Faithlife Sermons

One Crumb is Enough

Messiah not just Miracle-Worker  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Us vs. Them

There is a lot of us vs. them in our lives.
ASU, UofA, NAU, GCU
Texas (OK and AR esp)
Sara’s dad, “No need to tell anyone you’re from Texas. If they ask, OK. But, no sense in making them feel bad if they don’t.”
I went to grade school in Wichita in the 1960’s just as they started desegregation. There was a lot of us vs. them, then.
Charleston, VA.
Baltimore, MD
St. Louis, MO
Chicago, IL
There was a time when Isreal believed it was them vs. everybody else in the world. To a degree, that’s still true today.
But, that’s just what people believe, not what God set up.
With Jesus there is no us vs. them. There are the forgiven and unforgiven. But the forgiven are the faithful.
And, those who have faith are called to humility.
“Them” have become “us.” And “us” is anyone who believes in Jesus regardless of skin color, accent, continent of the origin of ancestors, socio-economics, size and number of your houses, which side of the tracks you live on.
God’s kingdom will have no divisions. Those of us here who reserve our place in the kingdom there, shouldn’t either.
Jesus is everyone’s Messiah.
How do we know? Miracles #21 & 22.
; Matthew 15:21-28
But, that’s just what people believe, not what God set up.

Context (Mk. 7:1-23)

Those people don’t keep the law

Them!
Gentile territory
Pharisees came from Jerusalem to confront Jesus
They had a problem w/ Him serving them just as He had the Jews.
“Those people are different” “We are different”
Better. More right w/ God
What about “us”? (To the Jews)
God gave Israel the law and that set them apart, they were different. But not like the Pharisee represented here.
Only group to worship God.
Only group to worship and sac like they did.
Only group to take 1 day/wk off and 1 yr/7
Only group to keep Kosher foods
Only have sex w/ your spouse, stay married for life.
Then, don’t inter-marry.
They thought they were better than everybody else b/c they believed they kept the law.
Based on that they criticized everybody else.
They don’t wash their hands before they eat.
So, what they eat “defiles” them
Or, makes them sinful
They bel’d that God loved them more b/c they were less defiled and more obedient.
They were wrong.
Jesus replied to them:

You don’t keep the law

Seriously? Hand-washing?
The law said to wash hands before eating b/c it kept them from getting sick long before germs were discovered.
It didn’t make them righteous, it kept them well.
Kosher laws and marriage laws did the same thing.
No one is “clean” (right w/ God) b/c they wash their hands.
Nor are they more sinful b/c of what they eat.
Jesus said, “It’s not what goes into your mouth that makes you sinful. It’s what comes out.”
He was condemning them by what they said about Him.
And, another thing. Jews didn’t keep the law anyway.
1 example: Honor your father and mother.
Meaning, take care of them in their old age.
They used a loophole in the law and declared their assets dedicated to God so they wouldn’t have to spend anything to care for their aging parents.
So, these people didn’t keep the law. These people weren’t special.
Besides, keeping the law didn’t give you standing with God.
What about “those people”? Those people who didn’t wash their hands before they ate and didn’t even try to keep the rest of the law.
What about them? What was God’s position w/ them?

1 Crumb is Enough for Anybody

Mark 7:24–30 NIV
Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter. “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” “Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.” She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
Mark 7:2

Who

A Canaanite (non-Jewish) woman.
Not only one of “those people”, but a woman at that.
Her daughter, possessed by a demon was not w/ her.
Matthew 15:22 NIV
A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.”
“Lord, Son of David”
She believed that Jesus is the rightful heir to David’s throne.
The King of God’s kingdom. Jewish Messiah. Her Savior.
She didn’t obey the law. But she had faith in Jesus.
Her approach communicated clearly that she believed everything about Jesus that He has been teaching.
She begged Jesus to deliver her daughter.
You can imagine a mother whose daughter is suffering. What lengths she would go to to get help.

Responses

The disciples response was to urge Jesus to send her away. She was persistent and harassing them ()
Jesus’ response seems even colder than the disciples’. But He has a message in mind He wants us to get.
He knows what’s about to happen. And, there are no limits to His power. It’s not like He would have nothing left for Jews if He spent a lot of energy on others.

Children and dogs?

