Not Quite, Almost, Nearly \"NOPE!\"

Scripture: Mark 7:29-30 - And He said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter. And when she was come to her house, she found the devil gone out, and her daughter laid upon the bed."

Matthew 15:28 - Then Jesus said, answering her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour."

For a number of paragraphs anticipating this report, as well as sections that follow it, we see the disappointment of Jesus, and His frustration with folks that should be 'in the know'. Along with this was the recent departing of John the Immerser [the Baptist], violently by Herod. Still, with opposition, the earthly ministry of Jesus continued and escalated with signs and wonders, yet, those who should've recognized, didn't.

Those invested in the letter of the law, the scribes and Pharisees, offered Jesus little more than criticism and confrontation, and thoroughly lacking UNDERSTANDING caused more harm than good. Eating with unwashed hands became a thing. "Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." Matthew 15:14

Then, as Jesus walked with them, there were those investing in the spirit of the law, following Jesus,  those whom He adopted as a family of disciples, who regularly 'missed the boat'.
"And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without UNDERSTANDING?...Whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly and is cast out...but those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man." Matthew 15:16-18

Between these two, was an audience of one, probably taking in these engagements, to whom Jesus responded curiously. She was a Syro-Phoenician. She was a Canaanite. She was a mother, and her  child was unwell. "'Have mercy on me, O'Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil." But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and besought Him, saying, 'Send her away for she crieth after us'. But He answered saying 'I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.'   Then came she and worshipped Him saying, 'Lord, help me.' Matthew 15:22-25

And so He turned about, and cupped her face in His hands, and looking beyond her tears, He said Daughter, you are now my daughter, and your daughter is now healed. Right?

Nope. Not even close.

"But He answered and said, 'It is not meet to take the children's bread, and cast it to the dogs.' Matthew 15:26  [for context in this poor community these were more like scavengers competing for scant resources, more pest-like than pets, and by Jesus' account, especially in a Jewish home they were too filthy to be near the eating, likely outdoors where if they got any scraps it was tossed to them, outdoors, i.e. 'cast' to them...but would they, being unclean, defile a man?]

"And she answered and said unto Him, 'Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children's crumbs.'"
[In her response,  the dogs are dogs, literally puppies 'kunarion', and they are in the house, even right there at the table, even right upon the people, as their tables were low-level, as they reclined near the floor when at the table-recall 'the Last Supper'...one might even suppose a metaphorical 'table' given that even a puppy would be hard-pressed to navigate under their true tables, a 'table' representing personal supply and abundance, such as in Psalm 23. With all the foot-washing happening, why would you let in mutts? And in her example, the children are fed, and the dogs get not their bread, but the children's scraps, another contrast, taking us to her true state of humility, UNDERSTANDING what the others did not, and seeing Jesus as LORD, and knowing Him as Savior for her daughter, and herself]  Indeed, it is the heart  of hearts that declares the state of a soul, and not so much the paint job.

"And He said unto her, 'For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of your daughter.' Mark 7:29  "Then Jesus answered and said unto her 'O' woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee, even as thou wilt.' And her daughter was made whole from that very hour." Matthew 15:28

Prayer:   [scripture paraphrased]  In Thy Name I pray:  Great are Thy tenderest mercies, O' LORD: Quicken me in accord with Thy ways. [Psalm 119:156]   Have inclined this mine heart unto Thy will my GOD, even unto the end of my days. [Psalm 119:112]
Amen.

(by Dr. McNeal Brockington)

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