full of teachings about the importance of wisdom.  In fact, the whole Bible emphasizes the importance of wisdom.  BibleGateway web site shows there are 211 verses with the word “wisdom” in it – Click here: – Keyword Search: wisdom  Here is one of example.  Proverbs 2:2 states:  “Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding;”

Finally, we should also consider the warning of what the lack of knowledge and insight (wisdom) can do.  “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.  Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest.  Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.”  Hosea 4:6 


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