Monday 08 February 2016

Bible Book:

] said to her, ‘Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s good and throw it to the dogs.’” (v. 27)

Mark 7:24-30 Monday 8 February 2016

Psalm: Psalm 32


This is a striking story. It shows:

  • the amazing release of God's power that comes because of anoutsider's faith
  • that God's kingdom is available this very moment to absolutelyeveryone
  • Jesus' humanness as he had things to learn about his Father's(God's) kingdom in the cut and thrust of meeting different peopleand especially outsiders.

Tyre lies northwest of Galilee and was a predominantly Gentile,non-Jewish area. The woman was non-Jewish. As a woman her viewswere considered by orthodox Jews of the time to be discountable.However, she is the only character in Mark's Gospel who wins anargument against Jesus. (The learned religious authorities arealways outwitted by him.)

At this point in his ministry Jesus obviously considered that hemust prioritise the Jews in his healing, teaching ministry. This ishighlighted in his pointed rebuff of her, that "the children be fedfirst" and not wasted on the dogs (verse 28). From our perspectivethis is a shocking rebuff coming from Jesus. But it would haveaccurately reflected the contemporary orthodox male Jewishattitude, and would have been thought of as quite normal.

It is quite 'normal' for us to think that our group's views:religious, political or social are correct, and that somehow ourviews guarantee us priority in God's kingdom and enable us to judgewho is in or who is out. We can be quite comfortable with a 'them'and 'us' attitude.

The massive shock in the passage is that Jesus 'let's go' of his'correct' thinking and broadens his perspective. The healing,loving embrace of God's kingdom goes way beyond human ideas of'correct thinking'. It is for anyone who asks for it. Those whoask, are in. Those who are prepared to be touched, the touchableones are in. Humans, however hard they try, cannot control who isin, or who is out by 'ideas patrolling'.

Jesus understood this, as he learned from his meeting with theoutsider Syrophoenician woman. But we can find this a very hardtruth to understand.

To Ponder

  • Recall a time when you were convinced you were right, or yourideas correct and after a conversation with someone realised therewas a whole new perspective which changed your heart and broadenedyour mind. What was the occasion? What did you learn?
  • The woman is humble, she knows her low social and religiousstatus, but she has an inner authority, which makes her verycourageous. Where do you get your sense of authority from? Describean occasion when your sense of authority enabled you to becourageous.
  • Do you see Jesus' meeting with the Syprophoenician woman as alow point or a high point in Jesus' ministry? Why?
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