St. Mark 7: 24 – 37

Feb. 21, 2022

24 And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid.

25 For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet:

26 The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter.

27 But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs.

28 And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs.

29 And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter.

30 And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed.

31 And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis.

32 And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him.

33 And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue;

34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened.

35 And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.

36 And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it;

37 And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.

Wow! Did Jesus just refer to that Gentile woman as a dog? That doesn’t sound like Jesus at all. To the Jews, Gentiles were contemptible and they had as little to do with them as possible. Both Jesus and the women knew this. Jesus’s words to her reflect that His message, the gospel, is for the children of Israel first; the woman would have understood this yet she says that the dogs eat the crumbs the children leave behind. The St. Ignatius Catholic Study Bible footnotes that by her remark “she reveals her humility and her perserverance”. I think she also reveals her faith in Jesus and Jesus never walked away from anyone who had faith in Him because to have faith in Him was (and is) to have faith in the Father Who sent Him.

I have to chuckle; we tend to think scholars know so much more than we do – and very often they do but neither the St. Ignatius nor the King James Study Bible has even mentioned the ‘spit’ in verse 33. I’ll follow the inclination of the scholars and just not try to figure out the spit – must a God thing (wink).

There’s an interesting difference in the St.Ignatius and the King James when it comes to ‘Ephphatha’; King James refers to that word as a ‘sigh’, St. Ignatius refers to it as a command – “Be opened”. I suspect it may be both.

Verse 36 makes me laugh out loud. Poor Jesus – He keeps telling people not to tell anyone of the healing He’s done for them and off they go telling anyone who’ll listen! Humans, by and large, are not very good at keeping secrets – regardless of how small the secret may be. But these ‘secrets’ are so HUGE how could anyone NOT tell the whole world about them? It’s simply beyond our human ability to keep our mouths shut, especially in regard to miracles. We should be proclaiming Christ from our roof tops, with megaphones, under brightest kleig lights to let the world know THIS IS JESUS!

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