Mark 7:27, Casting the Children’s Bread to Dogs

But Jesus said to her,  “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”

//A Greek woman came to Jesus asking him to cast a devil from her daughter. Today’s verse is Jesus’ reply, a very nasty way of saying that because the woman was a gentile, she did not deserve the attention reserved for God’s people. Harsh words, indeed, hardly what we would expect to hear from Jesus.

Hearing these words, the woman does not grow angry. It is not for herself that she asks help, but for her daughter. She replies, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.”

Suddenly, a light goes on for Jesus. God has sent him into the world to proclaim a Kingdom, a new way of life, a way of love and compassion. At first, he believes his focus should be entirely on Israel, and displays a low opinion of the gentile world. But suddenly, he realizes that this woman’s desire is the very same as God’s desire! She loves her daughter and doesn’t want that daughter to suffer.

This is a unique and special story, because as best I can tell, this is the only occasion in the Bible where Jesus gives up his opinion and accepts that of another! He lets a gentile woman convince him! Against all odds, in a patriarchal society that despised pagans, a pagan woman has better helped him understand his own mission.

For that, we should trust and appreciate the mission of Jesus even more.


  1. Lanny

    As a younger person, I recall this story being explained with the focus on the woman agreeing with Jesus that she was among the “little dogs” – that it was her acknowledgment of her lowly status that moved Jesus to grant her request. This lowly status was not, as far as I remember, connected to being a gentile or Jew but merely sinful/undeserving.

    I’m glad you brought out a new (to me) and very interesting context for this story.

  2. Greg Bach

    That is so dumb I can’t even comment on it. The light goes on for Jesus? Are you serious? Did you get this revelation in a dream brother? TRY THIS – A woman is irritating the diciples. They say go away we’re on an important mission (mt15). Jesus feigns the same callousness to show them what it looks like. It’s all in there man you just gotta put your thinking cap on tighter.

  3. :) Thanks for the chuckle today Greg, I needed it! The wonderful thing about the Bible is that it touches everybody in ways they need, eh? Two people reading the same passage envision two radically different happenings.

  4. Understanding the word better/differently should give us depth to understand why others may get an interpretation different from ours. After all,didnt some of His disciples believe He was Moses,Elijah or one of the prophets? Even bringing down the temple and rebuild it in 3days was misinterpreted. The holy spirit and not our brilliance bring us to understand Him better everyday.

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