Sermon – Jesus and Dogs (Mark 7:24 – 7:30) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
Plan your visit


Mark 2022

The Book of Mark is the shortest of the four gospels and was written by a close companion of apostles Peter and Paul. The book is thought to be a collection of Peter’s sermons, focusing more on Jesus’ actions than words. The first section of the book provides evidence for who Jesus claims to be; the Messiah. After chapter 8 the narrative shifts to focus on his ultimate mission; to go to the cross. Listen as Cornerstone preachers take us through the stories that reveal Jesus’ true glory and show us why we can trust our lives to Him.

Spotify logo Apple logo Google logo

Pete Woodcock photo

Sermon 12 of 16

Jesus and Dogs

Pete Woodcock, Mark 7:24 - 7:30, 20 November 2022

Continuing our series in the book of Mark, Pete preaches from Mark 7:24-30. In these verses we see how Jesus uses the unworthy to shame the entitled.

Mark 7:24 - 7:30

24 And from there he arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not be hidden. 25 But immediately a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard of him and came and fell down at his feet. 26 Now the woman was a Gentile, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 And he said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 28 But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29 And he said to her, “For this statement you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.” 30 And she went home and found the child lying in bed and the demon gone.


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

Here are some words from Ephesians chapter 2, which we're going to have opened up and preached to us a bit later on. Paul says, for it is by grace, you have been saved. Through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works so that no 1 can boast. For we are God's handiwork created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Therefore, remember that formerly you who are gentiles by birth and called uncircumcised by those who call themselves the circumcision, which is done in the body by human hands, remember that at that time you were separate from Christ excluded from citizenship in Israel. And foreigners to the covenants of the promise without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus, you who were once far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Turn with me to 1 Corinthians chapter 1. We've got 2 readings, the the well, the first reading that we had at the beginning of our service, Ephesians 2 8 to 13.

It would be helpful if you could put your finger in that and be ready to turn back to that at some stage. But we're going to have 2 other readings now. 1 for infused, 1, verse 18 to 31, and then we'll be turning back to Mark chapter 7 to have a reading in our Mark in our Mark series. And it's worth remembering isn't it how precious these moments are in our service. As we come to hear, the Bible opened and read and preached to us.

This is none other than the living God addressing us through his word. That's what the bible is. There are all kinds of misconceptions about what it is, but this is the word inspired by the Holy Spirit, breathed out by God, and this is sufficient for all of life, for all of Godliness, and contained within these words is everything we need to find salvation in Jesus. This is our God who loves us, who ministers to us and serves us through the preaching of his word. So this is a great gift, isn't it?

1 Corinthians 1 18 to 31. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, But to us who are being saved, it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise. The intelligence of the intelligent, I will frustrate. Where is the wise person?

Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age. Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God, the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs, and Greeks look for wisdom.

But we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews, and foolishness to gentiles. But to those whom God has called both Jews and Greeks, Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God, is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards.

Not many were influential. Not many were of noble birth, but God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world, and the despised things and the things that are not, to nullify the things that are, so that no 1 may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God, that is our righteousness, holiness, and redemption.

Therefore, as it is written, let the 1 who boasts boast in the Lord. Oh, men. Let's turn now to Mark 7, and we're going to read verse 24 to 30. 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 present secret. 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. The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out her daughter. 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.

Lord, she replied, even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs, Then he told her, for such a reply, you may go. The demon has left your daughter. She went home and found her child lying on the bed and the demon gone. Wonderful words from our Lord to us through the bible, and Pete's gonna come and preach them to us now. Well, let me add my welcome.

I'm Pete Woodcock, and 1 of pastors here, and it's been a fantastic week. And I wanna thank everyone for putting on meetings and hosting meetings and making teas and coffees and stuff. It's just been absolutely fantastic. I mean, exhausting but fantastic. And we got 1 more week to go, which is which is brilliant.

I'm probably my favorite music is blues. Blue's based music. And so next Saturday is gonna be really good. And if you've heard I heard 1 note of this. Female singer.

And I said, we've got to have her. And there was no hope that we're gonna have her, and now we've got her. So it's just brilliant. It's worth you having to her on Spotify and the band are brilliant. Father God, help us now as we look at this passage, Please speak to us, touch our hearts.

