Jesus Does Everything Well

In Sermon Outlines by Rachel Schultz

Jesus Does Everything Well

Scripture: Mark 7:24-37

Main Idea:  Through two miracles Jesus declares his love for people and the professs of his Father’s kingdom.

1. Two stories
a. Stories of healing
b. Stories of faith & grace
2. In our passage, we meet two people who, out of their desperate circumstances, are irresistibly drawn to Jesus to be healed.
a. It’s the kind of thing that still happens today, if we have eyes to see and ears to hear.
3. These are truly fascinating stories.
a. In some ways the meaning is so obvious.
b. In other ways these stories of Jesus, like so many things about Jesus, confuse us.
c. So, let’s just start by reading them.
Mark 7:24-35
Time for Jesus to get our ot town (24)
1. By this time in Mark’s story, Jesus is getting very favous.
2. Wherever he goes he is accosted by large crowds who want to be healed, or hear him teach, or just see what was going to happen next.
3. These stories in our text remind us that Jesus was fully human.
a. He was tired
b. Exhausted
c. He needed rest
d. And when he needed rest he did what many of us do – He got out of town.
4. Jesus goes to the area of Tyre.
a. One of the few times Jesus travels outside of Israel.
b. The reality is that Jesus really doesn’t go very far in all his ministry.
c. Unlike Paul, Jesus works exclusively in Israel.
d. So, this is a bit of an unusual excursion for Jesus.
5. Our text says that he entered a house there and didn’t want anyone to know he was in town.
a. Jesus, it seems, is trying to go on a personal retreat – to get some rest, both physically and spiritually.
b. Perhaps he thought the only way to get some rest was to get out of his home area, where people knew him really well.
6. But immediately his cover is blown and the secret is out.
a. A woman somehow hears that Jesus is in town and realizes this is her chance.
b. She comes to Jesus in desperation.
Syrophoenician Woman
1. She comes to Jesus, prostrates herself at his feet in a show of humility and respect (maybe even worship, but probably not)
2. Her daughter was seriously sick.
a. Possessed by an evil spirit, Mark says.
b. This is not unusual in Mark.
c. For Mark, Jesus is always battling evil spirits and here is another.
3. This woman (a Syrophoenician woman) is deeply distressed, as any mother would be.
4. She has heard stories of Jesus’ healing power and realizes this is her chance.
5. She is a Gentile, not a Jew, but she boldly comes to Jesus anyway in confidence, but tempered with humility.
6. And Jesus, well…
a. There’s really no other way to say it.
b. Jesus blows her off.
7. She is an outsider and Jesus’ mission is to the Jews.
a. He is the Messiah sent to the Jewish people.
b. Of course Jesus knew that God’s mission was larger than just the Jews, but he also knew the plan.
c. Jews first, then the Gentiles.
d. He says as much to the woman at the well, in John 4:22.
1) You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.
e. And Paul says the same thing later in Romans 1:16
1) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
8. Matthew’s version of this same story of the Syrophoenician Woman says that Jesus replied,
a. “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”
9. Of course, Matthew’s gospel is written to a Jewish audience and so that comment makes particular sense, whereas Mark is written for a predominantly Gentile audience.
10. Either way, Jesus blows her off and uses some strong language to get her to leave him alone.
a. Jesus uses a parable – a metaphor – from something that was very common to his listeners and in some homes, is still common today.
b. You don’t throw the good food to the pet dog while the children sit hungry at the table.
1) It is a metaphor about the priority of Jesus to minister first to the Israelites (children) and not to the Gentiles (dog).
2) It’s tempting to try to apologize for Jesus or somehow soften the impact of what he is saying.
3) It’s difficult for our modern sensibilities to understand the priority of the Jews in the ministry of Jesus.
4) Our liberal democratic society has made our ears extremely sensitive to such discrimination.
5) But whereas we are shocked by the parable Jesus employs, the woman with the sick daughter is unfazed!
c. She has a quick comeback that still impresses us today.
1) She takes his story of the children eating first before the dog and says,
a) Yes, but even the dog can sit under the table and wait for the crumbs that fall.
2) You can almost hear the people standing around saying,
a) Ooooo….SNAP!
b) Yeah, Jesus, take that!
3) Either that or they’re waiting for the lightening bolt or something –  I mean, is it okay to talk back to Jesus in that way? – that’s pretty risky – pretty bold.
d. But her illustration is as effective as Jesus’
e. And Jesus is impressed.
f. You can almost see a smile creep across his face as he pictures the household pet dog, lurking around the dinner table, waiting for the inevitable crumbs to fall from the table.
1) You should see under our kitchen table if we haven’t vacuumed at least once a day.
2) And if we don’t vacuum for two or three days, I swear things are growing under there.
3) Any pet dog at my house would have plenty to eat under the table.
g. And as the picture sinks in, I can imagine Jesus turning to those around him, eyebrows raises, and saying,
1) You know, she’s right.
2) And for that response – a response of great courage and conviction and, yes…GREAT FAITH, guess what?
3) Your request is granted!
11. This woman’s faith outshines the unbelief of the Pharisees and the slowness of the disciples.
a. And in the telling of this story of the healing of an outsider, Mark’s community – struggling under the heel of the Romans – is again challenged to welcome the stranger – the outsider.
