Mark 8:11-13 Give Us a Sign

Is this the sign they wanted?

Is this the sign they wanted?

Today Jesus goes through a “face palm” encounter if I ever saw one. We join Him in the district of Dalmanutha on the Sea of Galilee. Surprise! Pharisees are there to question and argue with Him. Today it is: Give us a sign from Heaven so we will KNOW that You are who You say You are.

Seriously? Have they not witnessed the blind seeing? Have they not heard the demons cry out in fear AND call Him the Son of God? Have they not witnessed the lame walking? Have they not seen the dead raised, or at least heard the stories about it? Have they not listened to His teaching?

He teaches with such authority that He must be getting His information first hand. I’m pretty sure some of the Pharisees were present when He fed the 5,000. They seemed to be everywhere He was. So how was that bread anyway? I’m sure it was the best they ever ate, before or since. Read more »

Mark 8:1-10 Dinner With the Gentiles

He saved a spot for me

He saved a spot for me

Jesus is in Gentile territory right now. I believe He and His disciples are still in the Decapolis. Jesus’ primary mission is to the House of Israel, but He personally expands His reach to the Gentiles too. He started this Gentile trip in Tyre and Sidon then came to the Decapolis.

Early on in Jesus’ time in the Decapolis He healed the man who was deaf and had a speech impediment. We looked at that healing yesterday. After He healed this man Jesus told him to keep the miracle quiet. Well, he didn’t. The more Jesus tried to hush him up the more he spread the news. Read more »

Mark 7:31-37 Deaf Ears Hear

His ears were opened and tongue loosened

His ears were opened and tongue loosened

Jesus is back on the shores of the Sea of Galilee after visiting Tyre and Sidon. Mark tells us He was in the region of the Decapolis. This is on the southern shore stretching South and East, and contains ten cities in its boundaries.

While Jesus is here some people brought a deaf man to Him. This man suffered from a speech impediment, as many who have hearing difficulties do. Those who brought him were begging Jesus to lay hands on him and heal him. Jesus was more than willing to help this man but He wanted to do so in private.

Jesus took the man off to the side to heal him. Apparently He didn’t want the crowd to see what was happening. I’m curious how big the crowd was, how He got out of their sight, and why He chose to do this physical ministry in private? Did He seek privacy because of the form of delivery of this healing, or was He simply trying to keep the whole thing quiet? Read more »

Mark 7:24-30 I’ll Take the Crumbs

Dogs get to eat too

Dogs get to eat too

We join Jesus in the region of Tyre and Sidon today. He is trying to go unnoticed but that didn’t happen. Jesus goes into a house to fly below the radar.

Jesus is so famous that even in this region He is known. He hasn’t come here before, but people from other regions have brought news of Him and His activities here. I’m assuming that someone recognized Him as He came into town. Because there isn’t a large crowd gathered at the time of our story, His fame wasn’t on the level here with what it was in Galilee. Our one mother though can’t wait to see Him. Read more »

Mark 7:14-23 Outside In, or Inside Out

What is rooted in there?

What is rooted in there?

In our reading today we look at the end of the encounter concerning food and cleanliness. Those who separated the gospels into chapters, verses, and topics placed this section together with the section where the Pharisees approached Jesus about His disciples’ hands in Matthew. In Mark’s gospel those same experts separated the two themes. Let’s look at the conclusion of Jesus’ encounter with this group of Pharisees.

Jesus has just put the Pharisees in their place concerning the traditions of the elders verses God’s Laws. The first is completely from man and has NO authority from God attached to it. It is NOT equal in authority to God’s commands either.

Jesus now goes back to the original issue of the food. Jesus wants everyone to hear this exchange so He purposefully gets the entire crowd’s attention. “I want ever eye on me and every ear listening to me for a moment. I want you to understand something.” Jesus wanted the people to understand this lesson. He didn’t try to hide the meaning from them, but once Jesus and His disciples were alone even they had questions about what He just said. Read more »