Summary: This sermon teaches that all are loved by God and therefore the Church should reach out to everyone.

The Church is Going to the Dogs

(Mark 7:24-37)

Jesus 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. 25 In 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. 26 The 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." 29 Then he told her, "For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter." 30 She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone. 31 Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. 32 There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man. 33 After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man's ears. Then he spit and touched the man's tongue. 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, "Ephphatha!" (which means, "Be opened!"). 35 At this, the man's ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly. 36 Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. 37 People were overwhelmed with amazement. "He has done everything well," they said. "He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak."

How many of you have dogs?

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes

My very first dog-was black cocker spaniel

But we’ve had Chihuahuas—

Several muts

But one of my favorite dogs—was a Yorkie

He was very cute-Bridget loved him-got parvo and died

Most of the time when we think about dogs-we think of

Pet—“man’s best friend”

Because they are loyal—and loving

But there is another kind of dog

The vicious killers-

Like wolves and coyotes

They are dangerous –will kill even humans

But there’s a another kind of “dog”

I’m not talking about a were wolf

The term “dog” can be used-as a derogatory term for a person

When I was young-called person a dog—meant they were ugly

But now days—the term can be used sort of teasingly

“Like you ole dog!”---when person is known

for being salty character

Or--a young male who is known for being a skirt chaser

So-it has always bothered me—when I read that Jesus

The loving gracious Son of God

Compares a young mother coming to Him for help

To a dog—that sort of sounds out of character

Did He mean—she was ugly—vicious—scum bag

Why did Jesus compare this hurting mother to a dog?

We have to take a minute to consider the background

Last week-we read about Jesus being in a Jewish area

Where the Pharisees were after him

Because Jesus’ disciples didn’t wash hands before eating

They didn’t do the ceremonial cleansing ritual before they dined

Jesus—in a way-says-you guys are “barking up the wrong tree!”

Its not what food you eat that makes a person unclean before God

It’s a sin sick heart that makes person unacceptable to a Holy God

After that episode and being tired of being “hounded” by leaders

Jesus and His “pack of friends”---His disciples

Take a road trip

They travel 20 + miles up to a town called Tyre

Tyre is located in current day Syria

It was a non-Jewish area

The city of Tyre and the city of Jerusalem had a long history

From what I’ve read- both were major cities of commerce

So they were competitors of sorts

So when Jerusalem was destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar in OT times

The people of Tyre rejoiced

Why—not only because of competition

But also because the Jews hated them—because they were Gentiles

And for those of you who know much about OT

Tyre is the home town of the famous evil Queen

Queen Jezebell

So-where is Jesus----in a Gentile area

This journey into the Gentile areas

And of all places to go—

He retreats first to Tyre!!

So here is Jesus-trying to have some “chill time”

And low and behold along comes a woman

A woman of solid gentile ancestry

Whose ancestry is tied to the Syrians-who attacked Israelites

And she wants Jesus to heal her demon possessed child

If you take Mark’s and Matthews’ account together

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