Mark 7:27

“Let the children be satisfied first,”answered Jesus. “For it is not fair to take the children’s food, and throw it to dogs.”


by our images are we known
our word reveals gaps
between intention and effect

creative words lighten abundance
when enough are involved
there is always enough for all

restrictive words fear scarcity
building compartmentalized storage units
seven for me one for you

in the end there can only be
a full eight units for me
none for incompatible thee

in the end there can only be
four for each
north south east west

wherever we look
our image looks back
learn well from this teacher


Commentators are pretty well agreed that the “children” here refers to Israel and Jesus’ felt/expressed priority to his own.

It can’t be posited that this would be universally understood by others, particularly since there is a report in 3:8 that people from Tyre and Sidon who came because of “what he was doing”—healing. This barrier had already been broken. If they could be healed by going to Galilee, why couldn’t the Galilean heal here in Tyre?

It is also possible to read the second part of this response as a question, “Is it right for the children’s bread to be tossed to the dogs?”

There is a technical matter of “dogs” being better translated as “puppies”. This introduces a bit of fun being had already and removes some of the solemnity of the initial rejection.

Any of these three can easily cast doubt upon any certainty in the priority stated. As in every time, the outsider knows the insider better than the insider knows themself. The classic example is the slave whose best interest is served in anticipating their master’s moods. Aichele101 affirms this, “In Mark it is outsiders such as the Syrophoenician woman (7:24–30) and the scribe (12:28–34) who appear to understand Jesus best.” This, of course, raises a question about how well a privileged, institutional church can know Jesus.

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