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 »

Mark 7:1-13 Hypocrites Indeed

Twice on the left, then twice on the right

Twice on the left, then twice on the right

We join Jesus today while He and His disciples are having dinner. During the meal a group of Pharisees and scribes approach Him. They are aghast at His disciples’ behavior and are going to make sure He knows about it.

The Pharisees are going to confront Jesus on the lines of the oral traditions or the traditions of the elders. According to TempleInstitute.org the traditions of the elders was originally a set of oral rules said to have been handed down to Moses during his time on Mt. Sini , while BibleHistory.com states that they were first seen in practice during Israel’s captivity by Babylon. They were supposed to be like a buffer surrounding the Torah so, if observed, the user would be assured they would not be in danger of breaking one of God’s written laws. These oral traditions were finally written down in 200 A.D. and were called the Mishnah.  Read more »

Mark 6:53-56 Meet Him in the Marketplace

Touch the hem of His garment

Touch the hem of His garment

We are going to join Jesus in the region surrounding Gennesaret. The town of Gennesaret is about three miles from Capernaum. Jesus’ fame had easily reached there. He was even recognized on sight. Let’s join Him as He moves through this region.

The first thing that I noticed, after reading the passage a couple of times, is that Jesus only landed in Gennesaret. He moved about from there. I don’t know how far He went from this town on this particular trip. Mark lists villages, cities and countryside’s as locations Jesus visited. I’m curious what other locations asked Jesus to touch people in the way He does in today’s reading.

Jesus and His disciples have been sailing back and forth across the Sea of Galilee. We are not always told where they land. This is a little frustrating to me because I want to know those details so I can make a map in my mind of where He did what. I keep digging and am not finding locations for a lot of Jesus miracles. I guess we know another bench question I will be bringing up someday. Read more »

Mark 6:45-52 Can You See Me Now

Some things are hidden in plain sight

Some things are hidden in plain sight

We join Jesus today as He dismisses the dinner crowd. Right after gathering the leftovers, He sends His disciples ahead of Him in the boat to Bethsaida and then sends the satisfied crowd away. Finally alone, Jesus goes up onto the mountain to pray.

Mark tells us that “when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and He was alone on the land” (verse 47). Checking this out with Google, I found that there were actually two “evening” in the Jewish reckoning of time. The first was the time when the sun began to decline in the sky and the second was when it finally set. We are not sure which evening Mark is referring to in this instance, so we are going to say that it was after 6:00 and before full darkness. Read more »