MIRACLES

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  Faith Of A Gentile Woman  
 
 

Mark 7:24-30
24 Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret.
25 In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an evil spirit came and fell at his feet.
26 The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.
27 "First let the children eat all they want," he told her, "for it is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs."
28 "Yes, Lord," she replied, "but even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs."
29 Then he told her, "For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter."
30 She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.


Matthew 15:21-28
21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession."
23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, "Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us."
24 He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel."
25 The woman came and knelt before him. "Lord, help me!" she said.
26 He replied, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs."
27 "Yes, Lord," she said, "but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table."
28 Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.


The story consists of a simple dialogue between the woman and Jesus. However, Mark has made a narrative which addresses a number of problems of his own community.

First, Mark portrays Jesus as a typical Jew traveling to a Gentile territory and meeting a Gentile (Greek, Syrophoenician) woman. Jesus metaphorically refers to the Jews as children and to the Gentiles as dogs. In effect, he seems to be calling the woman's daughter a dog. But, just as in a household the leftover scraps are given to the household dogs who usually wait beneath the table, the woman argues, so Gentiles should be able to benefit from the ministry of Jesus. How craftily Mark has justified the mission to the Gentiles!

Second, this mission to the Gentiles is based on faith. Because the woman believed and stood up to Jesus, her daughter was cured. Faith, no matter whether one is a Jew or a Gentile, is what characterizes an authentic disciple of Jesus.

Third, it is a woman who gets the best of Jesus. Mark is particularly sensitive to women and their needs. They occupy key positions throughout the Gospel. Why? Because in general, they were powerless people. Mark shows that it is the powerless that are really powerful.

The lesson we learn from this miracle is that begging and crying does not move God. It is our faith in Jesus, and in His Word, that moves mountains. If you are looking for a mighty miracle, find out what the Word says about it and speak/pray/act on it boldly and receive your miracle.