Author Topic: Unfortunate turn of phrase?  (Read 76 times)

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Offline Maggy

Unfortunate turn of phrase?
« on: September 09, 2018, 05:56:58 PM »
Mark 7 v 27- Jesus says to the Syrophoenician woman "let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs".

This Bible reading offends my PC view of how to speak to someone of a different race. I would welcome other peoples view of this as I believe Jesus to be perfect and loving, but this does not seem to be so. I am uncomfortable with this.


Maggy

Offline Deborah

Re: Unfortunate turn of phrase?
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2018, 09:01:27 PM »
Hi Maggy

Most people find this passage difficult, so you're not alone.

One thing that can definitely be said is that it's not simply an issue of the woman being of a different race. It's about the very specific racial and religious divide between Jew and non-Jew (i.e. Gentile) in the time of Jesus. And this is a distinction that no longer exists in God's eyes.

I've been wrestling with the whole story recently, and this is my personal take on it, which I hope you might find helpful (although I'm not claiming that it resolves all the problems):

Quote
What is a 1st-century mother to do when her young daughter's behaviour is outside the boundaries of normality? When a small child is violent and can't be controlled? (And this particular case is no 'ordinary' behaviour problem; it is of demonic origin.) She will go anywhere and do anything to get relief - even if it means begging it from a Jewish prophet with a reputation as an exorcist, who happens to be staying at a house round the corner...

And here she runs into a problem. She knows - and Jesus knows that she knows - that her race (and therefore, by implication, her religion) gives her no right to ask favours of the God that He represents, the God of Israel. But, rather than just give her a blunt refusal, Jesus uses a brief parable to explain why her request is inappropriate (verse 27). God?s special blessings are for His own people; the Gentiles (the 'dogs') must wait until the Jews have received the fullness of their own blessing.

But this woman can't wait - and by putting His refusal in such pictorial terms, Jesus has actually offered her a sliver of hope. She seizes on His description of the world as a household, and uses it to argue her case! For surely the dogs depicted in the parable are domesticated; they belong to the master as much as the children do, and they too are fed! God?s blessings are so abundant that even those who are not technically part of His 'family' can benefit from His grace. So why should she not be one of them?

Why not indeed, agrees Jesus. It is done - and when she gets back home, she discovers that it is indeed done.
"Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God." (II Corinthians 7:1)

Offline francis drake

Re: Unfortunate turn of phrase?
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2018, 10:12:14 PM »
Mark 7 v 27- Jesus says to the Syrophoenician woman "let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs".

This Bible reading offends my PC view of how to speak to someone of a different race. I would welcome other peoples view of this as I believe Jesus to be perfect and loving, but this does not seem to be so. I am uncomfortable with this.
Here's another example of non PC speech, utterly callous in fact, from the mouth of one of the wisest characters in the bible. King Solomon.
1Kg3v24Then the king said, ?Bring me a sword.? So they brought a sword for the king. 25He then gave an order: ?Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.?
The occasion of course being when two women came before him arguing over who was the mother of a child.

In order to understand the above, and what Jesus said to the Syrophoenician woman, we have to look at the bigger picture.

The starting point in everything that Jesus said is that he knows the end from the beginning, thus he knew the Syrophoenician woman's heart, and knew her faithfulness who he was, and knew he could use her to illustrate spiritual truth to hard hearted Jews.

But lets look at the context.
Mark7v24And from there having risen up, He went away into the region of Tyre. And having entered into a house, He was wishing no one to know it, but He was not able to be hidden. 25But immediately, having heard about Him, a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit, having come, fell at His feet. 26Now the woman was Gentile, Syrophoenician by race, and kept asking Him that He should cast forth the demon out of her daughter.
27And He was saying to her, ?Permit the children to be satisfied first; for it is not good to take the children?s bread and to cast it to the dogs.?
28But she answered and says to Him, ?Yes, Lord, even the dogs under the table eat of the children?s crumbs.?
29And He said to her, ?Because of this word, go; the demon has gone forth out of your daughter.? 30And having gone away to her home, she found the child lying on the bed, and the demon having gone out.


You need to ask yourself what Jesus was doing in Tyre in the first place, being that (as He stated) he was sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Tyre and Sidon were therefore out of bounds.
So Jesus clearly went there with a purpose, and that had to be meeting with this one faithful woman.

Knowing the end from the beginning, I believe Jesus only put up a pretence of denying her, to draw that incredibly humble response that the Jews needed to hear.

That's also why Solomon commanded the baby to be cut in two, knowing it would never happen. The real mother would sacrifice her own claim to protect her child.

In both cases, its the application of wisdom.
Disturb us Lord, when we are too pleased with ourselves. When our dreams have come true because we dreamed too little. When we arrived safely because we sailed too close to the shore. Disturb us Lord, to dare more boldly. To venture on wider seas. Where storms will show your mastery; Where, losing sight of land, we shall find the stars. We ask you to push back the horizons of our hopes; And to push into the future, in strength, courage, hope and love.                     (SIR FRANCIS DRAKE 1577)

Offline davetaff

Re: Unfortunate turn of phrase?
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2018, 02:44:10 PM »
Mark 7 v 27- Jesus says to the Syrophoenician woman "let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs".

This Bible reading offends my PC view of how to speak to someone of a different race. I would welcome other peoples view of this as I believe Jesus to be perfect and loving, but this does not seem to be so. I am uncomfortable with this.

Hi Maggy
Thank you for the question a couple of good answer above I would jest like to add another aspect if I may it was also a question of obedience.

Mat 15:24  But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
   
 

It was the father who sent him to Israel and he was an obedient son he was not sent to the gentiles  it was only after the crucifixion that the gospel was preached to the gentiles.
I suppose  the word dogs is not a very nice word to use for gentiles but at the time it was most proberbly how the Israelits viewed the gentiles this term was used by David in psalm 22.

Psa 22:16  For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
         
 
this a reference to the romans who crucified him so maybe we should not read to much into it.
The most importent aspect of this story of course is the power of faith it was the womans faith that caused Jesus to heal her servant.

Mat 17:20  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
 Luk 17:6  And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
       


Love and Peace
Dave

Offline Tes Johnson

Re: Unfortunate turn of phrase?
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2018, 01:17:19 AM »
Haha

I once knew a good friend who used to always say ..

"Whats the point in having a dog and barking yourself?"

It was meant to be a joke "about his wife"

Many without using the words "do the same thing"