This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, July 29, 2007, and was taken from Mark 7:24-37.
In these two simple stories Mark as a master story teller, and as an inspired author of God’s word, tells these simple stories of Jesus moving beyond the Jews to demonstrate his love and compassion for all people, meeting all needs. Too often we read over simple stories like this, and fail to see the fact that there are great truths revealed in the actions of Jesus.
- The First Story: The love of Jesus responds to the heart of persistent faith. Setting: these are difficult days for Jesus. The Jews are dogging him looking for something in his words with which to condemn him. Compare this picture with that in last week’s message in which Mark declares at the end of verse 19 “Thus he declared all foods clean.” Jesus is in effect declaring in this act that all people are clean. Before he does this, though, he calls this Gentile woman a “dog.” In the context of a Jewish world this is the worst insult that anyone could pay to someone. How does this square with the love of God? In the whole context, Jesus knew what was going on all along, and he knew what he was going to do. He was using this opportunity to teach the crowd. How do you interpret the way Jesus spoke these words to this woman? We learn here of the love of God responding to a persistent faith, even those outside of the “family” of God, demonstrating his love for all of humanity. This is the kind of faith described in Hebrews 11:6. What ever your need is today, God’s power and grace is sufficient for you today.
- The Second Story: The love of God far exceeds our greatest expectations: verse 37 states that “they were astonished beyond measure.” These people were hoping for a blessing, we don’t know exactly in what manner, but Jesus far exceeded their greatest expectations. Why did Jesus sigh as he looked to heaven? Maybe it was because he entered into the suffering of this man. Again, the people said “He has done all things well.” If you are here today with needs, needs of the soul as well as mind and body, Jesus does all things well.
Whatever your need, Jesus has grace and power to meet that need.