Running With Mark 48


Day Forty-Eight – February 14, 2020  



Mark 7:24-30 New Revised Standard Version

There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free,

there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus”.

Galatians 3:28



Here’s some background to give context to the passage.
  • Tyre was a major city. In this city God answered Elijah’s prayer to heal a woman’s child (1 Kings 17:9-24).  Jesus is in this Gentile city, trying to go unnoticed, but of course he is spotted right away.  There was no time off for Jesus.
  • This story is really more about politics than it is about healing. Pay attention to the descriptors used about the woman.
  • Syrophoenician woman – Mark calls her a Syrophoenician. Matthew calls her a Canaanite.  It refers to her political background.  She was Greek.  The Greeks were the ruling class in the republics of Tyre and Sidon.
  • Children’s Food/Children’s Bread – The Greeks of Tyre and Sidon did well economically, even as those who lived outside of the city suffered. 
  • Some scholars suggest that, in a sense, she belonged to a class that had been taking bread that Jews and Gentiles in the outlying region could have used to feed their children.
  • Dogs – is a reference to Gentiles. It was a harsh insult, but keep in mind that Gentiles had equally harsh and uncomplimentary slang names for the Jews. 
  • Jesus however, was not degrading the woman when he used this term. His is trying to explain to her God’s plan to present God’s message first to the Jews.  Jesus wants the Jewish people to see that their long-awaited deliverer, their messiah has come.  This was his primary task.
  • Jesus had just been teaching about cleanness and uncleanness. The old ideas about who was “clean” or “unclean” were no longer important.
  • In healing the woman’s daughter, Jesus is living out that he is the Messiah, not just for the Jews, but for the whole world.
  • Her differing faith, her differing politics, her differing identity do not keep her from approaching Jesus in faith. She presses on, willing to kneel at the feet of Jesus, even if others from her “group” would disapprove. 
  • This is another miracle where Jesus does not have to touch, or even be physically present with the ill person.

Imagine that this scene took place today.  Who might the Syrophoenician woman be?  Might she be a Muslim? A person of another race or culture?  The people of Jesus’ own faith tradition did not recognize him as Messiah, yet she did.  How do you suppose that is?

What does it mean to you that Jesus’ message is for all people, not just those who are like you?  Do you think Jesus already understood that his mission was for more than just the Jewish people? Or did this event change his thinking?  Does it make a difference to you either way?


What does Galatians 3:28 mean to you?  What would the world be like without the divisions of Jew/Greek, Slave/Free, Male/Female?  For we are all one in Christ Jesus.  How would you re-write this verse for today?



We Are One in the Spirit

Christ Has Broken Every Wall

Draw the Circle Wide


Prayer Focus:




Grace and peace,
Pastor Karen Bruins