24. And, having finished this exchange, Jesus left this place, and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And there He entered into a certain house, and didn't want anyone to know He was there. But, of course, it wasn't possible for Him to keep any sort of low profile by this time...He simply could not be hidden from public notice.
25. So, practically as soon as He arrived, and the local buzz started about Him being in town, a woman whose little daughter was under the control of a rebel spirit got word about Him, and came and literally flung herself down at His feet.
26. What was particularly interesting about this woman coming to Him in this way is that she was a Greek...a Gentile...a Syro-phoenician by nationality. But their ethnic differences seemed to be a non-issue with her. With absolute absence of pride or awkwardness, she begged Him in a very demonstrative way to expel the spirit, and to end its authority over her daughter's life.
27. But, seemingly unfazed by her demeanor, He said to her, "You're ahead of schedule…it’s not time yet for Me to be revealed to the rest of the world, and to be accessible to people like you. Right now I am solely focused on My call to minister to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. You know that the Israelites consider your people to be dogs…so because I have my hands full in dealing with them as a nation at the moment, to help you would be like taking the children's bread, and throwing it to the dogs…at least that’s true as far as they’re concerned. It's not right that the “dogs” should take bread away from the children.
28. But she answered Him, “I don’t care about what the Israelites think. I just want my daughter well. So I would humbly disagree with You…I would say...but Lord, even the “dogs” eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table!"
29. And He said to her, "You know what? Because of what you just said, and how you said it, you can go in peace...the spirit has released control of your daughter, and has left her, permanently!"
30. And so she went home, and, sure enough, she found her daughter resting peacefully on the couch, and the rebel spirit was nowhere to be found.
31. Right after this, Jesus, coming back from the region of Tyre, passed through Sidon on to Lake Galilee, through the region of Decapolis, or "The Ten Cities".
32. And there they brought to Him a man who was deaf, and had great difficulty in speaking, and the people who were with him begged Jesus to just place His hand upon him.
33. But Jesus took the man aside from the crowd to minister to him privately, and in a very unconventional manner, even for Him. He authoritatively thrust His fingers into the man's ears, and then He spat into His hand, dipped His finger into His own saliva, and touched the man's tongue with it.
34. Then, looking up to the sky, He groaned from somewhere deep within Himself as He said in His native tongue, "Ephphatha!", which means, "Be opened!"
35. And immediately the startled man's ears were opened, and he began to speak perfectly...with no impediment at all.
36. Then Jesus brought him back to the crowd, and sternly ordered the people who had brought him to tell no one about what had just happened. But, as it turned out, the more He commanded the people to be quiet about the miracles, the more zealously they seemed to proclaim it.
37. They were too overwhelmed and amazed by it all to remain silent. "He has done everything with excellence!" they said. "He even causes the deaf hear and the mute to speak!"