Haggling with Jesus

7:24 From there he arose, and went away into the borders of Tyre and Sidon. He entered into a house, and didn’t want anyone to know it, but he couldn’t escape notice. 7:25 For a woman, whose little daughter had an unclean spirit, having heard of him, came and fell down at his feet. 7:26 Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by race. She begged him that he would cast the demon out of her daughter. 7:27 But Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not appropriate to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”

7:28 But she answered him, “Yes, Lord. Yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

7:29 He said to her, “For this saying, go your way. The demon has gone out of your daughter.”

7:30 She went away to her house, and found the child having been laid on the bed, with the demon gone out.


Like Abraham arguing with the angels over the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah. This story is more impressive though: the woman appears to convince Jesus to change his mind. Perhaps this is the moment when the good news was first spread beyond the Jews.

The story is told again in Matthew 15:21-28. In Matthew the woman is a Canaanite. I think Matthew is more tailored for a Jewish audience (e.g., parallels with Moses). The Jews hated the Canaanites.

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