Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Lent Devotional March 31, 2014

Scripture

Mark 7:24-37

24 From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, 25 but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. 26 Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 He said to her, "Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs." 28 But she answered him, "Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs." 29 Then he said to her, "For saying that, you may go - the demon has left your daughter." 30 So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

31 Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. 32 They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. 33 He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. 34 Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened." 35 And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. 36 Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. 37 They were astounded beyond measure, saying, "He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak."

Devotional

After the accusations of the scribes, we see Jesus doing the same thing he did to anger them in the first placehealing. But this time, he heals a Gentile in Tyre. The mere sequence of the stories here is so fascinating. As the Jewish officials hurl accusations at Jesus, he leaves, seeking refuge amongst Gentiles. Word gets out, and Jesus again has mercy on those who come to him, this time healing a Gentile. 

Having found no refuge even amongst the Gentiles, Jesus again heads toward the sea, healing on his way there. It’s as if nothing can stop Jesus from healing. It happens wherever he goes. No feature of the landscape, no threats from the authorities, no danger from the elements can stop healing from pouring forth from an encounter with Jesus.

Message provided by the Miller Summer Youth Institute.