Thursday, September 16, 2010

How have you demonstrated these truths?

Mark 7:24-30 
  24 Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre. He didn’t want anyone to know which house he was staying in, but he couldn’t keep it a secret. 25 Right away a woman who had heard about him came and fell at his feet. Her little girl was possessed by an evil spirit,  26 and she begged him to cast out the demon from her daughter. Since she was a Gentile, born in Syrian Phoenicia,  27 Jesus told her, “First I should feed the children—my own family, the Jews. It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.”
  28  She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even the dogs under the table are allowed to eat the scraps from the children’s plates.”  
  29 “Good answer!” he said. “Now go home, for the demon has left your daughter.” 30 And when she arrived home, she found her little girl lying quietly in bed, and the demon was gone.

Jesus knew hearts and minds of those he encountered. He understood how the Jewish leaders were setting traps for him with everything he did and at every turn. They would spin every so that they could claim Jesus opposed Judaism.  In fact, it was they who were opposing Judaism-- at least the Judaism that God ordained for His people. Jesus pointed this out by his actions and his messages. He turned each challenge into a testimony about God's Grace through his ministry.

The Syrian woman asking for healing was well within what God would have wanted done, but Jewish leaders would spin that to become an anti-Israel event. So Jesus posed this question in the hearing of the Jewish leaders observing the exchange between him and the burdened Syrian mother. He was really citing many Old Testament passages that said through Israel the rest of humanity could be saved. The truth was that the Jews themselves, would not believe that Scripture. But the Syrian mom did. She confessed her place to be second behind the Jews awaiting God's grace. By doing so, she demonstrated the very kind of humility that Jesus had been teaching since he began his ministry years earlier. By taking her place as 'the dog under the table' to receive the 'crumbs from the children' The lady confirmed two important truths. First, she proved without doubt that she trusted God and accepted His Lordship in her life. Second, she demonstrated acceptance of God's plan and believed God would respond to her great need, even though what Jesus said did not make sense to her as a Syrian citizen who was not a Jew but oppressed by them.

How have you demonstrated these truths-- that you trust God without reason, and that you are willing to lay aside all of your pride based on nationality, class, family, eduction, race, or other factor. Are you willing to be a servant living by God's grace alone?
Your servant in Christ's love

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