Class Notes: 1/5/2014

Mark 7:26-35 Jesus casts the demon from the Syrophoenician woman's child and continues to heal in gentile areas where he finds positive volition


In our study of Mark when we stopped last time we were in Mark 7:26; where Jesus after traveling 40 miles to Tyre was confronted by the Syrophonenician woman who was begging Jesus to cast a demon out of her daughter.

We had taken up the parallel passage in Matt 15:22-23; to acquire additional information regarding the confrontation and we saw that Jesus disciples were inconvenienced and embarrassed by her importunity. It was very embarrassing for them because they are Jews and a Gentile woman is following them around hollering out "Have mercy."

They had their eyes on themselves (they are embarrassed), they are guilty of arrogance and self-pity, and the only way the disciples can pass the test is to have some compassion on her.

They cannot personally help her but they could have taken her to Jesus or asked Jesus to help her. After all, He has been healing people everywhere he has been with them.

Jesus finally answers her in Matt 15:24;"I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." His statement challenges the woman's faith. In the previous verse His silence had challenged the faith-rest of the disciples.

Have they learned anything? Have they developed any compassion? What is their mental attitude in this embarrassing situation? Are they relaxed? They were not so they still hadn't learned anything.

He now tests the woman when He says to her that He is only sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And this woman doesn't qualify for His help because, first of all, she is saved so she is not lost, and secondly, she is a Gentile and not an Israelite, and it is the fact that she is a Gentile woman who is requesting Jesus' help that is making the disciples uncomfortable.

Nothing causes people to tense up more than self-righteousness and the disciples were self-righteous. This is a situation that the disciples cannot handle because they are arrogant. They think they are something when they actually are not.

With the humility created by faith-rest believers can stay relaxed in any kind of situation, regardless of what some other legalistic person says. Just remember anything that comes from legalism is not important. Forget about it and move on. Whatever comes from self-righteous arrogance is not even to be considered.

In this case the disciples are out of line because of their arrogance but the woman is in line and that is demonstrated by her humility. The woman is right and they are wrong and they think that she is wrong and they are right.

Jesus tests her humility by making the statement: "I am not sent, except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." We will see that her response to Him demonstrates her humility.

She recognizes the Lord's mission to Israel but she responds with tremendous persistence of faith. She knows that even though the doctrinal position is that Jesus' mission is only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel that as a believer in Jesus Christ grace will take precedence

So she appeals to His grace through the application of faith- rest. Faith-rest is the only way that we as believers can appeal to the grace of God and even though the Lord's mission at the time was exclusively to Israel here is a woman in need, in a helpless situation, and she knows that God deals with individuals who happen to be outside the direct scope of his plan while He is fulfilling the plan.

God in His grace never overlooks a believer in need. God the Holy Spirit had really led Jesus to Tyre to help this woman, and at the same time he used the opportunity to demonstrate to His disciples the importance of faith-rest

God the Holy Spirit is telling us the by the wording of this passage that the only reason Jesus actually went to Tyre was to contact this woman who had a persistent faith-rest life, so that she could follow Him. In the process His disciples also learned a lesson about grace and compassion.

While her situation was hopeless, Jesus statement makes it even more hopeless. Now, you have a hopeless situation at some time in your life and you look at a piece of doctrine that says it is even more hopeless. What are you going to do? Fall apart? No!

When you have a hopeless situation and it suddenly becomes more hopeless than you thought you faith-rest it. Put it in the Lord's hands, leave it there and wait. And that is exactly what this woman does; she is consistent and persistent in her use of faith-rest.

A principle we get from this is that sometimes things do not always fit nicely into our doctrine at the time and when that happens the issue is always grace because grace is the overruling aegis and policy of God's love toward all mankind. John 3:16; 1Tim 2:3-4;

Matt 15:25; The imperfect tense of the Greek word "proskyneo" and the present linear of the verb "lego" states that She kept on repeatedly bowing down and saying "Lord help me"

Matt 15:26; Mark 7:27; He continues to test her faith with his answer. He uses the word "children' to refer to Israel" as in "the children of Israel" He is amplifying His previous statement that His mission is only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Jesus uses the Greek word "kunarion" that means "little dog" rather than the Greek word "kuon" that is used for a normal sized or adult dog.

The word "dog" is first used as a reference for Gentiles in Psalm 22:16; This Psalm was quoted from by Jesus from memory when he was on the cross. In the ancient world dogs were unclean and vicious, they lived on garbage, and men rode horses whenever possible so they wouldn't be bitten by dogs.

