Who do you see?
|August 26th||August 27th||August 28th||August 29th||August 30th||August 31st||September 1st|
|New Testament||Mark 3||Mark 4||Mark 5||Mark 6||Mark 7||Mark 8||Mark 9|
|Old Testament||1 Kings 22|
2 Chronicles 17
|2 Kings 1|
2 Chronicles 18-19
|2 Kings 2-4||2 Kings 5|
2 Chronicles 20
|2 Kings 6-7|
|2 Kings 8|
2 Chronicles 21
|2 Kings 9-10|
This week I find myself looking at Jesus, the man of action, who makes demands on me to see more.
This man calls me brother. He is the one who ordains and sends me. The one who calms storms and feeds impossible numbers of people with a few snacks. Not only does he heal those who come to him but it’s enough to just touch him for healing power to flow. Then he goes even further and raises the dead.
Like Peter, as we read this week’s verses, we find ourselves being asked the challenging question in Mark 8:29 “What about you? Who do you say I am?”
So simple to repeat Peter’s words “You are the Messiah” but then like Peter to also question what Jesus is doing around us or what he says to us.
The Pharisees were locked into their religious ways – God can only operate according to established protocols (religious ways). Jesus totally challenges their thinking in Mark 3:1-6 asking them to review God’s love. “Which is lawful to do on the sabbath: to do good or to do evil?”
To the Pharisees the obvious answer was neither, no work at all should be done on a sabbath. They couldn’t see past their religion. But what about us? The account of the Syro-Phoenican woman in Mark 7:24-30 has me questioning Jesus’ attitudes. How can he call her children “dogs”? That seems so wrong in our modern world. Political correctness challenges our faith.
So, whenever we begin to look at anything to do with God we need to check our starting point. Did we start from our culture, our experience, our understanding? Or did we start from God’s Word?
“Who do you say I am?” Echoes here in this account? If I truly believe that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah then that means he cannot be insulting this woman. That would be sin! Jesus would be a false messiah.
If he is the true Messiah then my understanding must need adjustment. When Jesus spoke about the yeast of the Pharisees in Mark 8:14-21 was he only speaking into the religious people’s thinking. Or do I also fall into the same trap of judging God by my reason and understanding. Jesus’ own family thought he was crazy and needed rescuing at times (Mark 3:20-35). His neighbours refused to honour him (Mark 6:1-5). Peter questioned his sanity when he explained the cross (Mark 8:31-33).
So, what is my response to Jesus? Who do I say he is?
Syro-Phoenician or Canaanite (Matthew 15:21-28) people were known to be Baal-worshippers. This type of worship involved temple prostitution. Deuteronomy 23:18 refers specifically to male prostitutes as dogs (Strong’s H3611 keleb). The woman does not react so maybe the comment was one she had heard before. Maybe it was true for her. Jesus did not sin!
The exciting part is Jesus’ response to her faith – and to our faith – to give her what she needed.
So, who do you say Jesus is today? What do you say when circumstances seem impossible and the cost too great? Is he still LORD? Is he still Messiah? Who do we see?