Welcome to the fourth week of Lent and we continue our journey through Mark’s gospel. I hope you are enjoying learning more about the Lord in this way and are getting a fresh vision of the person of Jesus Christ.

Today’s passage follows a long section in which Jesus is in conflict with the scribes and Pharisees. Right after the two most astounding signs–the feeding of the 5,000 and Jesus walking on the water the scribes and Pharisees lack of faith is shown. Now Mark contrasts the Jews’ lack of faith with the enthusiastic faith of the non Jewish Gentiles.

The Syrophoenician Woman’s Faith.

24 From that place he went off to the district of Tyre. He entered a house and wanted no one to know about it, but he could not escape notice.25Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him. She came and fell at his feet.26The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth, and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter.i27He said to her, “Let the children be fed first. For it is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.”28She replied and said to him, “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.”29Then he said to her, “For saying this, you may go. The demon has gone out of your daughter.”30When the woman went home, she found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.

The Healing of a Deaf Man.

31 Again he left the district of Tyre and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, into the district of the Decapolis.32And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him to lay his hand on him.33He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue;34then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, “Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”)35And [immediately] the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly.36 He ordered them not to tell anyone. But the more he ordered them not to, the more they proclaimed it.37They were exceedingly astonished and they said, “He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and [the] mute speak.”

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