Morna Hooker on Mark’s Syro-Phoenician Woman

Morna Hooker on Mark’s Syro-Phoenician Woman July 23, 2019

Great quote from Morna D. Hooker:

“The Gentile woman [Syro-Phoenician] requests a cure outside the context of Jesus’ call to Israel; she seems to be asking for a cure which is detached from the inbreaking of God’s Kingdom, merely taking advantage of the opportunity provided by the presence of a miracle worker. This is perhaps the reason for Jesus’ stern answer; his healings are part of something greater and cannot be torn out of that context. Mark does not interpret the woman’s reply as simply a witty retort; by accepting Jesus’ terms, she recognizes that salvations belongs to Israel and shows her faith in something more far reaching than a miraculous power to heal the sick. Many of Mark’s readers will themselves have been Gentiles. For them, the story will have provided reassurance that Jesus himself responded to the faith of a Gentile and gave her a share in the blessings of the kingdom.”

Morna D. Hooker, The Gospel According to Saint Mark. BNTC; London: A&C Black, 1991), 182.


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