When Jesus visits the region of Tyre and Sidon in Mark 7 and 8 he goes from being in the midst of the Jews to being in the midst of the Gentiles. This is the foreshadowing of the future mission to the Gentiles and the anticipated renewal of Creation subject to our Lord Jesus Christ.
Scripture: Mark 7:24-8:21
- This passage is the only recorded instance of Jesus' ministry outside Palestine in the land of the gentiles, anticipating the creation being renewed and subjected to Christ.
- Jesus had exposed the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and He declared the true meaning of holiness and righteousness in contrast to the traditions of the day.
- Christ had come, not come to make evil good, but to restore the creation from a fallen state to a renewed state.
- When Jesus touched the sick and the dead, instead of becoming unclean He was able to reverse the effect. He had a sanctifying and cleansing presence.
- Having become unclean by contact with gentiles, Jesus foreshadows the healing of nations. Jesus is teaching His disciples that both Jews and gentiles are corrupted by sin and need a Saviour.
- In the gentile regions, Jesus ministers to the people according to their needs. The Syrophoenician woman's words reveal Jesus was no mere man in her eyes but the promised Messiah.
- Jesus is moved by the woman's persistence and her appeal to take part in the smallest part of the blessings of the covenant community.
- Salvation comes from the Jews, but Mark emphasizes that the good news is not solely confined to the Jews but is extended to the four corners of the world. It's not an ethno-centric salvation. Rather it's for people of all nations and tongues.
- It is in this unclean land where Jesus continues to minister, showing compassion on the deaf man. Creation, at the voice of its creator could do nothing but respond to His command.
- This marvelous gospel proclaimed by the saints in the church is not just a private experience. Christ's renewal will spread to all corners of the earth.
- Christ is the transformer of culture. The norms of culture are rooted in Christ. Our culture is in its current state because of mankind's fallen condition.
- Suppressing the truth that he knows internally, man deceives himself into thinking that there is no God and there is the truth (cf. Rom. 1:18).
- The mostly gentile crowd followed Jesus for three days and they ran out of food. Jesus has compassion on them and multiplied the bread and fish showing that the gentiles will receive full provision in the person of Christ.
- Christ is the righteous king and judge. He defends the cause of the poor. He attracts the multitudes. He provides for their deepest needs.
- While man has sought and failed to bring some far-reaching unity and failed to achieve the utopian dream, only the kingdom of God has been able to reconcile mankind.
- Leaven permeates whatever it touches. The leaven of the Pharisees is that of self-righteous unbelief.
- We are not to be silent in the face of unscriptural falsehoods but we are to make known the beauty and truth of the gospel.
- Tyndale was martyred for his stand on the Scriptures, but he found his full satisfaction and provision in the Lord Jesus Christ.
- We're to remain rooted in the Word of life which reveals Christ as the Light of the World.
- Do not be discouraged but know that God will take care of all our needs in His wise and sovereign ways. We find in Christ total renewal of our being.
- Let us remember God is still presently healing the nations and there will be a time when God will make Christ's kingdom fully manifest.
- What was Jesus’ attitude toward the gentiles, and what did Jesus’ ministry to the gentiles serve to teach the disciples?
- How might we serve to glorify God in the proclamation of the truth?
- With our skills and gifts and opportunities, how might we refute the lies sinful man has come to believe?
- Tyndale died for the cause of the Scriptures. How might we serve God's purpose for the healing of the nations?