Mark 7:29

“For saying that,” he answered, “you may go. The demon has gone out of your daughter.”


recognizing we’ve been caught
in knee-jerk responses
built by a self-protective culture
is unusual enough to be remarked upon

expanding recognition to repentance
bypassing all expressions of such
including sorry and other excusatory phrases
refreshes all parties and next generations

the only recognition result
is changed behavior and restitution
ever here we usually can only
go so far as present forward

without a tangible recompense
past indiscretions leave an opening
to repeat bad behavior to another
bottom line no restitution no repentance

hooray for every small reversal
a slammed closed door
removed from gerrymandered lines
in such moments girls and boys smile


Matthew’s version of this episode points to “faith” being the turning point. This Gentile, Syrophoenician, woman with at least these three strikes against her was deemed to have “faith”. (Mt. 15:28)

Mark has no mention of faith. Tangling honestly with Jesus was plenty enough for him.

It would certainly be easy to turn a willingness to risk a second rebuke with a verbal riposte or saucy retort into a faith-based statement, but we are talking about a mother literally fighting for her daughter’s life and that carries as much weight as faith in something or someone else.

Elizabeth Struthers Malbon’s chapter in Anderson51 notes:

“For this saying [word, logos]” (7:29, RSV), Jesus says you may go home to a healed child, a healed Gentile child. (Jesus, too, seems to have experienced healing).

Not only was faith not noted, there is no mention of following Jesus, being a missionary in her own territory, or conversion to Judasim. In some sense this might have been the first Gentile exorcism of a demon, rather than the unnamed Geresene.

The inclusion of all promised by the prophets of old, is underway even as the healing was underway before Justa arrived home.

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