The Jews regarded the Gentiles as dogs because the Gentiles ate pork and other ritually unclean things that were forbidden in the Mosaic law.

Unlike today when for the most part dogs are considered to be pets, all biblical references to dogs are derogatory. The dog is always represented in the scripture as being cowardly, evil, or insignificant.

The dog is used as a figure of insignificance in. 1Samuel 17:43; 2Kings 8:13;

One of the most disgraceful and dishonorable deaths in the ancient world was to be devoured by dogs. 1 Kings 14:11; 16:4; 21:19,23; 2Kings 9:10;

Dogs are used in analogies to reversionism in Matthew 7:6; Philippians 3:2.

Dogs are used to describe unbelievers 2Peter 2:22; Rev 22:15;

Those who live by violence (assassins, not professional soldiers) are described as dogs who hungry for killing in Psalm 59:6-14;

A man who seduces women was called a dog's head in 2 Sam 3:8;

Dogs are used in the description of the administration of the fifth cycle of discipline to a nation in Jer 15:3;

Dogs were used as an analogy in the grace appeal to our Lord in our passage Matthew 15:25-27; Mark 7:25-28;

Matt 15:27; Mark 7:28;"But she replied, Yes Lord: but even the little dogs eat of the children's crumbs that fall from the master's table."

By saying this she plays her trump card and applies a superseding principle of doctrine. Rom 10:13;

This woman is a humble believer and her belief in Jesus Christ trumps the fact that she is a gentile. She regards herself as insignificant even though she is not and she views her problem as a crumb.

She was not offended by His words her response was simply, Lord, I recognize that that I am just a poor, outcast Gentile woman who deserves nothing, but if possible, Lord, give me some of the crumbs that the children of the kingdom are refusing; allow me to take the place of a puppy under the Lord's table and receive mercy.

Nothing Jesus says to her will take her off point because she is focused entirely on Him. Isa 26:3;KJV

She has the divine perspective. She is saying in effect: "Now look Lord, I am not asking for bread I am asking for a crumb. She recognizes that it is a very small easy thing for the Lord to solve her problem.

Her point was that the dogs get some food at the same time as the children and thus do not have to wait. There need be no interruption in His instructing the disciples for all she humbly requested was a crumb, a small benefit of His grace for her desperate need.

Mark 7:29; Matt 15:28; The word translated "answer" is the Greek word "logos" that means "doctrine", "doctrinal statement," or "doctrinal application." She speaks the Word to the Word. John 1:1; The verse could be translated "Because of your doctrinal statement (faith) the demon has immediately gone out of your daughter"

The word translated "gone out of" is the aorist active singular of the Greek word "apellthousa." The aorist tense tells us that the demon was gone the moment she spoke the Word to the Lord.

This is the perfect example of the application of faith-rest. Zech 4:7; "shout grace at the mountain and it will become a plain." This is the power of God's Word when it is spoken. Heb 4:12;

She has positive volition, she puts the problem in the Lord's hands, the Lord hands it back solved; What we have here is God honoring his immutable Word resulting in the victory of the faith-rest technique.

This is how the disciples we should be handling the challenges Jesus is presenting to them and it is how we should handle our problems. Mark 13:31;

Mark 7:30; the word translated "lying" is the Greek word "ballo" that means " to throw" so the demon had thrown her daughter down onto the bed so when she arrived home she saw that her little daughter was laying on the bed and the demon had gone out of her. The word translated "having left" is in the perfect tense indicating completed action... the demon had gone from her the moment she spoke the Word.

Mark 7:31; He then leaves Tyre and travels 20 miles north to the coastal city of Sidon and then turns southeastward, avoiding Galilee, to a place on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee within the region of the Decapolis.

This was the same area that Jesus had removed the legion of demons from the man who was living in the tombs when He had gone across the lake previously. Mark 5:2;

After Jesus delivered him, He had said he wanted to follow Jesus but Jesus told him to go home and tell his friends what had been done for him. So the man spread the Word throughout all Decapolis so when Jesus returns the people who had previously asked Him to leave Mark 5:17-20; were ready to meet Him.

Mark 7:32; This miracle is only recorded in Mark. The word translated " spoke with difficulty" is the Greek word "mogilalon" is only used here and in the LXX version of Isa 35:6; a passage that refers to the millennial rule of Jesus.

Mark 7:33-35; In healing this man, Jesus uses symbolic acts that uniquely address the man's needs and caused him to exercise faith. Jesus took him aside privately in order to communicate one-to-one with him away from the crowd.

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