Summary: This continues our series of messages concerning what folks experienced as they entered into the presence of Christ, humbly taking their place at His feet.
Sitting @ the feet of Jesus- We find mercy
Mark 7:24 – 30
A Christian couple from the south decides that they want to get a dog. As they are walking down the street in town, they notice that a sign in the pet shop is advertising "Christian Puppies." Their interest piqued, they go inside.
"How do you know they’re Christian puppies?"
"Watch," says the owner, as he takes one of the dogs and says, "Fetch the Bible." The dog runs over to the desk, and grabs the Bible in its mouth and returns. Putting the Bible on the floor, the owner says, "Find Psalm 23." The dog flips pages with its paw until he reaches the right page, and then stops. Amazed and delighted, the couple purchases the dog and head home.
That evening, they invite some friends over and show them the dog, having him run through his Psalm 23 routine. Impressed, one of the visitors asks "Does he also know ’regular’ commands?"
"Gee, we don’t know. We didn’t ask," replies the husband.
Turning to the dog, he says, "Sit." The dog sits. He says, "Lie down." The dog lies down. He says "Roll over." The dog rolls over.
He says "Heel." The dog runs over to him, jumps up on the sofa, puts one paw on the owner’s forehead and bows his head.
"Oh look!" the wife exclaims. "He’s PENTECOSTAL!"
Mark 7:24 – 30
24Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. 25In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an evil spirit came and fell at his feet. 26The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.
27“First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”
28“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “but even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
29Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”
30She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
On many occasions in the Scriptures the actions of Jesus make perfect sense – but our text doesn’t seem to fit into that category does it. The way Jesus acts in this passage seems to be so out of character, doesn’t it.. In fact this is the only occasion when Jesus acts with delayed compassion towards someone who has come begging before Him on hands and knees for help.
1. Seeking Shelter (v.24)
a. The humanity of Jesus.
i. Our text this evening points to the humanity of Jesus.
1. He is looking for a place of solitude and rest.
2. He is looking for a place to get away from the crowds that were drawn to Him everywhere He went.
ii. Where ever Jesus went there was the overwhelming presence of those who were in need.
1. Within the crowds were those who were hurting, sick, demon possessed, etc ….
2. Within the crowds were those who were spiritually hungry taking in every word that Jesus taught.
3. Within the crowds were the Pharisees, Sadducees, and others who cast doubts on Jesus and what He was doing.
a. They challenged His teachings, because it confronted their lifestyles.
i. It is funny how folks are fine with Jesus until His words and teachings address their lives or circumstances.
ii. When confronted with the truth of God’s word, we will either respond in obedience, or we will respond in rebellion.
iii. When our lives do not match up to what Jesus has taught us, it is time to turn away from the actions and attitudes inconsistent with His word, and get our lives in harmony with what Jesus is speaking to us.
b. They challenged His actions and the actions of His disciples because it confronted their traditions. (Mark 7:1 – 8)
1The Pharisees and some of the teachers of the law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus and 2saw some of his disciples eating food with hands that were “unclean,” that is, unwashed. 3(The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. 4When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles. )
5So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with ‘unclean’ hands?”