The Work of the Servant Mark 1:14-8:26, cont’d.
Mark 6:30-8:26 The Demonstration of His Authority, cont’d.
Mark 7:14-23-Jesus does not dismiss the OT 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, defiant heart that acts in disobedience to what God has said. The disciples did not quite understand what He had meant so later they ask 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 He had commanded them to not do so) when it is eaten that defiles him. The eating of the food is indicative of the condition of the heart.
Mark 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 rebuffed her 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).
Mark 7:31-37-Jesus goes to the region of Decapolis. A deaf (cannot hear) and dumb (cannot talk) 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 other words, “He has accomplished everything that was prophesied.” Perhaps both.
Prayer: Lord, help me to keep my heart clean, free from defilement and sin. Help me, Lord…to be faithful and obedient to You…whether, or not I completely understand why it is that You tell me to do what You desire for me to do.