Summary: I told my neighbor that I was Italian and Puerto Rican. She said, “The Italian side is the good side.” How can we break down racial walls? I have three ideas.

Breaking Down Racial Walls

Mark 7:24-30

I told my neighbor that I was Italian and Puerto Rican. She said, “The Italian side is the good side.” Imagine how I felt.

Where does racism, prejudice, bigotry come from?

God to Samuel: Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart.


Jesus’ run-in with religious leaders

Only time he was outside of Palestine

Man looks on the outward appearance

This woman had obstacles to overcome

1st she was a woman

2nd she was a Gentile

3rd she had a spiritually oppressed daughter

4th Jesus intended on keeping himself secret

Ever felt like Jesus was keeping secrets from you?

Experience of prejudice/bigotry (P&B) affects people spiritually

Jesus is always available, though it may not seem so

Henry David Thoreau once went to jail rather than pay his poll tax to a state that supported slavery.

His good friend Ralph Waldo Emerson hurried to visit him in jail and, peering through the bars, exclaimed: “Why, Henry, what are you doing in there?”

Thoreau replied, “No, Ralph, the question is, what are you doing out there?”

We must break down walls of P&B so that Jesus’ message does not become a secret.

Jesus keeping whereabouts secret.

She heard Jesus was in town.

She acted on this info. “right away”


Victims must act right away

Help victims act on the little info. they have “heard about Jesus.” He can help them overcome racism

Are we building on people’s knowledge of the Lord?

Are we acting on the behalf of victims of P&B?

What’s the big deal about acting right away?

First they came for the Jews

and I did not speak out

because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists

and I did not speak out

because I was not a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists

and I did not speak out

because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me

and there was no one left

to speak out for me.


I expect Jesus to answer her prayer, but He doesn’t.

“Answered her not a word” (Matt.)

Was Jesus testing her faith?

Yes. And she passed the test by saying in essence, “I only want what the children leave behind.”

Delay in answered prayer is a persistence check.

Who around you needs encouragement to be persistent?


Woman didn’t repeat the thinking of the day; she repeated the heart of God.

Is it an wonder that civil rights movement was inspired/informed by scripture?

Want to break down walls?

Want God to answer your prayer? Speak back His words to Him.

I hope by this message you don’t get the impression that we can right the wrongs in three easy steps . . .

A first grader went on her first day to a newly integrated school at the height of the segregation storm. An anxious mother met her at the door to inquire, "How did everything go, honey?" "Oh, Mother! You know what? A little black girl sat next to me!" In fear and trepidation, the mother expected trauma, but tried to ask calmly: "And what happened?" "We were both so scared that we held hands all day."

None of us have all the answers; that’s why we have to join hands and look to the words of our Lord.

Someday we are going to join with people from every race and tribe in honoring our Lord, don’t you think we should starting practicing for this?

Revelation 7:9,10

9 After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white and held palm branches in their hands. 10 And they were shouting with a mighty shout, "Salvation comes from our God on the throne and from the Lamb!" 11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living beings. And they fell face down before the throne and worshiped God. 12 They said, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and strength belong to our God forever and forever. Amen!"