Lesson 35

The Gospel According to Mark

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

7:24 From there he arose, and went away into the borders of Tyre and Sidon. He entered into a house, and wanted no one to know it, but he couldn't escape detection. 7:25 For a woman, whose little daughter had an unclean spirit, having heard of him, came and fell down at his feet. 7:26 Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by race. She begged him that he would cast the demon out of her daughter. 7:27 But Jesus said to her, "Let the children be filled first, for it is not appropriate to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs."

7:28 But she answered him, "Yes, Lord. For even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs."

7:29 He said to her, "For this saying, go your way. The demon has gone out of your daughter."

7:30 She went away to her house, and found the child laying on the bed, with the demon gone out.

Today's Lesson 

Mark had written of the multitudes that were waiting for Jesus everywhere that He went. He had begun to explain to us the differences that Jesus had with the Pharisees and the scribes. After Jesus had sent the Twelve apostles out into the towns of Galilee, He attempted to go into the wilderness with them and allow them to have some time to relax. They had been followed into the wilderness and that plan had to be given up for the moment. Now Jesus takes the disciples into the Gentile region around Tyre and Sidon. Here they would have the opportunity to have some quieter conversations.


Even when Jesus and the disciples go into the Gentile lands, He cannot escape being noticed. There was a woman there who recognized Jesus. Her daughter was under the influence of an unclean spirit. At first Jesus was reluctant to heal her daughter. He had come first to give the good news to the Jewish people. However, Jesus changed His mind because of the woman's faith and her humility.


Some people might be offended by the metaphor that Jesus uses in this instance. He refers to the Gentiles as "dogs." But, this is given to us to see the humility of this woman. She presses Jesus to do this for her even after He tells her no. This woman is the example of the widow who petitions the judge repeatedly for justice until he gives it to her. She continues to present her case to Jesus with humility until He gives her what she desires.


God wants us to be insistent with Him. This is not to say that when God tells us "No," that we must not listen. But, what it does mean is that God wants us to continue to request what we need from Him. If we have faith in God, we will not give up at the first sign that our petition has not been noticed. Whenever we apply this principle, of course, we must be sure that what we are asking for is within the will of God. God will not compromise with sin nor will He enable our selfishness. But, what God does want from us is for us to pray again and again for what we know God would have us to do. Sometimes God makes us wait because in the waiting our faith is put to the test.


What is the one thing that you would want God to do for you today? Have you enough power of conviction to continue to pray for this day after day?


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