Mark 7:24-30 — this was my outline for last Sunday

“Bread, dogs, and crumbs”

Mark 7:24-30

I. Mark’s story:

  • Key themes:
    • New exodus, in-breaking of the kingdom of God, Jesus’ identity, his death
  • Context: Mark 6-8 is a literary unit
    • Framed by discussion of Jesus identity and discussion of John the baptizer and the Elijah the prophet
    • Ministry to the Jews (6:31-56)
      • Feeding miracles (6:31-52)
      • Healings (6:53-56)
    • Redefinition of clean/unclean (7:1-23)
    • Ministry to Gentiles (7:24-8:9)
      • Healings (7:24-37)
      • Feeding miracle (8:1-9)
    • Summary: sight and blindness
      • Outsiders are blind and deaf (8:10-13)
      • Insiders are blind and deaf (8:14-21)
      • Sight to the blind (8:22-26)*
      • *I borrowed this outline from Shayn Dowd’s commentary on Mark in Reading Mark

II. What we learn from the Syrophonecian woman:

  • She is nameless
  • She had heard about him (7:25)
  • She is a Greek and Syrophonecian (7:26)
    • She is a gentile
    • She is a pagan
    • She is a religious outsider
    • She is a woman, probably from high society, approaching a Jewish traveling preacher
    • She is unclean
  • She is determined to find help for her daughter
  • She crosses social boundaries
  • She humbles herself
    • Falls to his feet
  • She accepts her dog-status (7:28)
  • She is a mother
    • Concerned for her daughter
    • Willing to do anything to find help
  • She has faith
    • Leaves having heard that her daughter is made well
    • Notice the transformation: there is a move from dog to daughter
    • Doesn’t ask Jesus to come along to verify his work

III. What we learn from Jesus:

  • Typical Jewish boundaries protected against defilement
  • Jesus turns these social boundaries on their ear
  • Jesus’ mission not limited by geography, social boundaries, nationality, economic status, race, or gender
    • He will go anywhere for anyone, anytime
    • He removes barriers
  • Jesus’ word is powerful (7:29)
    • He heals this little girl from a distance
  • Jesus is not afraid of saying the hard things
    • Pharisees – called them hypocrites to their faces and calls them to task over their tedious keeping of traditions of men
    • Gentile woman – he calls her a dog
    • Only when we recognize the truth about ourselves will be open to get the help we need

IV. What do we learn about ourselves?

  • We too have great needs
  • Many of us have heard about Jesus
  • We too live in a day and age full or prejudice
  • Prejudices keep us from responding to other’s needs
    • Prejudice is really fear, and believing information that may not be true about a particular group or person
    • Prejudice is prideful – we think that our group is better than everyone else’s
  • We are equally unclean before God (Mk. 7:17-23)
  • We have equal opportunity to be made clean by God (Mk. 7:24-30).

About Jason Retherford

The random musings of a youth minister.
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