“The Gentiles Also”

Following an intense season of ministry, Jesus and His men travel to the hills of Tyre and Sidon for some much needed rest. Upon arriving at the guest house, they are interrupted by a Gentile woman desperate to see her daughter delivered from a demon. Matthew tells us that the disciples are frustrated and annoyed. All they want is for some much needed alone time and this woman will not stop bugging them about her daughter. Mark’s account vividly tells the story of Jesus setting up a dialogue between His disciples, the woman and himself that will result in demonstrating a major shift in His ministry. Jesus responds that he has come to the Jews as their Messiah and will not entertain her request since she is a Gentile dog. For those disciples who were fixated on their people being the chosen people of God, this must have been very satisfying. Then the woman’s response foils the entire argument. She responds that even a dog gets to eat crumbs from the table. Jesus allows her to “win” the conversation. The woman’s faith has made her child well. Jesus has emphatically demonstrated that His ministry is not only to the Jews but also to the Gentile world.