Mark 7:24-37 A Diamond in the Mud


From there He arose and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And He entered a house and wanted no one to know it, but He could not be hidden. 25 For a woman whose young daughter had an unclean spirit heard about Him, and she came and fell at His feet.26 The woman was a Greek, a Syro-Phoenician by birth, and she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter.27 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."


28 And she answered and said to Him, "Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children's crumbs."

29 Then He said to her, "For this saying go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter."

30 And when she had come to her house, she found the demon gone out, and her daughter lying on the bed.


Been said The brightest jewels are found in the darkest places.

A) Like finding a Diamond in the Mud – Denise wedding ring – { Diamond in the Gum !


B) Our Lord’s picture of this woman and her faith is like a Diamond in the Mud –


C) The way that Jesus deals with her – He is going to take that Diamond out and wipe it off

1) Put it on Display for all to see


This is the only occasion where Jesus ventures beyond the borders of Israel.

A) Tyre & Sidon – In the region of Phoenicia(blinds?) Modern Lebanon.


B) They were 2 coastal towns on the Med. (30/40 miles N. of Capernaum)


C)) They were the descendants of the Canaanites!

(So this was Gentile Country!)  


D) Along comes this woman who’s daughter was demon possessed. 

1) She asks Jesus to cast the Demon out !


Now at this point I would like you to turn to Matt 15 – Because Matthew gives us some more details


The Silent Treatment! (Mt.15:23a “But He answered her not a word.”)     Doesn’t stop her though

A) Her faith pushes on despite His closed ear & closed mouth!


B) Now contrast that, w/individuals today who say, “unless I hear God I will not believe.”
1) This woman was not like that –


C) More like Job who declared

C) It was incredible Job like faith, which didn’t say, “Though he smite me”, but instead, “though he slay me…yet will I trust him.”

The Snubbing Treatment! (Mt.15:23 “Send her away, for she cries out after us”)

A) Her noise annoyed them!


B) She had many strikes against her: her nationality was against her;

1) she was a woman in a male dominated world;


2) Satan was against her (One of his demons took control of his daughter);


3) the disciples were against her; & for a time it even looked like Jesus was against her!

C) Even though all of that was against her – she wouldn’t leave !

1) She Presses on !   He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek him



The Select Treatment! (Mt.15:24 “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”)

A) This must have felt like a load of lead on her heart!


B) She could have easily said - “Well then, He is not here for me!” (Nope!)

(Mt.15:25) She came & worshiped Him, Saying, “Lord, help me.”


D) Worship = Reverence and affection !



In Exodus 14 Children of Israel find themselves boxed in -   Complain – Kill Moses

A) God parts the Waters – Ch.15 – they worship celebration


B) Suggest to you they worshipped on the wrong side


C) Easy to worship when God does the miracle – but what about before


D) Who are you more like – Israel or this gentile woman –

1) Worshipped Him before her prayers were answered !



Now understand something here – Jesus was not being rude with his reply in v.26

“But He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the little dogs."


A) What He is doing here is drawing out her faith even more – Wiping the Mud off the Diamond


B) Notice her response v 27 And she said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters' table."


C) She doesn’t dispute that Gentiles were to Israel as dogs but says, “Yes, Lord.”
1) Even dogs eat Crumbs – { Never had a dog – friends great give them the food they didn’t want.

She runs with the analogy – Ok I can be a dog !

A) See she wasn’t coming to him on the goodness of her cause, but on the Goodness of His heart! And the excellence of His power!


B) See  It is our task to simply be empty…so he can fill us!
1) It is our task to confess our filthiness…so he can wash us!

C) It is our task to be less than nothing…so he can be more than everything to us!


D) John the Baptist – I must Decrease that He might increase- You tonight


How do you view yourself – Dog / Dum sheep / Donkey – we don’t like those things

A) Think of ourselves more highly – King – Lion

Bear – Jaguar –


B) He is the good shepherd to the sheep

1) He rode on a donkey at his triumphal entry

2) He spoke thru a Donkey


C) Lord I will be what ever you want me to be as long as it means you are glorified




A) God’s Word is sometimes like a salve to a wound; & other times a knife that cuts, or a sword that slays! –


B)  Don’t fight against it!!! – Say, “YES Lord!”

C) Yes, dog I am, but you have come all the way here to Sidon.

1) I am not like the scavenger dog out in the street; I am a little dog under your table.


D) Jesus was blessed by this response!

V. 28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, "O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire." And her daughter was healed from that very hour.


So Jesus was not being difficult with this broken hearted mother

A) Instead He was drawing from her an expression of faith


B) So that not only would her daughter be healed, but that she herself would develop a relationship with Him.


C) So too, you might wonder if the Lord is being difficult with you.

1) Why isn’t He answering your prayers immediately? Why isn’t He helping you presently?


D) It could be that He’s doing something much deeper.

1) It could be that He is allowing you to discover true faith, perseverance, and prevailing prayer —


E) Invaluable understandings which will help you not only in your present situation,

1) but will also help you in Yrs to Come !


Back to Mark

Again, departing from the region of Tyre and Sidon, He came through the midst of the region of Decapolis to the Sea of Galilee.32 Then they brought to Him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, and they begged Him to put His hand on him.33 And He took him aside from the multitude, and put His fingers in his ears, and He spat and touched his tongue.


34 Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened."


35 Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly









A) Now they travel again, completing a clockwise circular journey.


B) From Capernaum, 40/50m. N to Tyre, 25 m. N to Sidon, S/E to the Decapolis.

C) The Decapolis was a “Rome away from Rome!”


This story is only found in Marks account.
A) This man was both deaf & he had a severe speech impediment.


B) He wasn’t completely w/o speech, but he could not communicate clearly.

C) Now Here’s what I was fascinated with…how Jesus deals with this man.

1) In doing so Jesus shows each person is special & deserves a unique approach.

D) Jesus begins to speak to him in a language that this deaf man can “hear”!

E) You’ve heard of ASL! – This is JSL! (Jesus Sign Language)

1) Every touch & gesture has meaning!




[1] He took him aside – maybe to give him the quiet careful attention he needed…away from the crowd.


[2] He put His fingers in his ears – showing him what he was going to heal.


[3] He touched his tongue – again showing him what he was going to heal. (saliva was connected with healing in that day)


[4] He looked up to heaven – to demonstrate where the healing is coming from.


[5] He sighed – identifying with the man w/this inward groan, a compassionate response to his pain & sorrow.


[6] Then He spoke – commanding the healing.

Ephphratha – Aramaic word meaning “be opened!”



He could now hear & speak plainly.


Lesson for us
Before the Lord can use us he must…call us aside from this busy & distracting world;


B) Then he must touch our ears to give us ears to hear Him;

1) then & only then can he loose our tongues that we might speak his Praises & tell others about Him.

Years ago a man who owned an icehouse lost a good watch. He offered a reward to his employees. They searched & searched with rakes through the sawdust on the floor to no avail. –


Then at lunch a small boy went in & came out in a short time with the watch. When asked how he found it he said, “I just laid down in the sawdust & quietly waited until I heard the watch ticking!”

Oh to learn to be quiet enough to hear our Masters heart ticking again!


Mark 7:36-37

36 Then He commanded them that they should tell no one; but the more He commanded them, the more widely they proclaimed it.37 And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, "He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak."


This man must have found the injunction harder to obey than most!


I’m sure he wanted to use his new ability to speak.


(37) One man does One thing well; another does another thing well; but Jesus does ALL things well!


“Here is a biography of Jesus in miniature!”