Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Beggars at the table Mark 7:24-37

There's a harsh tone in Jesus' words in Mark 7:24-37. These words are hard to ignore and shouldn't be brushed aside because we are uncomfortable with them. The real Jesus' revealed in scripture won't fit neatly into liberal or conservative conceptions of God and justice. Instead reading Mark 7 gives us a moment of real insight, if we listen to Jesus carefully, into the full breadth and depth of his humanity and divinity.

Reading Mark 7 reminds these past 2 weeks reminds us that human bias and human need are always present in our world. And one person in history had and has power to deal with both: Jesus. And here this very same Jesus says that what was meant for the children should not be given to the dogs. Here He is. He's the one with power to overcome both need and bias; but he wasn't disconnected from the world. Jesus' Incarnation means that He is true God with a full human identity. He was a Jewish man and a woman, foreigner met him begging for help for her child.

Jesus replied that he came to help his own. Jews and foreigners lived side by side, and she was hurting. But Jesus came with a mission. By faith this woman knew that Jesus could overcome both bias and suffering. By faith she knew that a crumb of God's mercy would set her little girl free from daemonic powers. The bias between native and foreigner would still be present all around them. Suffering would still be just as real in the lives of others in the world. But this woman knew that her child would be released because of him.

There was and still is intense bias among different people who live separately next to each other in our world. Jesus was sent first to his own; but by faith in Jesus many others have been set free. Thanks be to God.


Nancy Marshall said...

Dear Unlikely,
I continue to read your blog weekly and Thank God for your insights. It always gets my thoughts turning with the lesson for the week. This week you avoided the healing of the deaf man part of the lectionary. hmmm
I had this inkling you were wondering, what would a deaf person do with that passage?
I blogged about it...if you have time to check it out.

Hope you are settling into your expanded family in your new home in your new town and new congregation...hope it is all beginning to feel comfortable.
I wish you the perfect peace that only our Father can give.

Nancy Marshall said...

Donde estas?
Did I miss the rapture? (smile)


Unlikely said...

thanks for asking
I took a little break for fishing.