Bible Reading Day 59

by markburlinson

Day 59 – Mark 7:14-37

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Good morning {GoesByName}!
Today’s reading continues the account of Jesus and the Pharisees. Remember how yesterday Jesus condemned them for having hard hearts and canceling the Word of God with their traditions?Well today Jesus calls the crowd to listen, and speaks about hearing. For us to rightly respond to God’s Word requires that we hear what God is truly saying. Jesus tells the crowd, and then repeats in detail for His disciples, the truth that defilement comes from within (our sin and its consequences), not from without (rules and regulations about eating, washing and so on).

So the application for us today is that only God can determine how defiled we are; our outward actions are not the determinants of our standing with God. It follows that you and I need to HEAR what God says to us in order to allow Him to pinpoint and transform those sinful inner attitudes and habits.

Interestingly, the theme of hearing continues to the end of the chapter: first Jesus goes to Tyre where a Gentile woman comes, because she has heard of Jesus, to ask for healing for her daughter. Then Jesus goes on to Sidon where a man who cannot hear is brought for healing.

I’d like you to meditate for a moment today on how Jesus treats these two cases very differently. In fact He brings healing, truth, and freedom to people uniquely on every occason recorded in the gospels. With the Gentile woman, he challenges her request because she and Jesus both know that her heritage is outside the scope of God’s family at that time. How will she answer? Her faith shines through in her response: “even the dogs eat the scraps from the family table.” She believes God wants to bless everyone, even those who have been historically opposed to Him, and her daughter is healed.

With the deaf man, the approach is very different. Since this man would have been singled out as a misfit, even an outcast, Jesus takes him away from the crowd. His actions demonstrate that He is addressing the two issues that caused the man to be rejected by others. And again healing is released.

So a final application from this section would be: expect God to work in your life according to your unique needs and experiences. Don’t compare yourself to others because God loves you too much to treat you the same as anyone else!
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