READ : Mark 7–9
Our calling is to be like Jesus, who was always involved with people, seeking to do what good he could for them. The Pharisees needed to be warned that their hypocrisy could only do harm to them and others, so Jesus gave them the warning they needed. As Christians, we must not only encourage good but also warn against evil.
In dealing with the Syrophoenician woman, he first stretched her faith and then met her need, a foretaste of the fact that the results of his ministry would reach beyond Israel. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak” (7:37 ESV). Whatever the needs, Jesus had the power and the willingness to meet them.
He feeds the hungry. We do not have miraculous power to heal the sick, but we can send medical missionaries to heal and food to feed the hungry. These things should have a higher priority in our lives than surrounding ourselves with increasing luxuries.
Jesus begins to reveal himself to the apostles, for their benefit and for the benefit of those who would be reached by them. He challenges them to consider who he is and elicits from Peter the Great Confession. He reveals to them that he will be a different kind of Messiah than they thought, one who would be killed but rise again. He is transfigured so that this vision will keep them going in the difficult days ahead.
Father, help us to see people not as those from whom we can receive but those to whom we can give. In Jesus' name. Amen.