Please don't allow us to go out the same as we came in. Happles to be more like Jesus, to see more of his love, to be more compassionate to others in Jesus' name, amen. Now I wanna us to think at the beginning about privilege and being privileged. Don't know whether you consider yourself privileged. I I hope you do because we live in a very privileged part of the world.

The Oxford dictionary describes privilege like this. A special right, someone whose privilege has a special right advantage, granted or available to a particular person or group. That's what it is to be privileged. But I want us to have a think like this because I think to be a privileged person is actually very very dangerous. Very dangerous.

And the more privileged we are, the more dangerous I think it is and the more danger we can be in. Because privilege can make us think that we deserve by rights automatically without question. Privilege can grow a sort of arrogance and entitlement in us. Privilege can make us feel better than others and behave as if we are better than others and others ought to serve us. We're we're we're the deserving 1.

That's what privilege can do. Privilege can make us unthankful people and just take the privileges that we have for granted. I mean that's what I should have, isn't it? Without actually being thankful people. And we've seen this as we've been going through Mark's gospel.

You see privilege going wrong. The town of Nazareth had the massive privilege of having Jesus brought up there. We've seen that in Mark's Gospel. But when Jesus returns, to the town of Nazareth. They rejected him, they took offense at him.

So much so that Jesus ended up saying as he left them in his hometown a profit is without honor and it then says he couldn't do any miracle there. Strawordinary misuse of privilege. Or King herod, remember the story about him we saw in chapter 6. So King herod had the massive privilege of hearing John the Baptist preach. I would love to have heard him, wouldn't you?

Jesus said of John the Baptist that he's the greatest prophet that's lived, and yet he played fast and loose with that privilege did King Herrod. So much so that in the end, he had John the Baptist head cut off, shut the mouth of the preacher, chop his head off. The pharisees, the religious leaders, and the teachers of the law, they had huge privilege of having the scriptures. The old testament part of the bible that we have. And massive opportunities in their learning because they knew how to read those scriptures and they even had time to study those scriptures.

And yet Jesus says in John's gospel to them, you study the scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the scriptures that testify about me yet you refused to come to me to have life. The very thing that they were saying look how privileged we are, we have the scriptures, we have the very word of God, You're not listening to. It's extraordinary. The Jewish people, as a whole, consider themselves to be the children of God.

Paul writing in this amazing book of Romans that you find in the new testament writes this in chapter 9. He says, theirs is the adoption of sons. There's the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship, the promises. There's other patriarchs and from them is trace the human ancestry of the Messiah who is God overall forever praised our men. He's saying that as a nation, These Jewish people had huge privileges.

You may not understand all of those privileges but you get an idea that they're huge adoption of sons divine glory, covenants which is which is like relationships with God, like a married relationship, receiving of the law. That's not just rules, but the blessings of God speaking to them, temple worship, promises of God, patriarch on and on and on. Huge privileges. But Paul also writes in Romans. Romans chapter 4, do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance, and patience, Not realizing that God's kindnesses is intended to lead you to repentance.

The nation of Israel had huge privileges, but they didn't repent. It's a horrible thing, isn't it? I'm sure you agree. When you see people misusing and distorting their privileges, into entitlement, or they show contempt for the riches and kindness. And patience, and privileges that they've received.

Sometimes the only way to teach privileged entitled people that they're taking things for granted is to take their privileges away. And God in his kindness throughout history does that to nations. He removes the privileges. He says you you you're not even thankful for this. There's an amazing sentence again in the book of Romans And when we were going through Romans, we we were we were teaching through Romans some years ago.

This really blew me away this sentence. It's in chapter 11. And he's talking about the nation of Israel and he says because of their transgression, in other words they didn't listen, they didn't they didn't repent. They didn't take their privileges seriously because of their transgression, isn't salvation has come to the gentiles to other people to make Israel envious. That's extraordinary.

And isn't that what we do with children? You buy them a toy at Christmas and it's only, you know, 7 instead of I wanted the latest 1 which was 8 in the series of toys or whatever. And the kids all fuming. And you say if you're a decent parent, if that sort of thing goes on, you say if you're not gonna enjoy that toy, I'm gonna take it away from you and give it to someone who does. And when the other child has that toy, Then suddenly the child wants it back.

