Life-Study of Markby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
The Gospel of Mark is a progressive book, a record of the Lord’s life on earth. No doubt, whatever the Lord experienced was sovereign, for God arranged the environment so that the Lord would experience certain things in His earthly life.
Thus far, we have seen the contents of the Slave-Savior’s gospel service, the ways to carry out this service, and the auxiliary acts for the gospel service. We have also seen that, in chapter four, the Lord Jesus gave a strong word concerning the intrinsic element of the kingdom of God. Following this, He exercised His authority, the authority of the kingdom, to deal with man’s outward situation. Concerning this, we have in Mark a picture of human society. We also have a picture showing the attitude of the worldly people toward the Lord’s gospel. Then in chapter seven there is a turn from the dealing with man’s outward situation to the dealing with the inward condition of man’s heart.
In this message we shall consider the case of the Syrophoenician woman (7:24-30). Mark 7:24 tells us that the Lord “went away into the districts of Tyre.” Then a woman, whose little daughter had an unclean spirit, came to Him and fell at His feet (v. 25). “The woman was a Greek, Syrophoenician by race.” She was a Syrian by tongue, Phoenician by race (see Acts 21:2-3), and, the Phoenicians being descendants of the Canaanites, a Canaanite woman (Matt. 15:22). What made her a Greek—religion, marriage, or something else—is difficult to discover. In the New Testament the word “Greek” is used to signify the Gentile world. This woman was a typical Gentile. We may say that she was manifoldly a Gentile, for she was a Greek, a Syrophoenician, and a Canaanite. Nevertheless, she came to ask the Lord to do something for her. She wanted Him to cast a demon out of her daughter (v. 26).
Because this Syrophoenician woman was such a Gentile, the Lord Jesus said to her, “Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs” (v. 27). Here the Lord seemed to be saying to her, “As a Gentile, you are a little dog, and I cannot throw the children’s bread to you. You are not qualified to be one of the children. You are qualified only to be a Gentile. Because I must satisfy the children first, I should not take the children’s bread and throw it to you.”
In chapter six of the Gospel of John the Lord clearly told the Jews that He is the bread of life (John 6:35). He indicated to them that He is the bread of God, the One who “comes down out of heaven and gives life to the world” (John 6:33). He came down from heaven to be the bread of life to satisfy the hunger of the world. Although a word concerning this was clearly given in John 6, there is not such a word in the synoptic Gospels, in Matthew, Mark, or Luke. But in Mark 7:27 the Lord Jesus used the word “bread.” He said that the bread should first be given to the children.
What the Lord says concerning the children’s bread in verse 27 indicates that He did not come simply to do miracles. The Lord Jesus came to feed the hungry children. The Lord’s word here definitely indicates that in the previous chapters the Lord was feeding the people.
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