Focal passage: Mark 7:25-37
Adoption is a wonderful picture of the gospel. An outsider is welcomed into a family without partiality. The message of the narratives found in Mark 7:25-37 is the inclusion of Gentiles into God’s salvation plan.
There is a Greek woman born in Syrian Phoenicia (v. 26) and a crowd with the deaf/mute man from the region of the Decapolis (v. 31). Mark shows his readers that Jesus’ love has no bias or prejudices.
At the beginning of the book of Mark, Jesus brings salvation to the Jews. Now, we see the same is happening for the Gentiles. Thoughts of “… to the Jew first, then the Gentile” come to mind (Romans 1:16; 2:10; Acts 1:8).
The narratives about the Syrophoenician woman and the man without hearing or speech have similarities. Both demonstrate healing.
Both have individuals advocating on behalf of someone else being healed. Both stories, in connection to verse 15, illustrate the condition of sin within every person (Romans 3:23) and the person of Jesus Christ who makes us clean (Hebrews 10:22).
By comparing the Gentiles (vv. 25-37) to the Pharisees and the scribes (vv. 1-13), we can see a stark difference in their beliefs. With a subtle connection to the Wedding Feast (Matthew 22:1-14), we see those who are either included or excluded is determined by the hearer’s response.
On the other hand, the Pharisees ify their faith (v. 13), while the woman (v. 26) and crowd (v. 28, 32) show their faith.
Verses 14-23 find a parallel in Acts 10, where the Apostle Peter received instructions in a vision from above about how God made clean what was unclean. Following Peter’s dream, Cornelius and his household (all Gentiles) heard the gospel and were welcomed into the family of faith (Acts 10:34-36).
The message of scripture is clear and demonstrated in these passages: the Good News of salvation is for people of every tongue, tribe and nation.
Who can you invite to repent and believe in Him to be included in this loving family?