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Pious readers encountering this question may be shocked or offended. (Perhaps the impious as well!) And to tell you the truth, I had a hard time framing it this way myself, as it seems to border on being disrespectful, even unseemly. Yet that's the question that kept coming to mind as I read the passage many preachers will be dealing with this coming Sunday. It comes from the seventh chapter of Mark's Gospel and also borders on disrespectful, even unseemly.
Let me set the scene. Jesus, as Mark records, wants to get away, and so he goes to visit a house in Tyre, a seaside community quite a hike from his usual haunts in Galilee. Mark tells us that he doesn't want anyone to know he's there, but a woman finds him anyway, bows down at his feet, and begs him to heal her demon-possessed daughter....
Jesus wasn't calling her an actual dog, of course. He was just making reference to the fact that the Gospel was to be preached to the Jews first. Then, once they rejected the good news, the unbelieving, pagan Gentiles would become the recipients.
""He said to her, "Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs." But she answered him, "Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs." Then he said to her, "For saying that, you may go -- the demon has left your daughter" (Mark 7:27-29).""
It is far worse in reality to be called a sinner.
Yet that is precisely what the woman was and here she bowed before God incarnate and sinless.
Also this was a mother who was probably utterly frantic over the dire health of her child.
Her answer to Jesus was brilliant and recorded for all history to see. It obviously impressed Jesus because he said... Verse 29 And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter."