Mark Chapter 7
Jesus Teaches about Inner Purity:
(Read: Mark 7:1-23)
The Pharisees and scribes were observing whether Jesus and his disciples were engaging in any unlawful activities. They found that the disciples were eating with unwashed hands. They asked Jesus “Why don't your disciples follow the tradition?” The traditions are man-made practices set alongside the Law of God with equal importance. Jesus replied, “You hypocrites!” Isaiah was prophesying about you when he wrote Isaiah 29:13. You reject God’s laws in order to hold on to your own traditions. They were hypocrites, imitating spirituality. They did not honor their parents by designating a gift to God (Corban). They argue that “We are not obligated to help parents because it was given to God. To know more, read Matthew 15:10-20. Jesus did not agree with the way they were interpreting the Law of Moses. They distorted the law by focusing on the ceremonies and traditions. Pursuing spirituality is pointless unless our hearts are first renewed and right with God. Jesus fulfilled the Mosaic Law completely. He wants us to obey God from our hearts. The obedience motivated by love and faith in Christ only will please God. Our heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). Only God can change our hearts. Pray that God would keep our hearts pure and sensitive to his gospel to love and serve others.
Jesus’ Ministry at Tyre and Sidon:
(Read: Mark 7:24-37)
These were cities along the Mediterranean Sea, northwest of Galilee. The news of Jesus’ arrival spread fast among people. A woman came to him whose little girl was possessed by an evil spirit. She fell at his feet and begged him to heal her daughter. She was a gentile, born in Syrian Phoenicia. Jesus tested her faith and said, "Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs" (Mark 7:27). It was not an expression of contempt. Jesus was testing whether her faith was genuine. Jesus had compassion on her and healed her daughter. Thus, he lovingly extended his healing power to gentiles. Jesus also healed a deaf and mute man at Decapolis. Only Mark records this narrative in the gospels. Why did Jesus follow this healing procedure? It seems that Jesus was responding to the request of people. Immediately the man could hear perfectly and speak plainly. The ministry of Evangelism always includes compassion that benefits others. Jesus told the crowd not to tell this to anyone. But they spread the news everywhere. People were amazed beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well and he even heals those who are deaf and mute”. We are living in a broken world. Sickness and pain are the disorders brought by sin. Jesus came to restore everything to the way they are supposed to be. Someone has said “Miracles are not the disturbance of the natural order but a restoration of the natural order”. Pray that God would keep your heart sensitive to his gospel to help others who are in need. People need to hear the gospel to find restoration and peace with God.