February 25th 2018 Mark 7:24-8:10

Today we see a gentile woman’s daughter healed and the feeding of the multitude done again. We have such a loving God an in each of these stories today He wants to speak to our hearts. Are we listening for His voice?

24 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.

Tyre and Sidon were gentile regions. Jesus is now doing to crazy good things. He is breaking down social norms. He just informed them all that it was not what enters a body that made you unclean but what comes out. In case you missed it, He is saying that there is nothing unclean to eat, all food is now clean. He is doing the same things with people now. Previously the gentiles had been unclean and it Jews would stay away so as to not touch and unclean person. Whereas Jesus is breaking down these social norms He also knows it is not time to really publicize it. That is what it means by He went into a house and did not want anyway to know it. It was not Jesus trying to be shady, but Him knowing the hearts and the minds of people. He knows that they are not ready for that truth so He does not want to offend them and put it on blast. Even though Jesus wants no one to know that is never a reality. People always find out.

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.

This woman was not Jewish, but still heard of Jesus and all that He has done. She knows that He is the one that can help her daughter so she comes and pleads her daughters case. She did not just ask once and leave it alone, she kept asking. She was desperate.

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.”

This reply seems really rather rude to be coming from Jesus. Understanding the culture helps us really understand what it going on here. It was commonplace for the jews to call the gentiles dogs in a derogatory way. The word dog was not a nice meaning word. However Jesus did not just say dog, He said little dog and that changes everything. In greek diminutive words like little were affectionate terms. So by saying little dog He essentially reminded her of her place, but softened the blow.

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

This woman’s faith is amazing. She did not try to fight her way out of the low place. She accepted that as her place, but noted that even little dogs get something. We like this woman need to come to God as we are and believe that whatever He gives, even if it is the scraps thrown to the little dogs, that it is sufficient for our needs.

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.

It was her faith that Jesus saw and answered. For the faith displayed her daughter had the demon cast out of her. The daughter was not even present for the conversation, but for the sake of the woman Jesus healed the daughter. The woman had to take Jesus at His word. The daughter was not there for her to immediately see that His saying was true. She left believing and her belief was not confirmed till she reached her house and say her daughter well.

31 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.

Jesus is now back in jewish territory. This guy was both death and mute. These two things combined made it impossible for him to have communication with people. They probably had gestures or signs that could get across basic needs, but friendship level communication was near impossible. He could not hear what the other person was saying at all. I suppose he could have learned to read lips. Even if that was the case he could not respond back to them. He was pretty much locked in his own body. He had friends those. Thankfully. Being death meant that he could not hear the good news of Christ. Being mute meant he could not cry out for help. His friends cried out for him though. They came on his behalf and begged for Jesus to lay hands on him an heal 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.”

Jesus never heals that same way twice. In this case Jesus does not heal in front of the multitude. Instead He brings this fellow aside from the multitude. Then He does some weird stuff. He puts His fingers in the man’s ear. To me that is weird, but was Jesus does next is even weirder, and a little gross. Jesus spat and then touched this man’s tongue with His spit. He then prayed for his ears and tongue to be opened.

35 Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly. 36 Then He commanded them that they should tell no one; but the more He commanded them, the more widely they proclaimed it.

The miracle took place, it worked. Now he was told to keep quiet about it. This man that was finally able to hear and speak I am sure He wanted to let everyone know. The more He told people not to say something, because He said this to the crowd as well, the more people spoke up about it. It is very hard to keep a good thing quiet, but when we are asked to it is of utmost importance that we do everything we can to keep it quiet.

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.”

They were astonished at what took place. Remember what it took to get there though. It took Jesus’ fingers in his ears and Jesus’ spit on his tongue and a request to God for it to open. Are we willing to let God make us uncomfortable in the moment if it means our health in the end? As america christians we like our comfort. Often times it is in the discomfort though that we will actually grow and change. If Jesus speaks into your life and what you see is the uncomfortability of it, is that going to keep you from accepting what He is offering. Far too many times in life we miss out on the awesome that is ahead because we did not want the uncomfortable that was a fleeting moment directly in front of us.

1 In those days, the multitude being very great and having nothing to eat, Jesus called His disciples to Him and said to them, 2 “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. 3 And if I send them away hungry to their own houses, they will faint on the way; for some of them have come from afar.”

We saw this before, just a short ways back. Remember the disciples were told rest, but then the multitudes and ministry came and rest was put on the back burner. The disciples were the ones that came to Jesus that time and said they needed to send them on their way for it was late and they needed to go find themselves food. This is another instance were we see something very similar take place. Although this time it is Jesus that mentions their hunger.

4 Then His disciples answered Him, “How can one satisfy these people with bread here in the wilderness?”

The disciples still do not get it. Remember that at the end of the other feeding the multitude story they were on that lake with the wind blowing against them. They could not gain any ground rowing as hard as they can. When Jesus walked on the water and got into the boat the wind ceased and the disciples were amazed. We were told then that the disciples hearts were hard and did not yet understand the bread. They still are not getting it and asking where can they find the bread.

5 He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven.”

Again Jesus asks them what they have available. And they reply.

6 So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples to set before them; and they set them before the multitude. 7 They also had a few small fish; and having blessed them, He said to set them also before them.

Same thing took place in the other feeding of the multitude. Jesus had them all sit down in groupings. Then He gave thanks and broke the bread. He passed it to His disciples and then they passed it out to the people. That is how it is will all things. Jesus gives to those of us who are his disciples and when in turn give out what we have been given to the multitudes.

8 So they ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of leftover fragments. 9 Now those who had eaten were about four thousand. And He sent them away, 10 immediately got into the boat with His disciples, and came to the region of Dalmanutha.

Again all ate, were filled, and there were leftovers. This is so important for us to see. This is a miracle that was not completely replicated, but that there are so many similarities in it. In school we are taught is either we pass or fail. I love our Lord for so many reasons and this is a big reason why. In God’s economy is it either pass or do again. The disciple hearts were hard. They did not understand the bread and the feeding of the 5,000 the first time. So Jesus did it again with the feeding of the 4,000. Jesus is the bread of life He is our passover lamb. This was a picture of Him being broken for us and His goodness spreading to everyone. If we look we will find that in our lives as well, it really is never pass or fail. I know there were multiple times that I went through similar things because I missed the lesson the Jesus was speaking. I am so grateful that He loves me enough to repeat the lesson so I can get it. I pray that as my relationship with Him grows closer that I can get more of the lessons the first time around.

Caitlin Renee.

 

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