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Mark 7 - Out of the heart

Jesus' words seem harsh and even racist in Mark 7. What's going on?

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Mark 7 Summary

  • v1-23 - The establishment, who brought up some reinforcements from Jerusalem, once again try to trap Jesus, but He expertly schools them.

  • v24-30 - Jesus and the disciples, who for a couple of chapters now have been looking to get away for some rest, go up north to the coast, way out of Israel. But even there people flock to Him to with pleas for healing, and once again, Jesus complies.

  • v31-37 - Jesus heals the deaf and mute man and then ironically tells the man not to 'say' anything about it.

Dig Deeper

The woman who approaches Jesus on His 'vacation' up to Tyre is described by Mark as "a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth."

Jesus' words to her seem racist, xenophobic and misogynistic to us, but understand the cultural idioms that Jesus used here do not translate well.

Although Jesus makes it clear that salvation is first offered to the Jews, what happens next is nothing short of amazing. Once again, a Gentile's faith stands in stark contrast to the lack of faith displayed by the Jews.

The Bible doesn't include these kind of racial and nationalistic distinctions (either in the Old or New Testaments) as an imperative for us to judge and categorize people according to race. Rather, it's to emphasize that God only distinguishes between two types of people groups:

  1. People who are His covenant people;

  2. People who are not His covenant people.

The interactions Jesus has in the gospels with Gentile (non-covenant) people demonstrate that although God's covenant was reserved for Israel for a period of history, the door of salvation is now open to all races and nationalities.

AAA Prayer:

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God is our Father who's actions overwhelm us in amazement (v37 - note this is our 3rd day in a row of acknowledging God this way!)

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that the Holy Spirit will dwell in you, so that the words and actions that come out of you will be pure.




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