Text: Mark 7:24-37; Mark 8:1-9; Mark 8:22-26
Event(s): Jesus heals the daughter of the Syro-Phoenician woman, Jesus heals others, Jesus feeds the 4,000, Pharisees demand a sign (again), Jesus heals the blind man
Mark 7:24 “to the region of Tyre and Sidon” this is the first time Jesus leaves Jewish territory and is now in Gentile territory.
Mark 7:25 “she came and fell at His feet” A posture of worship. Matthew’s account of this event states that she addressed Him as “Lord, Son of David” which means she recognized Jesus as the Messiah. But it also states in Matthew’s gospel that at first, Jesus answered her not a word, because He knew had been sent “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”.
“The restriction on His mission did not involve racial exclusivism, but was strictly a matter of His limitations as a person and distinct priorities set by the Father.” -New Spirit Filled Life Bible, footnotes
Mark 7:33 “and He spat and touched his tongue” In these days, spittle was thought to have medicinal qualities.
Mark 8:9 “Now those who had eaten were about 4,000” Jesus had previously fed the 5,000, who were Jewish. These 4,000 were predominantly Gentiles.
Mark 8:15 “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod” Remember Jesus had previously used leaven in comparison to the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 13:33, Luke 13:21). However here, He is using it to refer to the religious legalism of the Pharisees and the political system of Herod. Later, Jesus would also make reference to the leaven of the Saducees, which was liberalism. In this sense, the yeast puffs up (1 Corinthians 5:6).
Mark 8:19-20 “I broke five loaves for the five thousand” with 12 baskets leftover. “I broke seven for the four thousand” with 7 baskets leftover. Both very interesting when you consider Biblical numerology and the fact that the five loaves fed Jews and the seven loaves fed Gentiles. I don’t claim to have full revelation of what this means, but I’m definitely drawn to seek more.
Mark 8:22 “brought a blind man to Him” Though this was a natural miracle, sight is a common metaphor for understanding.
Mark 8:25 “Then He put His hands on his eyes again” Some miracles, some levels of understanding, happen immediately, while some happen in stages. Not because Jesus’ power was insufficient, there was purpose in this process. We are invited to come to Him again and again as we need to, until our breakthrough is complete.
Today’s Takeaway: Throughout the Gospels we see Jesus heal in various ways. I was recently reading an expository and loved the way one theologian commented on this. I think it makes a perfect takeaway for today:
“Sometimes when I cut my finger and watch the blood coagulate, I marvel at the ability of my body to seemingly heal itself. Other times, when I have a pounding headache and down a couple of aspirin, I marvel at modern medicine. Still other times, when I’m hurting physically, a couple of brothers will lay hands on me and pray—and I marvel at the power of prayer. But it is not prayer that heals. It is not medicine that heals. It is not our own body processes that heal. It is God who heals. And as God, He can utilize prayer, medicine, and our natural body processes—or any combination of the three.” – Jon Courson
Additional (optional) reading: The parallel account of these events can be found in Matthew 15:21-39 and Matthew 16:1-12