Read Mark 7:24-37 (MSG)
Jesus urged them to keep it quiet, but they talked it up all the more, beside themselves with excitement. “He’s done it all and done it well. He gives hearing to the deaf, speech to the speechless.”
Is God’s grace and healing really for everyone?
That’s the overarching question Jesus answered in Mark 7 and other stories throughout the gospels. Slipping away to the region of Tyre, Jesus sought a retreat from the crowds, only to be interrupted by a woman who was distraught over the state of her daughter. The woman was Greek—scoring two points against her in terms of what she should expect from a Jew, and yet she boldly approached Jesus for help. Word had spread.
This woman knew this was Jesus, the doctor who came to heal the sick of every nation. For Jesus, every moment was a teachable moment for his Jewish apostles, who had long considered themselves the Chosen people, the only Chosen people. You think salvation is only for you? Watch me change the world, Jesus said.
After healing the woman’s daughter, Jesus traveled back to the region of the Ten Towns, a Gentile region where Jesus had previously healed a demon-possessed man. People brought a man who couldn’t hear or speak to Jesus, and Jesus healed him, too. Word had spread here, too, and now others began turning to the love and compassion this Jewish man offered.
God’s grace and healing is for everyone.
Points of Reflection
- When God does amazing things in your life, do you share your story?
- Do you expect God to work his grace and healing in your life?
- Are you ever shocked by the people Jesus chooses to use?
For the Kids
- What do you think the deaf and mute man’s life was like before he met Jesus? How do you think he felt after?
- Why do you think Jesus didn’t want people to talk about the miracles he performed?
Jesus travels away from his “home base” in today’s story, to get away from the crowds, and yet people who need him find their way to him anyway. The next time you travel somewhere, whether to get away on vacation or to simply walk in the woods, be attentive to the movement of the Holy Spirit. Is there someone who could use a friendly face, a greeting, or help, and could you be that Light of Christ for them in that moment? What gifts does Jesus have for you in your moments of retreat?
Have you ever felt dumbfounded by some of the interactions between Jesus and his first-century culture? Kenneth E. Bailey digs into some of the more confusing or culturally significant stories in his book, Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels.
Listen or read online through your local library’s Libby app, or buy on Amazon.com or through a local independent bookstore near you.