Summary: Discrimination is a bad thing in any form. We as believers must never discriminate with regard to whom we share our faith.

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Understanding Faith

The Book of Mark

Mark 7:24-31

I. Introduction:

A. We live in tumultuous days.

1. Hardly a week goes by without one group of people calling another group racist somewhere in the country.

2. The words people use to explain something or to present their side of an issue are scanned under a microscope to make sure that they weren’t saying something that could be construed as racist.

B. When we elected our first black president all of this racial turmoil was suppose to become a faint memory of the past.

1. But now since things haven’t been going the administration’s way the racial thing is becoming an issue again.

2. People who oppose any policy that this administration puts forth are called racists or bigots.

C. People will get before cameras and lament about the atmosphere of incivility and then go out and stoke the fires all for the advancing of a political agenda.

D. Even the church has its racists, especially in the Deep South.

1. I can remember when I was in the navy and a new Christian.

2. I struggled with the fact that a good friend of mine who was also a Christian went to a church that didn’t allow blacks to attend.

3. A black Christian who was in our bible study on board ship was barred from attending a church with two white guys.

E. Racism is alive and well in our country today.

1. Contrary to popular opinion and the main line “civil rights’ activists it isn’t just white on colored either.

2. We all have prejudices.

3. We all have a tendency to discriminate against people who are different than we are.

4. I am not excusing anyone here only explaining.

5. As we get further into our study of Genesis we will discover the roots of racism – but that is for tonight.

F. That brings us to our passage today in Mark 7.

1. In case you didn’t know this same atmosphere of racial tension existed in the 1st century.

2. The Jews especially were strong segregationists.

a) They hated the Gentiles who lived around them and occupied their land.

b) They discriminated against any who were not Jew but especially the Samaritans.

c) Their discrimination was based more up on national rather than racial differences.

3. The Samaritans hated the Jews also.

G. With this in mind isn’t it interesting that immediately after being confronted by and putting the Pharisees in their place by rebuking them for their blind devotion to traditions and dietary laws Jesus departs into a region that was predominantly Gentile.

1. This was considered scandal by most Jews in that day.

2. Most Jews would rather take the long route around these areas rather than come into physical contact with these people.

H. There were two main reasons for Jesus foray into this area along the Mediterranean coast now known as Lebanon.

1. To move away from the threat of the Jewish leaders who were constantly on the attack now.

2. To continue to teach the disciples.

a) He had made several attempts to get away alone with them but each time they were interrupted.

b) This occasion ended the same way.

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