Jesus was accustomed to being marveled at; now Jesus marveled at them, “because of their unbelief” (Mark 6:7). His miracles, his teaching, his kindness, and his confidence set Jesus apart and above the typical celebrity and left people astonished and in awe. Then Jesus went home. You would never know of Nazareth had Jesus not grown up there. Population 500, it was a little place, 25 miles southwest of Capernaum, in the middle of nowhere. Jesus came home “and they took offense at him” (Mark 6:3). They knew Jesus and his brothers and sisters and his mom, and they don’t mention his dad because it is a small town and there were rumors about his birth. He was too ordinary to be extraordinary. He wasn’t what they expected of a prophet, let alone a Savior. They deserved better; “and he could do no mighty work there” (Mark 6:5).
Later, far from home, outside Israel, a woman fell at his feet. “Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter” (Mark 7:26). Jesus is Israel’s Messiah, the Savior of God’s children, and he rebuffs this foreign woman, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs” (Mark 7:27).
I don’t know how to make that not sound rude, yet the woman accepts her role as dog, and still insists on her food. She is not allowed at the table, she is not of the tribe of Israel, she doesn’t worship the God of the Bible, she doesn’t read the Bible, she doesn’t follow the Law. She knows she is unclean and unworthy, and so she does not ask Jesus to give her what she deserves because she is good; she asks Jesus to give her what she does not deserve because he is good. “And she went home and found the child lying in bed and the demon gone” (Mark 7:30).
My God, You are righteous and good, but more than that, I am glad You are full of grace. I do not deserve Your favor, I am neither righteous nor good, and yet You looked upon me with love, and sent Your Son to bring me back into Your family. Thank You.
May I look at others as You look at me. May I see each person as a special creation, lovingly made by You, and give them the grace and the goodness You have shown me.