Jesus: Our Faith Focus!! {Mark 7}

7:19 AM



Have you ever been in a very difficult situation and felt God wasn’t listening to your prayer? What was your reaction? Did you continue praying fervently for your miracle or did you just decide it was useless because maybe you were not worthy of receiving it? 

In verses 24-30 we find that Jesus decided to travel to Tyre a Phoenician coastal city that was quite a distance from Jerusalem, about 200 miles. While the Jews considered this place and most of its inhabitants unclean, Jesus did not. He was teaching His disciples something they would never forget: He was taking them to the people they would not be willing to relate to, but were in much need, too! We could often be in this situation… The people we don’t want to relate with are those that are special to God. Is there anyone that you would prefer not to minister to? Then they are probably the very people among whom God wants you to minister! 

Jesus probably went there to get away from the Jewish crowds and the controversy that He had been stirring up among the teachers of the law. But the word had already spread all the way to Tyre, that Jesus was a compassionate man who had healed many people in different places. 

Among these people we find a female Gentile, who was seeking help for her daughter who had an evil spirit. This story is told right after Jesus declared that all foods were clean (vss. 1-23). 
“25 Instead, after hearing about Him, a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately came and fell at His feet. 26 Now the woman was a Gentile (Greek), a [g]Syrophoenician by nationality. And she kept pleading with Him to drive the demon out of her daughter.” This Gentile woman “kept pleading”, that means her initial request for a miracle was denied by Jesus! But she was NOT hesitant, she knew deep inside she had a compassionate all-loving Jesus in front of her. At her insistence, Jesus’ response was somewhat harsh: “27 He was saying to her, “First let the children [of Israel] be fed, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the [h]pet dogs (non-Jews).” (AMP) 28 But she replied, “Yes, Lord, but even the pet dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” (AMP) 

M. Henry comments: “His saying, Let the children first be filled, shows that there was mercy for the Gentiles, and not far off. She spoke, not as making light of the mercy, but magnifying the abundance of miraculous cures among the Jews, in comparison with which a single cure was but as a crumb. Thus, while proud Pharisees are left by the blessed Savior, he manifests his compassion to poor humbled sinners, who look to him for children’s bread. “ 

29 And He said to her, “Because of this answer [reflecting your humility and faith], go [knowing that your request is granted]; the demon has left your daughter [permanently].” Jesus granted her, her miracle (Hebrews 11:6) and by this He declared that all people are clean, including women and Gentiles! This would have presented a real problem for a Jew as did the food and washing issues that Jesus had previously addressed.

This woman was fearless! She did not go home, weary or bitter over what Jesus had said. She had set her faith on Jesus and knew that He was merciful and compassionate. His initial response did not let her lose her main focus (FAITH): that she would see her daughter healed! Imagine… through Jesus a Gentile woman, living in a Gentile land, had as much access to God through her faith as a Jew!

You and I need the same FAITH FOCUS. We need to be steadfast in seeking God for help, even if He seems “reluctant” to offer that help. He sees our heart, our faith and not our nationality, race or credentials. Have you given up on some faith project or need? Perhaps this is a good day to renew your faith and earnestly seek our compassionate God through Jesus Christ!!

Blessings!

Mari

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