The Life and Teaching of Jesus – Part 19 – Crossing the Line

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Bible Text: Mark 7:24 -8: 8 |

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Crossing the Line (Mark 7:24 – 8:18)

Every village town and city in this country has a line of social  When Jesus walked this earth he too encountered lines of social separation, only in his day the most clearly seen lines were religious ones. One of the most radical things that Jesus did was to confront attitudes and prejudices of His day by crossing the lines. You can’t but fail to notice that this morning we shall cover the second half of chapter seven and the beginning of Chapter 8. You might well ask, why have I crossed the line of a chapter break? The reason for this is that all of these events happened in a particular geographical area. The crowds here and the people Jesus meets are different to those gone before, and I want to particular use this as an illustration of the lines that Jesus crossed on these days. For this reason, I want to consider three episodes in the life of Christ.

Now the minute you read the opening verse (Mark 7:24) you will know that Jesus has just left Israel. Tyre and Sidon where part of an area called Phonesia and that was gentile territory. This is the one and only time in all of the gospels where Jesus is seen to leave Israel and go into non Jewish territories There is a radical divide being crossed here, primarily religious but also culturally and socially. Jesus has crossed a line, a line of separation specifically constructed between two groups of people,

The woman he met had all kind of things going against her when it came to trying to get this family problem sorted out. In the first place she was a woman and the very fact Jesus spoke to her in public meant he had already crossed a line. Furthermore, she was a gentile and Jews didn't speak to non-Jews especially those of Greek extraction. She wasn't exactly in pole position when it came to getting in front of Jesus. But she did have a demon possessed daughter and she come to Jesus and says will you please cast the demon out of my daughter? Jesus reply is very interesting; (Mark 7: 27)

 Most commentators agree Jesus is using a metaphor here and the Children referred to here are the Jewish people and the gentile nations are the little dogs. Jesus is saying, look I’ve got to feed the Jews first. I must feed the children before slipping scraps to the little dogs under the table. She had an answer to that, (Mark 7:28).  Yes, I accept that Lord, but even the little dogs benefits from some crumbs that fall their way. What a picture of humility, she accepts her place in all of this, yet she still believed that the Lord could help her, could offer her something to heal her daughter.

Jesus doesn't care what religious background you come from. He doesn't care how much you previous lifestyle or habits have pushed you to the margins of society. He doesn't care if you are rich or poor. He crossed the line to come and get you, and to save you and all you have to do is trust in him and have faith in Him to do it. God is saying I am here to offer forgiveness to anybody who will simply trust in my son. Furthermore, whatever needs you have beyond salvation, even something as dramatic as a demon possession, trust me and do as I tell you and I can even sort that out as well. Jesus crossed the line, and Jesus will always cross the line when it comes to rescuing and saving people.

That’s the first episode, there is another. (Mark 7:31-35). Normally when Jesus healed people he spoke, however, he does it differently this time because this man couldn't hear. He puts his finger in his ear and then he touches his tongue and then sighing he says, “be opened, and immediately the man is healed. The he says this; (Mark 7: 36-37) Again, Jesus cross a social barrier and heals somebody who is in need

Jesus really wants them grasp hold of this truth for once and for all. He is saying I want to meet your needs “in abundance” The sum total of these three episodes put together is simply this. Jesus will cross any line of religious or personal, or moral separation in order to minister to anyone in need, who has faith. In very straightforward terms Jesus loves everyone.

Jesus loves everyone, “He loves a demon possessed pagan and a demon possessed Jew. He loves everyone and will minister to anyone and everyone who trust in him. The Lord loves you if you have a drinking problem or you are tea total. The Lord loves you if you are a single parent, divorced separated, or unmarried. He even loves couples living together outside of wedlock. He loves people who are divorced, he loves people who are in prison. He love woman who have never had a relationship he loves woman who have had an abortion. He loves men who are addicted to football, he loves men who are addicted to porn. Get the message, Jesus loves YOU. It doesn't matter what you have done, or how many times you have done it because He will cross that line, to come and get you, to rescue you and bring you back to him when your new life lies forgiven and within his care. He loves you, he died for you, and he will forgive you. He will come get you, and he will even clean you up when he does it.

Jesus loves everyone, as someone once said, “he is the heart fixer, the mind straightener, the burden bearer, of all who come to him in faith”. Some people feel unlovable, unworthy and unwanted. Good news, Jesus loves the unlovable, the unworthy and the unwanted. Some people think they are not in the in crowd, well let me tell you Jesus crosses the line and says to those on the outside, step back with me among the loved and redeemed. If you have ever felt excluded, if you have ever felt kicked out, locked out, you need to know that Jesus loves you and wants you back in. Get it, Jesus loves everyone, including you and me. One final thought. The closest thing I can think of in describing to you the love of Jesus Christ in human terms is to say it is like the love of a parent who desire is to pour out His love and favour upon His child “in abundance”. So much so, that He will cross the line to bring you back where you need to be. All you have to do, is trust that he can and will do that.

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