Digging in Deeper: Mark 7:26-27

“The woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth, and she was asking him to cast the demon out of her daughter. He said to her, ‘Let the children be fed first, because it isn’t right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Serving in ministry can be tough in ways many other jobs simply aren’t. I don’t say that as a complaint. I love what I do. I say it merely as an observation. I have a friend who was serving a church many years ago and had gone on vacation with his family during the summer months. While they were gone, someone connected to one of the prominent members of the church passed away. The member called him to let him know about it and fully expected that he would leave his family on vacation (or else cut short their vacation entirely), fly back home, and perform the funeral service. There are a few other jobs where that kind of thing might happen, but not many. Getting away – really getting away – isn’t easy to do. Jesus was trying to get away with the disciples here and ministry came calling. How He handled it leads to one of the strangest and hardest stories about Jesus in all of the Gospels. Let’s take a look at it together.

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Morning Musing: Mark 7:14-15

“Summoning the crowd again, he told them, ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand: Nothing that goes into a person from outside can defile him but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What do you get when you squeeze a tube of toothpaste? I recently saw a magician squeeze ketchup and then pour salt out of the same tube of toothpaste. I’m pretty sure he monkeyed with the tube somehow. Normally, when you squeeze a tube of toothpaste out comes a glob of…toothpaste. This isn’t rocket science. Now, here’s the real trick question: Why does toothpaste come out of that tube when you squeeze it? Ready for this: Because that’s what’s in it. I know, I know, this is mind-blowing stuff. So why am I thinking about toothpaste this morning? Because of what Jesus said here. Let’s talk about it.

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Two Are Better than One

This week we pick back up our teaching series, Love Like Jesus. From our conversation a couple of weeks ago we understand a bit better why loving like Jesus is such a big and important deal (especially for followers of Jesus), but we still need to see it in action. We need examples. What does it look like to love like Jesus. Let’s look together at a story that gives us one of the best pictures we can find in the Gospels.

Two Are Better than One

I want today’s message to be sticky, so we’re going to start out here by talking about glue. Literally, not metaphorically. Have you ever used a two-component epoxy glue before? Admittedly I didn’t know that much about them and had to do a bit of research this week. Epoxies are glues that are chemically activated and form bonds at a molecular level. This makes them much, much stronger than your average bottle of Elmer’s best. Some epoxies use just a single substance that does the trick. Some, though, use two different substances. That’s why they call them two-component epoxies. I know, this is complicated stuff today.

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Morning Musing: Mark 6:56

“Wherever he went, into villages, towns, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged him that they might touch just the end of his robe. And everyone who touched it was healed.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

You never know what actions on your part are going to have the most significant impact on the people around you. Something you do that seems utterly mundane could be the thing that completely changes another person’s life. More than that, it could be the thing by which you become known. In our story timeline in Mark, a few weeks ago Jesus healed a woman when she surreptitiously touched the edge of His robe. It was a one-off sort of moment that happened while He was on the way to what everyone around Him believed was a more important appointment (He, of course, understood the importance of the woman and paused to honor her faith much to the consternation of the people with Him). The power of that moment, though, didn’t stay in that moment. Jesus became the man who could heal people simply by their touching His robe. That’s how He became known. What I want to talk about this morning is how you want to be known.

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Morning Musing: Mark 6:42-43

“Everyone ate and was satisfied. They picked up twelve baskets full of pieces of bread and fish.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

When was the last time you were really and truly satisfied? Follow up question: What was the vehicle for that feeling? Was it perhaps a really good meal? We cooked steaks on New Year’s Eve and they turned out really, really good. We also made some cheese fondue that was right on point. By the time I finished eating, I was satisfied…but a little too full which kind of spoiled the effect. I listened to our oldest taking the lead on a group project while he was in virtual class from my office the other day. He did an absolutely superb job of it. It was like all the little things we’ve told him about getting along with others clicked in place at once. That was pretty satisfying. Whenever I finish a particularly difficult metal model (like the Stormtrooper I’m working on right now), that brings a pretty satisfied feeling with it. How about you? Being satisfied is a good feeling. Well, it’s a feeling that comes part and parcel with the kingdom of God.

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