Summary: We may miss the call of God because we are offended by what we are called to do or just are not listening or paying attention.
Mark 7: 24 – 37 / Growing Into God’s Calling
Intro: A Christian couple decided they wanted to get a dog. As they were walking down the street they noticed a sign in the pet shop advertising “Christian puppies.” --- “How do you know they are Christian puppies?” --- “Watch!” --- “Fetch the Bible.” --- The dog fan over to a desk, picked up the Bible and dropped it at the man’s feet. --- “Find Psalm 23.” The dog flipped the pages with it’s paw until it reached the correct page. --- Amazed and delighted, the couple bought the dog. --- That evening they had some friends over explaining to them about their new puppy. “Does he know ‘regular commands?’” / “Sit” and the dog sat. “Lie down” and the dog lay down. “Roll over” and he did. “Heel” and the dog ran over, jumped up on the sofa, put one paw on the owner’s forehead and bowed his head. / Delighted, the wife exclaimed, “He’s PENETECOSTAL!”
I. VSS. 24 – 30 is just as shocking. A woman comes to Jesus for help. Jesus brushes her off calling her a dog. --- Actually the translation of the word dogs should rather be “little dogs.” --- F.W. Beare, a Bible commentator, suggests that “written words cannot convey a twinkle in the eye, and it may be that Jesus was almost jokingly presenting her with the sort of language she might expect from a Jew in order to see how she would react.
A. Jesus was saying that his mission at that time was not to the Gentiles but to the Jews. --- The woman wasn’t put off by an apparent offense; yet, how many people have lost out on a great blessing because they have reacted negatively to something that has offended them.
B. Jesus knew what His Father had called him to do --- to preach the Gospel to the Children of Israel. Jesus was trying to follow God’s priority, not his own or that of someone or something else.
C. We have a finite amount of time and we need to focus on that which God, through Christ Jesus is calling us to do. There are lots of worthy causes; but, what is God calling us to do.
II. VSS. 31 – 37 – We are like the man in this story. By nature, we can’t hear the Lord calling us to do His will. him.
A. We don’t listen and obey very well. We go off and do our own thing instead of listening to what He wants us to do. We get so wrapped up in our own self-centeredness that we can’t hear him. Our ears are plugged with the “noise” of our worldliness.
B. Vs. 33 – Jesus takes the man aside as a way of letting him know that he was loved and accepted. What Jesus was doing was for the man, not for the crowd, not for the praise of the crowd.
C. Stuck his fingers in his ears and touched his tongue to confirm for the man that Jesus understood his problem and wanted to fix it. Jesus does the same for us. He knows your problems, your stumbling blocks, and what ails you. --- But does he have your undivided attention?
III. VSS. 34 – 35 – Because of Jesus, the man’s life was changed forever. He experienced God’s grace in a powerful way. Whatever our burden, Christ Jesus will meet us with this same grace.