Sunday, October 19, 2014

It's a Dog's Life

and a totally uninhibited lifestyle it is, too.

"Dog" or "dogs" referenced forty-nine times in the Holy Bible.  The one that I most enjoy and appreciate is found in the seventh chapter of Mark.  (Matthew also gives an account of the incident.) A gentile woman, having heard of Jesus, and having a daughter that is possessed of an evil spirit, seeks Jesus out and asks for his favor in banishing the spirit.

Now Jesus, being a Jew, and devout, tells her that it is not right that dogs should eat before the children are fed.

Truth, Master, she said.  But even the dogs eat of the crumbs the children drop under the table.

Jesus, taking note of her faith, said, For this saying, go your way, your daughter is no longer afflicted.
It was not lost on the Syrophoenician woman that she was being likened to a dog, if not being called a dog.  Which of us would not resent such treatment, and that in a public venue?  But she was on a mission, a mission which she would not allow to be thwarted by hurt feelings or resentment.  Rather, she, in clear deference and in complete agreement with Jesus's assessment, pressed her case further, and her petition was granted.


Sharkbytes said...

Wasn't Jesus just using the vernacular of the day for Gentiles, and gauging her reaction to it? Of course he already knew, so maybe he was doing it for the benefit of others who were listening, to make the lesson that the gospel was for all. BTW, your dog seems a little well-fed.

vanilla said...

Sharkey, while I mentioned the woman's faith, (as did Matthew) I think it worth noting that some commentators attribute Jesus's decision to heal to the woman's wit. A reading of Mark's account suggests that His words imply that. Clearly, though, her actions and persistence, even the asking in the first place, indicates faith.

As for outreach to gentiles, I believe Jesus did not engage in such a mission. Yet this story illustrates that His grace and mercy can be received by non-Jewish believers. Do I believe salvation through His blood is available to all who believe and call on His name? Of course.

"A little well-fed"? Fat. The dog is fat.

Lin said...

That dog has no shame. But he's adorable!

Vee said...

What a spoiled little guy you have there.

During a discussion on TV the other day, a man said that just as everyone is welcome to become a Christian or a Jew, everyone is welcome in Islam. The Jewish man involved in the discussion immediately let him know that everyone is not welcome to become a Jew. We are no doubt still likened to dogs by devout Jews. "The more things change, the more they remain the same."

vanilla said...

Lin, adorable. How could he not be spoiled?

Vee, some clubs regulate membership more strictly than others do.

Leah C. Dancel said...

Vanilla, I should come here more often. Your wits are not very expensive for an "Anti-Depressant" pill. Not that am taking any med. I just love to laugh, and your blog is rich in that ingredient. I can't add anymore to all that have been expounded here.

vanilla said...

Leah, please do visit often. If you find amusement, even laughter, I will be gratified, for laughter is a good thing; therapeutic, some say. You never know what you'll find here. Sometimes funny, I hope.