A Kingdom for All
Lord, please widen my horizons as I read today’s passage.
Read MARK 7:24–30
24 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. 25 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. 26 The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.
27 “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.”
28 “Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
29 Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”
30 She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
New International Version (NIV)
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ReflectAre there people whom you view, even subconsciously, as being beyond God’s blessing and grace?
Jesus comes into the region of the city of Tyre, a city seen as pagan by the devout Jew and therefore under God’s judgment. News of his arrival soon spreads and the Gentile woman, of Syro-Phoenician origin, comes to Jesus seeking exorcism for her daughter. This is a pivotal moment in the ministry of Jesus. The orthodox Jew believed that the coming of the Messiah was for the benefit of Israel alone, not for Gentiles or pagans—indeed, on the Day of Judgment they would be defeated and their power curtailed. However, throughout the Old Testament there are signs, particularly in the prophecies of Isaiah, that God’s grace, love and compassion would be extended to all who will receive it. In this meeting with the Gentile woman, and in her response, it becomes clear that the horizon and scope of Jesus’ mission is far wider than Israel: all are welcome.
It is important that this encounter continues to challenge our thinking and attitudes today. It is easy to hide behind frontiers and boundaries, but we are constantly called to follow the Spirit of Jesus across those boundaries into the unknown, and there discover the power of his love.
What practical steps can you take to widen the horizons of how you view people? The invitation to the kingdom is for all.
Dear Lord, help me to see people the way that You do. Teach me to have compassion for all.