And from thence he arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but he could not be hid.For a certain woman, whose young daughter had an unclean spirit, heard of him, and came and fell at his feet: The woman was a Greek, a Syrophenician by nation; and she besought him that he would cast forth the devil out of her daughter.But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs. And he said unto her, For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter.__ Mark 7:24-29 KJV
The first time I read or heard this passage of the Bible, it took me aback. I questioned why Jesus would speak to a woman so harshly. After all He is the Son of Man sent to heal not to wound. Then I realized that it is not for me to judge the Son of God. Now when I look at this passage, I ask why this narrative was included in Mark’s gospel. If it causes me (us) to ask why then it means I am reading for understanding, for relationship.
This Syrophoenician woman obviously had great respect for Jesus and she recognized His power. She fell at his feet. And she had a greater love for her daughter as she endured the disparaging comparison of herself and her (non-Jewish) people to a dog. This woman’s faith touched the heart of Jesus and her daughter was delivered from demonic possession. How did she do it? She did not take offense.
Offense is a common tool of the enemy. I can recall a number of unsolicited “why I don’t go to church” or “why I am not religious” stories. And I could write a few of my own. Most founded in truth, many in perception. Offense is a trick of the enemy to keep us from the life-giving bread that is the Word of God. Offense is a most effective tool, especially in a self-centered culture. John Bevere wrote a best-selling book on the matter called, The Bait of Satan. This book is has earned a spot an any Christian’s bookshelf as an exposè to satan’s stategic and most destructive tactic.
Paul reminds us that we are adopted sons and daughters as Christians (Galatians 4:7). And that there is no more Jew or Greek.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.__ Galatians 3:28
Many Christians and former “believers” are offended that God would allow tragedy, financial setback, illness, misfortune, betrayal and/or death to touch their lives. But as we grow in the knowledge of God__ His character and His nature, His faithfulness, then we can resist the temptation to be offended.
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. (John 15:19-20) . . .
These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended._ John 16:1 KJV