b. They are reminded that the Pharisees, who had all the right answers, Jesus rebuffs as “hypocrites” (7:6)
c. The disciples, who had the advantage of extended time with Jesus, he calls dull and faithless (7:18).
d. But this woman…though she is an outsider who…
1) Has the wrong theology, or none at all
2) Is not “of the faith”
3) Doesn’t “have the truth”
4) Isn’t in the club
5) And is just the wrong kind of person
e. Yet Jesus says, “Woman, you have great faith!” (Matt 15:28)
Deaf and Mute Man
1. From this attempted retreat in the region of Tyre, Jesus now makes his way to the region of the Decapolis.
a. Tyre is north of Galilee and on the Mediterranean coast.
b. The city of Tyre is still there in modern Lebanon, about 50 miles south of Beirut.
c. The Decapolis – or a region of 10 cities – is southeast of Galilee.
2. The Decapolis is also a Gentile area, but with a large Jewish community.
3. Here a man is brought to Jesus who is both deaf and nearly mute, asking that he be healed.
4. After a seemingly elaborate sequence of very physical acts (spitting, fingers in his ears, touching in tongue) Jesus utters the Aramaic expression, “Be opened!” and the man is completely healed.
The Kingdom is Near
1. In these stories we see several things happening, but there are two concluding statements in our passage this morning that seem to summarize them all.
2. And these statements spring effortlessly from the people (maybe the disciples or just others who were there to witness these remarkable works of Jesus).
3. He has done everything well.
a. Specifically related to this last miracle but Mark uses this as a concluding statement to this whole section that reaches back to the feeding of the 5,000 in Mark 6.
1) Jesus does all things well!
a. An allusion to Genesis 1:31
1) “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.”
2) From these healings the people immediately deduced, God’s creation is good.
a) And not only that, but the creation continues in Jesus.
3) The healings of Jesus demonstrate the continued truth of this original statement in Genesis 1.
4) The creation is a good place
5) Jesus demonstrates his own deep love for creation and that of His Father.
6) So great is his love that His mission can be summarized as a healing mission.
7) Jesus came to heal God’s creation
8) Sometimes we see that healing taking place in intimate, one-on-one encounters.
9) Especially at the cross, we see God’s healing going down deep – to the root – of the disease.
4. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.
a. At one level this is an expression of the crowd’s overwhelming amazement at the works of Jesus.
b. Reminds us the disciples incredulous statement a few chapters before, “Even the wind and the wave obey him!” (Mark 4:41).
c. But at a deeper level Mark is interpreting these miraculous signs for us.
1) For that is what they are – signs.
2) But signs of what?
a) That God loves the world and his creation
b) That God desires people to be healthy and whole
c) That his grace is abundant for all who need it.
d) That he wants them to know that he is divine by flexing his divine muscle.
e) Certainly all of those things.
3) But even more than this, Mark is saying, these miracles are evidence that the kingdom of God is near.
4) That God has begun to reign.
5) How might we know that?
6) Or, how would Mark come to that conclusion?
a. Isaiah 35 (selected verses)
3) Emphasis on verse 5
4) Culminating in verse 9-10.
5) This is a picture of Israel’s glorious future that God has in mind for them.
6) This is a picture of the creation completely healed.
7) And God is working out this plan of total redemption and restoration of creation.
b. Mark understands that the works of Jesus – these miraculous signs – are unmistakable evidence that God has begun to do for Israel what He always promised to do…
1) Forgive her sins, restore her hope
2) God has begun to reign and Jesus is Messiah!
1. Today we see all around us, evidence that the world is still under a curse, even though we know that the decisive battle was won.
a. In spite of the victory of God on the cross, we see evidence of sin
b. So much so that we are sometime tempted to give up hope.
2. But what gives us hope is Jesus.
a. …the practical movements of his life.
3. And Jesus’ life should shape our own.
4. The fact that a Gentile woman would approach Jesus in infantile but profound faith, is cause for hope.
5. The fact that this man was completely healed is evidence that God does, in fact, reign.
6. Today, desperate and broken people are still drawn to Jesus.
a. Sadly, they’re not always drawn to the church (which is supposed to be Jesus’ body. But when rightly understood, people are still drawn to Jesus)
7. Today, those who are out of luck and cast aside by the world are still in search of healing.
8. They’ve tried a bunch of thing and nothing does the trick.
9. But many of them have yet to meet Jesus
a. And not just any Jesus, but the real Jesus – the Jesus we see in this story today, who crosses the boundaries of ethnicity, race, religion and geography to apply the healing touch of God to those on the outside.
10. And when the church acts in Christ stead, doing the deeds of Christ – healing the sick, freeing captives, giving hope to the hopeless and comfort to the desperate and distraught – we declare that the Kingdom of God is near.
11. We are giving tangible witness that God reigns and that very soon, God’s glory will break into our world in fullness.
12. One day we and
They will enter Zion with singing;
Everlasting joy will crown [our] heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake [us] And sorrow and signing will flee away.

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