Read thru the New Testament-February 28

Mark 7:14-37

7:14-23-Jesus does not dismiss the Old Testament teachings concerning the eating of unclean animals (cf. Lev. 11).  Instead, He clarifies that it’s not the animal that actually makes a man unclean, but the rebellious, disobedient heart that acts in disobedience to what God has said.  The disciples did not quite understand what He had meant so later they asked for clarification.  Jesus explains to them that it isn’t unclean food that actually defiles a person, but the act of rebellion against God when it is eaten that defiles him.  The eating of the food is indicative of the condition of the heart.

7:24-30-(cf. Jan. 22, Matt. 15:21-39 for a more detailed explanation) Jesus goes to the region of Tyre, trying to be unnoticed…but it didn’t work.  A Syrophoenician woman (a gentile from the region of Phonecia in Syria) brought her daughter who had an unclean spirit to Him.  He initially put her off by explaining that He had come exclusively to the Jews.  But, because of her persistence and correct understanding that His message was really for everyone, He cast the demon out (He did so without going to where the girl was).

7:31-37-Jesus goes to the region of Decapolis.  A deaf and dumb man was brought to Him. He put His fingers in his ears, touched his tongue with His saliva and healed him.  The people were astonished and said, “He has done all things well.”  Is this a comment on how well He does things, or, is it a comment that recognizes that He has done everything that OT prophecy had said the Messiah would do?  In otherwords, “He has accomplished everything that was prophesied.” Perhaps both.

Prayer: Lord, help me to keep my heart clean, free from defilement and sin.

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