Negotiating With Christ

Gospel Reflection for Thursday, February 11th, 2021 -- Mark 7:24-30


What's your prayer life like? Be honest with yourself for a moment?


Do you find that more often than not you only pray in cases of "EMERGENCY"?


I'm not trying to put a guilt trip on anyone out there, this is actually pretty common. There was a time in my own life that I treated Prayer as sort of a "life Preserver." Prayer was something that I only did as a last resort when everything else had fizzled out and failed. Today, actually, I'm striving to put prayer as my first recourse, rather than my option of last recourse.


The last location we read mentioned that Jesus had visited was Gennesaret where he and his disciples had moored to the shore after the wind storm on the Sea of Galilee. In our passage today, we find Jesus in the northern region of Tyre up near the Mediterranean Sea. From Capernaum to Gennesaret would have been about 3 miles. From Gennersaret to Tyre would have been about 35 miles. Putting this in perspective, it would have been like us walking from here in Avondale all the way up to Lake Pleasant Regional Park. Depending on your route, it would take between 11-12 hours to walk the distance. Quite a day’s hike for us but all in a day’s journey for our Lord and his disciples. They didn’t enjoy the benefit of modern transportation methods that we have today, which turns this day-long hike into a 45-minute drive.


Yet once again Jesus and his crew find no rest at the end of their travels.


It seems that Jesus never rejected anyone who came to him sincerely seeking his healing touch.


At first blush, it sounds like our Lord is being brusk and rude to a woman who was seeking assistance for her child. In Jesus’ saying, Let the children first be filled, He is actually being prophetic, rather than mean-spirited, saying that there was mercy for the Gentiles was not far off.


The mother spoke, not as making light of the mercy she sought, but magnifying the abundance of miraculous cures among the Jews, in comparison with which a single cure was but as a crumb. Thus, while the proud and scheming Pharisees are left by the blessed Saviour, he manifests his compassion to poor humbled sinners, who look to him for their children's bread. His primary mission -- going about to seek and save the lost.


Yes, the woman we see here was in a pickle, her child was afflicted by something evil, and hearing fantastic stories of Jesus’ miracles, knew she must reach out. Her prayer that evening wasn’t self-serving, but that of a Mother’s love.


The Good News is that yes indeed, through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, his death burial, and resurrection, salvation has come to the whole world. The only thing that separates us from God now is our own pride. If we would just humble ourselves and pray, repenting of our sins Jesus is able to deal with the evil our own lives, even today. But, like this woman, we must seek him. Oftentimes it takes desperation to look outside of ourselves for help. That’s okay. God understands that about us.


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GOSPEL — Mark 7:24-30

Jesus went to the district of Tyre. He entered a house and wanted no one to know about it, but he could not escape notice. Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him. She came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth, and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter. He said to her, “Let the children be fed first. For it is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” She replied and said to him, “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.” Then he said to her, “For saying this, you may go. The demon has gone out of your daughter.” When the woman went home, she found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.

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