Where were the PC police?
Gentiles were dogs to the Jews. Derogatory.
The bread is Jesus. (Bread of Life, 5000)
Let the Children eat till they are full. That is, He came to present Himself to the Jews as their Messiah.
Once they had had enough of Him, then maybe someone else’s opportunity.
Well they had had enough! The children had rejected Jesus.
Like spoiled brats the children have thrown their bread on the ground. Cast their crumbs aside.
All she is requesting is a crumb b/c she believes that’s all she needs for her daughter to be delivered.
She is asking if Jewish failure can result in Gentile blessing.
Can’t the Gentiles have what the Jews reject?
Those people don’t keep the law, but this one has great faith. She is saved and her daughter is delivered.
Jesus is leading His disciples to understand the day is coming when “those people” will become “these people.”
And, those who used t/b “these people” are becoming “those people.”
The only difference maker is faith, nothing else. And, the faithful to God are called t/b humble. God sent us to serve everyone, not expect t/b served by anyone.
So, wi/ all these changes coming how is the word going to get out? How will people learn that those who were outside can now be inside?
Next miracle.

You Can Hear Me Now

Mark 7:31–37 NIV
Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him. After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly. Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

Who

Non-Jewish man who was deaf and could barely speak.
The 2 are probably related. We have t/b able to hear the words to be able to speak them.
It wasn’t that long ago that Jesus was brought 2 blind men and a 3rd man who was possessed by a demon that kept him mute.
They were Jewish.
Jesus healed them of their blindness so they could not only see Him, but also communicate that whomever came to Jesus He would give them the ability to see Who He really is.
And He delivered the mute man so he could tell everyone who would listen that Jesus would give them the words to say, too, whenever they needed Him to.
Now Jesus is doing the same basic thing for “Those people.”
And just like the Jews before, they make some of the same mistakes.

Here’s how you do it

A group of friends bring the man to Jesus.
“Lay your hands on him.” That’s how it’s done.
Well, some He spoke, some touched Him, some were long-distance.
Jesus doesn’t need t/b told how to do what needs t/b done.
He will do it however He chooses to do it.

Here’s how He did it

Jesus took him aside privately.
He put His fingers in the man’s ears, spat on his hand then touched the man’s tongue, and spoke. “Be opened.”
The word healed him.
His touch communicated to him.
No longer would the man’s ears be stopped up. He would hear clearly. Then, he would be able to speak what he heard.
In fact, the healing was immediate and complete.
Again, no need for speech therapy. He hadn’t heard anything up to that point in his life. That part of his brain had no developed.
Different languages use different parts of the brain with the sounds they require.
The point Jesus is making to the man, and us, now he will be able to hear from God. And, the words he will speak will be words that come from Jesus’ mouth.
There had never been a non-Jewish prophet or teacher who taught the things of God.
Can a non-Jew teach the things of God?
I’m not Jewish. What do you think?

Impossible

Once again Jesus commands the man to do the impossible.
He hasn’t been able to speak until now and Jesus tells him to keep quiet.
Crowds.
There will be plenty of time to tell your story later. Just wait.
But, then can’t. Jesus knew they wouldn’t. He is gracious enough to heal the man knowing he wouldn’t deserve it.
The people around him saw be fulfilled and they probably didn’t even know it. They didn’t know Isaiah.
But, here is Jesus telling them He is the only One who can save them and get them to heaven.
Then He proved it.
Many of claimed to be able to save people. Only One has proved He can.
And, everyone Jesus saves is “us”. Regardless of anything else about them that may be different from anyone else.
Everyone is in the same boat!
The law has been fulfilled. Faith in the One Who fulfilled it will save you.
There is no “those people.” anymore.
Timothy Keller: There is no supreme race, only a Supreme Being.
We are all descendants of Adam by way of Noah. We are all related. And in God’s eyes we are all equal.
Let’s treat each other that way.

Applications

Faith is the equalizer

Faith is the equalizer of all cultures.
There are those who have faith and those who don’t
There are things we let divide us, usually differences we see.
Skin color
Origin of ancestors
Whom we love; opposite sex or same sex
Socio-economics
Size and number of houses
Worship styles
Denominations
Even the faithful try to divide each other.
There are no divisions among the faithful. We are all “us”. There is no “Them”.
Treat everyone the same.
Those who don’t have faith?
Love those who hate you. Serve those who want to hurt you. Help those who disagree with you.
Don’t let anything divide us.

Let Jesus decide

Don’t try to tell Jesus how to solve your problems.
Just present them to Him and be okay w/ whatever He does, however He does it, and anyway it turn out.

Bring people to Jesus

There are those who are different.
If they don’t have faith, our job is not to change them before they come to Jesus.
Our job is to bring them to Jesus and let Him change them however He sees fit.
He will convict, transform, and encourage whatever needs or does not need to change.
Jesus makes a better God than any of us.
Just one crumb is enough. But, Jesus gives us all of Him.
Anybody can take that crumb by faith.
When they do they become us.
God’s kingdom will have no divisions. Those of us here who reserve our place in the kingdom there, shouldn’t either.
Jesus is everyone’s Messiah.
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