Exhortation - Punchbowl - 12 August 2007
Posted 12 August 2007 - 05:27 AM
Reading: Mark 7 [WEB]
7:1 Then the Pharisees, and some of the scribes gathered together to him, having come from Jerusalem. 7:2 Now when they saw some of his disciples eating bread with defiled, that is, unwashed, hands, they found fault. 7:3 (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, don’t eat unless they wash their hands and forearms, holding to the tradition of the elders. 7:4 They don’t eat when they come from the marketplace, unless they bathe themselves, and there are many other things, which they have received to hold to: washings of cups, pitchers, bronze vessels, and couches.) 7:5 The Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why don’t your disciples walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with unwashed hands?”
7:6 He answered them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,
‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me.
7:7 But in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
7:8 “For you set aside the commandment of God, and hold tightly to the tradition of men—the washing of pitchers and cups, and you do many other such things.” 7:9 He said to them, “Full well do you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition. 7:10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother;’* and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 7:11 But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban, that is to say, given to God;”’ 7:12 then you no longer allow him to do anything for his father or his mother, 7:13 making void the word of God by your tradition, which you have handed down. You do many things like this.”
7:14 He called all the multitude to himself, and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand. 7:15 There is nothing from outside of the man, that going into him can defile him; but the things which proceed out of the man are those that defile the man. 7:16 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!”
7:17 When he had entered into a house away from the multitude, his disciples asked him about the parable. 7:18 He said to them, “Are you thus without understanding also? Don’t you perceive that whatever goes into the man from outside can’t defile him, 7:19 because it doesn’t go into his heart, but into his stomach, then into the latrine, thus purifying all foods?” 7:20 He said, “That which proceeds out of the man, that defiles the man. 7:21 For from within, out of the hearts of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, sexual sins, murders, thefts, 7:22 covetings, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness. 7:23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”
7:24 From there he arose, and went away into the borders of Tyre and Sidon. He entered into a house, and didn’t want anyone to know it, but he couldn’t escape notice. 7:25 For a woman, whose little daughter had an unclean spirit, having heard of him, came and fell down at his feet. 7:26 Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by race. She begged him that he would cast the demon out of her daughter. 7:27 But Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not appropriate to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”
7:28 But she answered him, “Yes, Lord. Yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
7:29 He said to her, “For this saying, go your way. The demon has gone out of your daughter.”
7:30 She went away to her house, and found the child having been laid on the bed, with the demon gone out.
7:31 Again he departed from the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and came to the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the region of Decapolis. 7:32 They brought to him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech. They begged him to lay his hand on him. 7:33 He took him aside from the multitude, privately, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat, and touched his tongue. 7:34 Looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha!” that is, “Be opened!” 7:35 Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was released, and he spoke clearly. 7:36 He commanded them that they should tell no one, but the more he commanded them, so much the more widely they proclaimed it. 7:37 They were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He makes even the deaf hear, and the mute speak!”
World English Bible - (WEB) - Public Domain
Posted 12 August 2007 - 05:30 AM
Mark carefully traces Christ’s journey – that ended with “whom say ye that I am”. That is the question we have to ask ourselves - the disciples had to learn that the hard way by witnessing him dying on the cross. Can you imagine the map of Israel so we can trace this journey with Christ.
In Mark 6 he fed the 5000 on the lake of Galilee. On the right hand side of the lake – near Bethsaida “the house of fish”. After that he went to Capernaum on the western side of the lake – Bethsaida and Capernaum are separated by Jordan. People are waiting for him at Capernaum v. 1 of ch 7. Here are the intellectuals waiting for him. Certain of the scribes – those who knew the law. Look at v.56 of ch6 His custom was to move from village to village and in the streets or as the word should be “the market place” they laid out the sick. Jesus was touching the unclean, according to the Pharisees. So in v. 2-4 Jesus had just been to the market to heal people and he SHOULD have washed his hands. Maybe he had touched a Gentile and was contaminated – so the Pharisees felt he should have washed his hands. V.24 The Lord did not run away into solitude to get away from people. What he was doing in v. 24 he wanted the disciples to come into solitude and show them things about him – up to the time he asks them who say he that I am.
So he came from Capernaum and in v.24 he goes right up north – why? Because he wants to tell the disciples something. He comes to the border of tyre and Sidon – a Gentile area – most unclean!! This is the place known in the Old Test. As Zaraphath – where the widow woman was living and gave a meal to Elijah. And Jesus quotes this later on about this particular incident. God looked at a widow woman from Zaraphath rather than any other widow in Israel, said Jesus. Now he is with a Gentile woman – a woman of Canaan, says Matthew’s record. She comes to Jesus just when he wants to talk to his disciples quietly. V. 26 the woman was a Greek, and she seeks Jesus to cast the devil out of her daughter. Matthew says in his record that she calls him Son of David. Just like the blind man at Jericho called Jesus Son of David. Here is someone the Pharisees would not even deem to look on because she is a Gentile, a dog, a Greek – yuk!! But this woman is determined. She calls him Son of David – yet David has committed murder and adultery!! He has Bathsheba’s husband to death – he was No 37 great man of David in the list of the great men of David’s army. Yet God was able to forgive him and tells David that his throne would be established in MERCY. Because God had been merciful to him. If ever God’s mercy was to be tested, it would be tested with David’s sins. Yet here is a Gentile woman – outside of salvation as far as the Jews were concerned – and once again God’s mercy was to be tested.
v.27 Jesus is in Lebanon – who are the children he is talking to? There are no Jews in this area where the widow lived, only the disciples that were with him. Jesus was surrounded by Gentiles – and Jesus only came here to get solitude to talk to the disciples. So the widow tells him about the dogs – she is talking about puppies – a pet. Jesus is not offended. Jesus is trying in this situation to teach the disciples. The woman is now included in this teaching too!! And because of her faith, her daughter is healed.
