Mark 7:24-30 (New International Version)
24 Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. 25 In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at his feet. 26 The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.
27 ‘First let the children eat all they want,’ he told her, ‘for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.’
28 ‘Lord,’ she replied, ‘even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.’
29 Then he told her, ‘For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.’
30 She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
Jesus has been in Jewish territory, then he goes to Tyre in Syrian Phoenicia (modern Lebanon). Up until now, his dealings have been mainly with Jewish men – most recently, the Pharisees and his disciples, the learned and the taught, who have been arguing with him on the one hand and questioning his meaning on the other. But here, in Tyre, he encounters someone quite different: a woman, a pagan Greek, unlearned and untaught, who understands immediately what Jesus is on about. She falls at his feet in humble petition. Jesus’ reply is as a parable; but instead of arguing against it as the Pharisees may have done, or asking for clarity, as the disciples may have done, she gets it immediately. And she not only gets it, but she replies in kind, entering into the scenario he presents and extending it, being neither put off nor offended. She has true understanding of what Jesus came to do.
In counter-expectation of geography, gender, ethnicity, religion, social status and education, this scene showcases the heart of the gospel – that, through Jesus, salvation is offered to everyone.