Many know that Jesus was the promised Messiah who would bring salvation to all mankind (see Genesis 12:3, Isaiah 49:6), but few know that salvation was first offered to God’s chosen people, the Jews. Jesus was Jewish, His disciples were Jewish, and the first Christians were – for the most part – Jewish (see John 4:22). But the teachers and Pharisees, as we’ve seen earlier, rejected Jesus as Messiah.
This passage from the Gospel of Mark reveals that all along, God’s plan was to bring salvation to all mankind through Jesus Christ. The Greek woman, sincerely believing – knowing – that Jesus could heal her daughter, came to Him and begged Jesus to drive out the demon (Mark 7:26).
Jesus explained that He must first give to God’s people all that they want (Mark 7:27). He referred to His people the Jews as “children”, and all others as dogs, which was a pretty nasty insult in that culture. But Jesus was not one to insult people. He was, as always, speaking the truth. We need to know our place in God’s value system: we’re all sinners, born into this world separated from God with only one hope of salvation: that offered in the person of Jesus Christ.
This woman knew her place in God’s system, yet she also loved her daughter and was bold enough to persist. Not by being offended or insulted as we might be, but in an honorable and respectful way. She knew Jesus was her only hope. Jesus is our only hope, too. And when we know our place – whether Jew or Gentile – we are allowed to share in the salvation of the Jews.
Will you accept the table scraps offered if it will bring you eternal life and peace? Will you persist in prayer and study to receive the gift of eternal life?