That's how you teach. Privilege needs to be taken away sometimes and given to someone else before we realize what we're missing. Now in ephesians 2, which Tom read right at the beginning, there's lots of verses here. So you have to be with me in this 1. Because I wanna make this point.

In ephesians 2, Paul is reminding the gentiles, the non Jews, of what they were as a people group before they became Christians. And you can see if it comes up if you can find it, Ephesians 2 verse 11 and 12. Just listen. He says therefore, remember that formally before you became a Christian, You who are gentiles, not Jewish people, not in the privileged group. You who were Jewish people by birth called uncircumcised, by those who call themselves circumcised which is done in in the body by human hands.

Remember that at that time you were separated from God Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel, and foreigners to the covenant of promise without hope, without God in the world. You weren't in the privileged group. Now you have come into it and we'll see that in a minute. But you weren't Now, what's all this gotta do with Mark? We're gonna go back to mark now.

I think you see what I'm trying to say really illustrated in this section of mark. Last week we saw the argument that was going on between the religious people and Jesus about how you're clean before God. The religious people were saying something like religious ceremonies, outward washing that makes you clean before God and Jesus is saying, no, you think that God can not see beyond just a bit of water and beyond the skin. Now it's the heart that needs changing and there was that disagreement going on and you can listen to that sermon if you go back and if you did it didn't hear it. But remember, it was clean, unclean.

And then it says immediately after that conversation that Jesus had about clean and unclean. He goes immediately to what the religious leaders would have seen as a very unclean town, tire. A very unclean town and he has dealings with an unclean woman, a gentile woman, a Greek woman from that town. And what we see is this woman who is not got the privileges of the religious leaders receiving the bread of life that the privileged pharisees rejected. That's what we see.

And it's remarkable. And I think it's here for a number of reasons, but the main reason I want us to see why I think it's here is. To show up and to shame the privileged. It's to show up and to shame the privilege. And that's why Mark's put it here.

So let's have a look at this unclean thing. First of all, here's my first point, unclean place. Jesus goes after talking about being clean and unclean to what the religious leaders would see as an unclean place. Look at verse 24, of Mark chapter 7. 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 present secret. He goes to this unking place. Tire, if you know the the old testament part of the bible, and I'm not gonna go and show you what all because there's loads of verses that you could do. There's a lot in the in the old testament part of the bible about Tire, and it's an enemy town. Let's just put it that way to the people of God.

And it's a town for all kinds of reasons that is actually under the curse of God. So this is this is a not privileged town, it's the opposite. It's under the curse of God. In Zechariah which is in the old testament, it's a prophet, It says tire was has built herself a stronghold, but then listen. But the lord, that's God, will take away her possessions and destroy her power on the sea and will be consume and it will be consumed by fire.

So tyre is under the judgment of God. It's about to be consumed by the anger of God. So this is not a clean place. Tire is the enemy of God under the judgment of God And here is Jesus in the religious people's minds, who's supposed to be bringing the kingdom of God. He keeps banging on about that in Mark's gospel.

Going into enemy territory. What do you think he's doing? To the Phariseed mind, He's going to a place that you don't wanna touch these filthy foreigners. They are filthy and we've got loads of rules about washing if you ever did have to touch 1 of these foreigners, you need to wash if you went into the marketplace but he's not going into the marketplace and accidentally bump into a few dirty foreigners he's gone to the foreign enemy town. And not only that, He's hired a room in the enemy town.

This is a completely uncleanness upon uncleanness. Some of our staff went away on the FIEC conference. It's a it's a it's a group of churches that we belong to and It was a leaders conference and we went to Blackpool. And some of us from the south, you know, we're going up to Blackpool. We thought, oh yeah, alright.

And I didn't realize what a dump it is to be quite frank with you. And nor did most of the past us there, certainly from the south. Some of them stayed in rooms where there were signs saying, please don't put your drugs needles down the toilet, shove them in the bin. 1 of our our friends who lives around here or used to live around here, Nathan White. He went into his room the owner of the hotel opened the room and said, f f f f f lots of words.

My goodness. There's a dead rat die is a rat died in here? It's stink. That was the room they were putting him in. The floor was wet There were people coming in women to service men in other rooms.

Some places, isn't it? Now they didn't choose that. They saw star hotel. 5 stars. Yes, and it ended up like that.