Jesus comes back around the Lake on the eastern side to Decapolis. This means 10 cities. These cities were taken over by the Romans who settled Gentiles in this area. The Jews would not go here at all, but here is Jesus with his disciples. So he leaves one Gentile area and goes to another. V.32 They bring a deaf man – a Gentile – what does Jesus do with him? Takes him aside, puts his fingers in his ears, v.32-34 How do you speak to a deaf and dumb person. Touch his ears – and he gets the point. He says “Be opened” and the deaf person understands what Jesus was going to do – heal him. But first of all he takes him aside away from the crowds. Mark 8:22 He comes back to Bethsaida – a Jewish city. Peter and Andrew, James and John and Philip lived there – 5 of the disciples had their home town there. And they bring a blind man to Jesus.
Posted 12 August 2007 - 05:31 AM
And that Jews are not important in God’s eyes just because they are Jews!
Ch 8:1-2 The first time it records Jesus saying “I have compassion” – These Gentiles were all coming to him – and he wanted to help them. Only time that it is said in the “first person” that I have compassion. V.4 Bethsaida was a lovely place and the disciples were rather pathetic with calling the place “a desert place”. This was a pathetic excuse to help Gentiles. So once again Jesus had to teach them that he had to preach the Gospel to them also. So instead of carrying 12 small baskets as they did when they fed the Jews, here they picked up 7 big baskets that “nothing be lost”. So it was the will of God that Jesus would not lose anyone from the Truth. We are scraps, picked up off the ground, half eaten food. All the disciples had to learn that, and so do we. But Christ will never lose one of us!! The Jews had been God’s people before Christ was born, but Christ did not lose anyone of them. Why did they object to the widow from Syro Phoenicia, why did they object to the deaf man because he was a Gentile. Why did they object to finding food to feed these Gentiles.
V12 Mary Magdalene came from Dalmanutha. It was here that Jesus had his bitter experience with the Scribes and Pharisees. He sighed in his spirit in v.12 because they were wanting a sign from heaven. Then he went back up to v.15 Tyre and Sidon again. On the way he talks to the disciples to beware of the Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees. These parties come down to our very day today. There are so many factions today in the truth – beware of them. Pharisees were hypocrites. Present advantage (Sadducees believed there was no angels, resurrection or spirit – so if you have lots of money you have been blessed). Compromise was the Scribes theory – if you cant beat them, join them. So they did with the Pharisees and Sadducees to destroy Jesus. Once again Jesus wanted to get away from them so that the “children would be fed”. So he goes to Caesarea Philippi near Mt. Hermon. Right up north. The water cascades down Mt. Hermon – melting snow turns to water and comes down to Caesarea Philippi or Banias (today’s name – it was the place where Pan the Greek god lived and they worshipped nearby). It was the place where Herod Philip built a temple to Caesar, the god of the earth. So here you have the Greek gods worshipped here, the Roman’s worshipped here and it was here that in Judges, that it is mentioned that a false altar was erected to God back in the time of the Judges.
Posted 12 August 2007 - 05:32 AM
Yet Peter went because he had learnt from Jesus that God loved everyone and wanted all in the Kingdom. When Peter got to Cornelius house – and was told by Cornelius that a HOLY angel visited him. A SEPARATE angel came into a Gentile house!! Peter had to learn that a holy angel would come into a Gentile house and Peter had to learn that he had to use one of the keys to open the door to the Gentiles. Upon this rock I will build my ecclesia – said Jesus to Peter. This is true. There is a chapter in Deuteronomy 32 that is called : “the rock chapter”. It is all about being firm, upright. God is firm and upright and is a rock to all of us. God is father rock. Rocks don’t have light – but split them and polish them and they have character. Day of Pentecost was the establishment of the ecclesia – Peter spoke (his name means rock). Many people were listening to him as he told them to save themselves from this crooked and perverse generation. Just the same words that God had called the Jews in Moses’ time. They were crooked and perverse generation because they had not believed and honoured God and had to walk about the wilderness for 40 years. So Peter is telling the people of his day, and to us also that it doesn’t matter if we are Jews or Gentiles, but believing in God and not crooked and perverse.
Posted 12 August 2007 - 05:33 AM
Often times we are deaf, blind, deluded, we compromise our stand in the truth. We have to take the bread and wine and make a stand on the rock of faith – and answer the question – Who do you think I am. The answer is The Son of the Living God. Do you know what I found out in my latter years of my life - that he IS the son of God. This sounds silly that I have only just found that out, but it is true. He is the son of God. Unto us a child is born, a son is given. He might be our nature, but he is GOD’s son. Not our son. If he was not the son of God, then we would never have the promise of the Kingdom. God is calling unclean people today. Some come to the truth with much baggage, but God is still calling people of all sorts to the truth. We have to learn by experience and from our heart – that we have to really believe that Jesus is the son of God. It will make our lives so different if we believe this really and truly. We will then see every man clearly – not trees, thinking they are great and wonderful, but just men that are human nature and sin just like us.
When Jesus comes back again imagine the family that we will be a part of – huge!!"
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