Jesus had faced his share of skeptics. From the very beginning of his public ministry, there were those who doubted his power and his authority. At every turn, they were questioning him. He generally dealt very patiently with them through the first two chapters of Mark. And then we get to Mark 3:6… After this, Jesus would spend less time explaining himself to the Pharisees and religious elite. Skeptics can usually be divided into two groups: The “Never Going to Believe No Matter What” and the genuine “I have questions” group. In this passage, we see both groups spending time with Jesus. We must ask ourselves serious questions about our faith. Are we waiting for a sign, some conclusive evidence or experience in order to believe? Or, are we trusting God and His Word? It is okay to have questions, but there comes a moment in our lives where we must weigh what we know and decide if we are going to trust. The Pharisees were never going to believe, and we’ll talk about some of the things that blinded them, while the disciples were on a genuine journey of faith. After this incident in Mark, Jesus would spend the majority of his time with his disciples, training and teaching them for the mission that lies ahead.
Our brains require repeated exposure to information. As neural pathways are stimulated over and over by the same ideas, the concepts become part of us. In today’s passage, Jesus performs a miracle similar to what we saw in chapter 6. Before we jump all over the disciples for not remembering what Jesus had done when he fed the 5000, how often do we forget God’s faithfulness and provision in our lives.
We have already seen Jesus change the Jewish perception of purity boundaries and social barriers. He models it again here. The last feeding took place in Jewish territory, and they had been with Jesus for one day. This feeding is in Gentile land, and they had been listening to Jesus for THREE DAYS! Jesus’ teaching must have been the truth, and it had power! Add to that the request of the Gentile woman in 7:28 (which is answered here), and you see Jesus continuing to expand on the idea that all are welcome in Jesus’ Kingdom.
Jesus cares, provides, and satisfies.
Remembering what we have seen our Lord do in the past should help us trust Him in the present.
In today’s passage, we see Paul begin to clarify what the life of a believer/follower is like. The believer has security in God’s salvation because of Christ. The believer also has hope because of Christ. Hope for the present and hope for the future.
Jesus Christ is the greatest missionary who ever lived. He came the greatest distance, from heaven to earth, to bring the good news of salvation. He also made the greatest sacrifice, giving His life in the place of sinners that we might be reconciled to God. Yet, in spite of having no planes, or trains, or automobiles, in His brief three years of earthly ministry, He made time to travel to foreign soil to give us a glimpse of Great Commission Christianity, demonstrating beyond question that God’s kingdom knows no ethnic, racial, national, or gender barriers. Indeed, all who came to Him will find salvation from the One who couldn’t be kept a secret and who does everything wonderful.