But Jesus is going to a dodgy town an unclean town where there are unclean people. You've got to remember that xenophobia The fear of foreigners is built into phariseeism. It's 1 of the ways you know whether you're a pharisee or not. The fear of the foreigner or the hatred of a foreigner that's built into Pharism, and Tire was not a town that any clean person would choose to go to. That's the first point.

Second point, unclean person. Look at verses 25, to 26. First 25. In fact, as soon as she heard about him, that's Jesus, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure or unclean spirit came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek born in Syrian Felicia.

She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter. Number of things about her. Just have a look. She comes uninvited. I mean Jesus, I think is still wanting to rest.

If you remember the story and if you remember the Mark drama, you know that Jesus and his disciples, he wanted to to take them for a rest but wherever he went people came. And now he's going to black blackball to take a bit of a a bit of a rest here. And but suddenly 1 of the owners of 1 of these CD joints comes out, uninvited. She just comes in. Now, not entitled.

I want you to get that. I don't think she's coming entitled. She's just desperate. She's desperately needing. But not only is she uninvited, she's unclean.

Look at verse 20 25. In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell down at his feet. This woman has uncleanness taken root in her home. There's uncleanness in her home affecting everything. This little child is gonna die There's so much mold around.

There's so much uncleanness around in this house. It's affecting the brain and the mentality of this little child, this daughter. This child is going to die of uncleanness, an unclean spirit. So she is unclean. But thirdly, she's a foreigner.

Look at verse 26. The woman was a Greek born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive out the demon of her daughter. She's a foreigner. She's a Greek.

She's a double foreigner actually living in this unclean town because she's not a gentle. So here's this woman then, unclean, no rights, no claims. She's not from a privileged family, She's not from a privileged Jewish background. She's not from a family where she's had the Scriptures and she's heard the Word of God. She's not privileged in her connections She's just a liver in this unclean town that's under the judgment of God.

She's really shouldn't be there. And if you read Matthew's gospel of this account, you'll know that the disciples are basically are when she comes in. Who let the dog in? Who let this dog in? Who left the door open?

Is there a cat flap or something that the dog came through? Is there a dog flap? Who let the dog in? She's from the sworn enemies of God living in a town under the judgment of God. She's I from an idolatrous immoral cruel impure situation.

And the religious leaders treated her like an unclean dog and even Jesus calls her a dog. I sort of see in a minute. So verse 25, In fact, as soon as she heard about him Jesus, a woman whose little daughter was possessed with an impure unclean spirit came and fell at his feet. The 1 thing she knew was that she needs to go to Jesus and beg for mercy. That's what she does in Matthews's gospel.

She begs for mercy. But she knows Jesus' lord. She calls him lord and falls at his feet. She knows that he's lord of Israel, but he's more than lord of Israel. He's lord of the world and she's part of the world.

She knows that he's lord of even a place that's under the judgment of God, He must be lord of someone that's under the judgment of God if God is judging the world. She knows all that. She knows she's not deserving. She's not an elite person. She doesn't deserve to be there.

She understands that. She's a dog and a female dog at that. You can understand what they would call But it's this woman that receives the blessing. Isn't it? It's this woman that receives the blessing.

She's there to shame the privileged. And that's what we see in my next point, the third point. Children versus the dogs. Look at the conversation. Children versus the dogs, you get this in verses 27 and 28 of March 7.

Here's Jesus answering her. She knows his Lord, she's fallen at his feet, She's not entitled. She's asking for mercy and he says this. First at the children, that's the privileged ones. First at the children eat all they want.

He told her, for it is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to dogs. My goodness, did you hear that? Did you actually hear that? He's just caught her a dog It's it's racist, isn't it? Isn't he insulting her?

Is Jesus as xenophobic? It it doesn't fit when you read the Gospels, but Jesus is xenophobic or hates foreigners. It doesn't fit because he tells everybody that you are to love your enemies as your friends. He also told a remarkable story about the good samaritan, 1 of his most famous stories. And the samaritan which were people like this woman actually, the samaritans enemies of God, actually he calls the good Samaritan really basically a godly man where the priests and the levites were not godly.

So it seems odd now. Imagine listening into this conversation. It was after the service. Imagine you hear in Jesus talk lately. I think you would want to butt in wouldn't you?

