Crumbs from the Table

Steven Bouma-Prediger

READ : Mark 7:24-30

Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. (v. 26)

Jesus was once again hanging out with the wrong crowd. He was in an unclean land with
an unclean woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit. Three strikes and you’re out in the
first-century Jewish ritual purity system of clean and unclean. What was Jesus
thinking?

The Gentile woman begged Jesus to deliver the demon from her daughter. Jesus
refused – or so it seemed. He declared that Jews come first, and Gentiles come
second.

But the woman was insistent: even the dogs under the table get to eat the children’s
crumbs – something every

pet-owning parent of young children knows all too well. With that answer Jesus
responded, and in faith the woman returned home to find her daughter healthy again.

But did Jesus really mean to call Gentiles dogs? His point is that he came first for
his fellow Jews – to tell them that their deliverance was at hand. When Israel was
restored, then it would be time for the rest of the world to be brought under the rule of
Israel’s God, the Creator of the world, for that was the original Abrahamic calling: to
bless all nations.

Election is for service, not privilege. How do we view our own identity in Christ?
Service to others or advantage to self?

PRAYER

God of all nations, bless us to be a blessing to all people.