Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Wed, 09/12/2009 – 10:17
Verse: 24 – 30
In this story we read how Jesus, the Jew, went to a gentile country. However, this was not meant to be the first missionary journey to the gentiles. That would happen later – after the crucifixion, resurrection and outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus and his disciples had gone to a quiet place to get some rest. While they were there, a little incident took place. Now that Mark was writing his gospel narrative he remembered this incident and he realised how what had happened then was actually a prophetic incident, an indication of the new time that would arrive after Jesus had completed his mission to the Jews.
Maybe Jesus was contemplating this new time that would come when he deliberately went to Tyre (v 24)? Is it possible that He was actually looking forward to the time when there would be no more barriers between Jews and Greeks, so He highlighted the barriers of “children and dogs” that were still obvious during his ministry to Israel (v 27)? We do not know.
What we do know is that this new time, with those barriers broken down, has indeed arrived and we are living in it at present (cf Eph 2:13&14)! Now all those who have previously been outside the covenant nation of Israel are included in God’s Shalom (cf Eph 2:17). Jesus is the bread of life that came so that all of us can have life in abundance. No more “crumbs only” for the “dogs” at the table of the “children”!
Is it possible that we are aware of this new time but are still living according to those old times? Is it possible that we misunderstand this story and think that Jesus’ mentioning of the distinction between children and dogs is an indication of what should be? Is it possible that we as church people could actually think that we are the children and “those others” are like “dogs”?
To think about or discuss: The Greek woman from Syrian Phoenicia who begged Jesus to help her daughter gave a voice to the voiceless. Where do we hear those voices calling out for help today? And how do we respond?