I invite you on a journey through Mark’s Good News about Jesus Christ. We are thinking about what Mark wants to tell us through bread. If you missed where we started, click here. Now, I invite you to consider Mark 7:24-30.
We began our journey watching Jesus feed thousands of people, an event in Jewish territory that told the Jews that God has come and he is feeding his people with bread! Then Jesus takes his disciples to the other side, a bad place with pigs and demons and unclean people. There’s no way God is on the other side. And Yet, Mark tells us the disciples didn’t understand. Now, in Mark 7:24-30, we watch Jesus as he encounters a woman who wants his help.
I’ve heard this woman described as a crescendo of demerit! She’s a woman, an unclean gentile, and she’s of the Syrophoenician race, from Tyre and Sidon. Do you know what means? She comes from the land of Jezebel who almost took all of Israel away from God! A crescendo of demerit.
Can you imagine what the disciples were thinking when Jesus responded to this woman? Jesus says, “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”
I suspect they were thinking, “Yes Jesus, you got it! The bread is for your children; for God’s children, and not this Jezebel woman!”
There’s some wordplay in this passage that we can’t get into now but Jesus is giving this woman a riddle, he’s engaging her. Even though the disciples don’t understand and maybe we don’t understand, the woman understands. Check out verse 28 – she calls Jesus Lord. This is the only time someone addresses Jesus directly as Lord in Mark.
This underserving, morally suspect, pagan woman wants to know if there’s enough bread for her.