Friday, January 9, 2009

Mark 7 -- Opening The Door

In Mark 7 Jesus continues to challenge the common actions of the religious leaders of the day. In the process he creates a broader landscape on which people can function. First, Jesus addresses the issue of food and washing of hands. Second Jesus takes on who he has come to serve.

When it comes to the food and washing the key word is defilement. The religious leaders of the day went through a process of ceremonial washing before they would eat. They would was the bowls, plates, cups and utensils, as well as washing all the food. This was done so that nothing unclean would be eaten. They also followed with extreme care the rules regarding what was acceptable to eat. The religious leaders believed they could be defiled by what was consumed. Jesus flips the script and says it is not what goes into you that defiles, rather it is what comes from your mouth which defiles you. Keeping the rules was less the issue. The greater issue is how you live your life.

When it comes to who Jesus came to serve we meet the women from Syria Phoenicia. She is a gentile, believed by Jews to be outside the family of God. In a puzzling action Jesus attempts to dismiss her and when she asks for deliverance of her daughter. She challenges Jesus to say that all can benefit from the work of Christ. She gives the kind of answer Jesus is looking for. The testament of her faith produces the fruit of the demon leaving her daughter.

There are two questions to wrestle with. First, are we living lives which bring honor and glory to God, or are we simply following the religious rules. Second, are we disqualifying those who God seeks to minister to?

1 comment:

  1. I like your last point. In many situations you see people looking at someone and judging them from appearances. In doing that, many times the thought is; I'm not talking to him or her, look at them.

    Today, especially, the kids like to have the piercings, EMO look and clothing, the Goth styles, grunge, tattoos, you name it. But they are all searching for one thing...Love and acceptance. If we would step out of our own comfort zone we could touch a lot of people.