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READING: Mark 7-8 – Tradition, Syrophoenician Faith, All Things Well, 4,000 Fed, Why That Way? 

Pharisaic traditions trumped God’s commandments. Jesus’s disciples were eating with defiled hands, a no-no with Pharisees. Jesus accused them of setting aside God’s command to honor parents by telling them what I might have given to them was Corban or devoted to God. The Pharisees did not allow Corban to be kept from his parents. 

Ritual hand washing before eating was a command of men, not God, as was the Corban tradition. God’s command to honor parents was trumped by the Corban tradition. Jesus said, “Nothing outside a person can defile because it passes through the stomach and into the sewer; it does not affect the heart, but from the heart comes defilement – evil intent, immorality, murders, thefts, deceits, pride, and folly.” 

Jesus went into Tyre, a Gentile city to teach his disciples away from the crowds and did not want any to know he was there. But he could not be hidden. A Syrophoenician woman whose daughter had an evil spirit begged Him to cast it out. Jesus said to her, “It is not fair to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” She replied, “Even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Jesus said, “For saying that, you may go – the demon has left your daughter.” Faith is where you find it, was his message to His disciples. 

Back in Galilee, they brought a deaf man to him with an impediment in speech. Jesus put his fingers into his ears, spat, touched his tongue, and said, “Be Opened!” The man could hear and speak plainly. People said, “He’s done everything well; he makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.” 

Again, a large crowd gathered around Jesus where there was no food. Jesus had compassion because they were with Him three days. He took seven loaves, a few fish, and fed 4,000 people.  

In Dalmanutha, the Pharisees asked for a sign. Jesus sighed and said no sign would be given. Jesus warned His disciples to beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Herod. They thought, “We have no bread.” Jesus reminded them of feeding 5,000 and 4,000 with scant supplies and the basketfuls they picked up. 

In Bethsaida, they brought a blind man to Jesus. Jesus took him aside, put saliva on his eyes, laid his hands on him, and asked if he could see anything. He said, “I see men, but they look like trees walking.” Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again, and he saw clearly. (See committedtotruth.wordpress.com; search “Why did He Do It Like That?”) That healing was a parable in action. 

Jesus asked, “Whom do you say that I am?” Peter responded, “You are the Christ.” Jesus then began to tell them He was going to Jerusalem where he would be killed and rise again.  

Peter rebuked Jesus. He knew He was Messiah but didn’t know what that meant. 

Do we know what we need to know? 



Father in Heaven, my prayer is that I have the faith of the Syrophoenician woman. But I can if I put my trust in Jesus. This is my prayer, in the name of Jesus, Your Son, and my precious Savior, AMEN!  

MY PRAYER FOR YOU (and for myself) 

Holy Father my prayer for all who read this and for myself, is that we focus on Jesus’s encounter with the Pharisees and their tradition. What traditions do we have that we expect others to follow to be one of “us” (whoever “we” are). I offer this prayer for myself, and for all who read this, in the precious name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN!  

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