Fifteenth Sunday of Pentecost

A Greek Woman Asks Jesus' Help for her Daughter

Mark 7: 24 - 37

Matthew 15: 21 - 28

Jesus' willingness to talk to and to listen to women was extraordinary in his time and place. Women were accustomed to having their husbands, fathers, and brothers speak and act for them in public, even in matters as personal as worship.

This woman was Greek by ancestry and probably by speech, and she lived in Phoenicia, which was governed by the Romans as a part of Syria at that time. In other words, everything about her was gentile or pagan.

Yet she openly approached Jesus and boldly entered into dialogue with him. She would have had little reason to have learned Aramaic, Jesus' birth language. Their easy conversation may be evidence that Jesus spoke Greek, the language of the educated Romans.

Jesus had traveled some distance from his home in Galilee, probably to stay with friends, and probably to find a time for rest and prayer. Once more we see him interrupted by one more request for healing.


1. Where was Jesus staying?

[Jesus was staying in Tyre, now in modern Lebanon, in someone's home.]

2. What did the Greek woman do as soon as she heard he was there?

[The Greek woman came to Jesus right away and knelt down at his feet.]

3. What did the woman ask Jesus to do?

[The woman asked Jesus to force a demon out of her daughter.]

4. What did Jesus say to her?

[Jesus said, "It isn't right to take away the food from the children and feed it to the dogs."]

5. What did the woman reply?

[The woman replied, "Lord, even the dogs eat the crumbs that the children drop from the table."]

6. What did Jesus say?

[Jesus said, "That's true. You may go now. The demon has left your daughter."]

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