About Worship Bible Camp Outreach Sermons Links Contact
About Worship Bible Camp Outreach Sermons Links Contact

Going To The Dogs


Mark 7:24-37

As Gods people, we have been commissioned by Christ to “go and make disciples of ALL nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

In this passage however, Jesus deals with an issue that has for many years hindered some from evangelizing certain people.

Let’s look at the passage and the two stories found in it, and let’s learn some very relevant lessons for us today.

The First Story: As you look at this passage the first thing you notice is that Jesus goes to “the region of Tyre.”

Now look at verse 26. Notice what Mark says.

“Now the woman was a Gentile, of the Syrophoenician race. And she kept asking Him to

cast the demon out of her daughter. “

Now if you go to the book of Matthew, in chapter 15:22, Matthew says that this is a “Canaanite.”

Now, still in Matthew 15, look at what Jesus does in verse 23.

For now, let’s go on.

Vs 23: “But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came to Him and kept asking  Him, saying, Send her away, for she is shouting out after us.”

Now let’s go back now to Mark 7 and look at verse 27.

“And He was saying to her, “Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”

I mean here this woman is, and she comes to Jesus and begs for His help.

The “key” to understanding this verse is found in two words.

And then notice the word “dogs.”

Jesus is expressing His priority here…and His first priority…His first order of business, His first responsibility as Messiah is to the Jews.

Jesus is not being callous here….He is not calling this woman a “dog.”

But now, that word “First” is significant for another reason because it says that Israel’s claim is not exclusive.

And the woman responds.

And look at what Jesus says: “Because of this answer go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter.”

And then we come to the second story in the passage…look at verse 31.

And the people there bring to Jesus a man who is deaf and who has difficulty speaking.

And Jesus tells the people not to tell anyone about what He has just done.

Now, what is there about these two stories that is so relevant for us today?

Remember the lady in the first story was a Gentile!?

I think if you want to understand why Jesus made this trip, you have to go back to what Jesus has just taught prior to this.

This was a revolutionary concept for the Jews.

So, to get them to understand, Jesus takes His disciples to Tyre…to Gentile country.

How could he do that?

You talk about someone who, in the eyes of the Jews would be considered unclean…and who they would wrinkle their nose at and sneer… she was.

How could Jesus help this unclean, unworthy woman?

Remember when she cried for help and He didn’t answer her?

“Send her away, for she is shouting out after us.”

You see, it is hard to appreciate how Jewish these disciples were. But Jesus helps her…and he tells her that her “faith is great.”

And what is His point?

It is not the outside of the cup that makes it unclean…and it is not what is on the outside of people that makes them unclean.

You see, what Jesus is teaching here is the width of God’s love.

And we say, “We know that!”

How many of us look at the black man with bias and prejudice because of the color of his skin…and some decades old ideas that others have had and say, “He’s not worthy of the kingdom of God.”

And maybe it is not so much a person’s race but simply his appearance.

And our prejudices and bias’ can be based on such things as: He isn’t a cowboy. . .or he is a cowboy. . . or he is over weight … or he smells bad … or he looks funny … or he has bad manners. . .or he has a goatee. . .or a tattoo…or he drives a Harley or he wears an earring.

Do we sometimes think that because we are white. . .and  American. . .that we are God’s favorite and he only cares for us?

The Jews did. They thought they were God’s favorite and that God only cared only for them.

Let me read a poem that was sent to me.

Six humans trapped by happenstance in the black and bitter cold, each one possessed a stick of wood, or so the story is told. Their dying fire was in need of logs but the first man held his back, for of all the faces around the fire, he noticed that one was black. The next man looking across the way saw one that was not of his church and he wouldn’t give himself to give the fire his stick of birch. The third man sat in tattered clothes and gave his coat a hitch. Why should he put his log to use to warm the idle rich? The rich man sat back and thought of the wealth he had in store and how to keep what he had earned from the lazy, shiftless poor. The black man’s face spoke revenge as the fire passed from sight. For all he saw in his stick of wood was a chance to spite the white. The last man of this forlorn group did nothing except for gain, giving only to those who gave to him, was the way he played the game. Their logs held tight in deaths still grasp is proof of human sin. They didn’t die of cold without. They died from the cold within.

Here in these 13 verses you find two stories.

We live in a city and a state and a nation with many different races and cultures.

Look again with me at verse 36. The verse says:

“And He gave them orders not to tell anyone; but the more He ordered them, the more  widely they continued to proclaim it. “

I wonder why? Why are we so silent?

Is it because we haven’t dealt with our biases yet?

Is it because we do see some people as dogs?

Is it because we think some people deserve the gospel more than others?

Or that there are some people that we think God’s love can’t and shouldn’t reach?

Jesus is pleading with us here and saying, “what matters is not the outside… what matters is the inside.”

It might be that this week you and your “Canaanite” woman will meet. Don’t write her off. Jesus died for her too She is not more important than others. But she is not any less important either.

Prayer: Eyes open to all kinds of people. Ears open to all kinds of problems. Lips open to all kinds of possibilities.