Character of Jesus 34

The Character of Jesus 34

Matthew 15:21 – 38, Mark 7:24 – 8:9

Meeting Faith Where It Is

  • Characteristic: Meeting faith where it is
    • Following the Matthew account.
    • (21)  Facing renewed opposition, Jesus moved out of the limelight, perhaps to avoid personal danger, perhaps to avoid sparking a revolution.
    • (22)  Demon possession was not restricted to the borders of Israel.  More demons are noted in Paul’s journeys through Greece and Turkey (Acts 16:16 – 18, 19:11 – 16).  Note that Zechariah 13:2 specifies that unclean spirits would be banned from “the land,” which apparently was bigger than just Israel.
    • (23 – 28)  The exchange between Jesus and the woman has several interesting facets:
      • (23)  Was Jesus’ silence to test her faith?
      • (24)  The statement about “only Israel” was hinted previously in Matthew 10:5 – 6.  How true was this?  Did Jesus ever interact with other ethnic groups?
      • (25)  Apparently, this Canaanite woman had significant knowledge about the Messiah, considering “Son of David” in verse 22 and worshipping here.
      • (26 – 27)  The repartee appears to be good-natured even in this serious situation.
    • (29)  Mark 7:31 gives the detail that Jesus went around the Sea of Galilee to the Gentile side (Decapolis).
    • (30)  These multitudes could include Gentiles from the swine incident (Matthew 8:28 – 34) but Jews seeking healing had come long distances before.  Mark 7:32 – 37 adds details about a certain deaf and mute man, plus Jesus’ admonition to keep quiet about the healings, and the fact that the crowd did not keep it quiet.
    • (33)  The disciples did not seem to make the connection to the feeding of the 5000 (Matthew 14:13 – 21).
    • (39)  Magdala is back on the Jewish side of the Sea.