In in in our in our age today surely you would butt in and say I'm really sorry mad you know, he's really tired. I think that must be the reason. He's been looking for a tired place, and now he's ended up in here, Blackball, and and you've come in and he was just tired and he's a bit grumpy and I I know he needs retraining in the art of conversation and he's not very good at evangelism, not at this point. And it doesn't seem to understand political correctness and how would you and multicultural societies that we live in. I mean, you've got to remember he's brought up in Nazareth.

You know, it's at all what, you know, isn't a white, but it's an old brown sort of place and they're a u. You know you know what's going on? And of course, the disciples, if you read Matthews's gospel, they're feeling pretty superior about it because they didn't like at all and so they think, yeah, we'll kick the dog out for goodness sake. So what is happening here? Well, what is happening is that Jesus knows people and he knows her, and he understands exactly what he's doing, and he loves us so much that he's drawing out of her faith.

He's drawing out of her trust. He's drawing out of her. Love for himself. It's amazing. Look at verse 27 again.

Let just listen to this. First, let the children eat all they want. He told her. For it is not good to take the children's bread and toss it to dogs. You see, we hear that and it's deeply offensive But to her isn't, she's not offended in the slightest.

She doesn't say, oh, you Jews. You're you're always calling us dogs. You're always privileged. You're always superior. You'll always come across better than us.

I've had enough of it. I'm going somewhere else then. Shove you if you're gonna treat me like that. She doesn't do that. She latches onto 1 word.

Look at it. Look at verse 27. 1 word she latches onto. What's the 1 word? What do you think it is?

What? No. It's not dogs. What? No.

No. No. Nearly there. No. First.

First, that gives you hope, doesn't it? First. Aha. First, that means there might be a second. First, let the children eat all they want, he told her.

And what happens in her heart is you mean there could be scraps for me. You see that? He doesn't walk away offended. He doesn't sort of un plat she doesn't un platform him. And, you know, cross her off the list, across him off the list.

She hears first. Now, you've got to get this. The word dog that Jesus uses is not the word for wild dog. It's actually the word for little dog or puppy dog. That's the word he uses there, but it's still pretty strong language, isn't it?

You know, she could still cancel him and be offended by this because you're not a child you're a dog and you should eat dog food, not the children's food. That's what he's basically said. But she doesn't hear the negative, she hears first. She's not offended. She argues on the basis that not that she's worthy and he owes or anything, but on the basis that she's unworthy but he's lord.

And if you're lord, then you're my lord. If you're a master, then you're the dog's master. That's her argument. You're right. I'm fine.

I'm a dog. I am a dog. I don't mind being called that, but that means you're the master. You're the lord. And I can be a humble part of your household and eat some crumbs.

Couldn't I? The Lord Jesus Christ said he didn't come for the healthy. He came for the for the sick. A doctor doesn't set up shop for healthy people. It's not new surgery healthy people only.

Is it? The whole point of a doctor coming to town is to deal with those who are sick and Jesus has come to town to deal with those who are sick. And he's upset if the sick don't come to him. He wants the sick to come to him. And so she's understood this.

This is wonderful Christian reasoning. This is gospel reasoning. This is good news reasoning. In her head, she's worked it out. Doctors come for sick people.

I'm sick impure I come to the doctor. I don't deserve it. I didn't deserve the doctor coming to town. But the doctors come to town. So I'm gonna go to the doctor.

She knew she had no merit to win Christ's help. Bless says Jesus. Bless are the poor in spirit. For theirs is the kingdom of God. She's got real faith.

Lord, she replied, even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs. She comes and says Jesus. Surely, there's some crumbs. Now let's just set this because I think this is what I've been wanting to do. Mark has set this story in the way he's telling his gospel.

Between 2 feedings of massive groups of people. We've already seen the feeding of 5000 people or write 5000 men plus women and children. Then we have this story and then if you go to chapter 8 in March you'll see the feeding of the 4000 peep people plus women and children. In the feeding Okay. Mark drama people, you're listening.

In the feeding of the 5000 people how many baskets were left over? How many baskets? Left over. From a sandwich of a child that Jesus did the miracle and fed 5000 men plus women and children. How many baskets were left over?

12. How many tribes in Israel are there? 12. How many disciples of Jesus are there? 12.

Yeah. Interesting in it? All the children, all the 5000 people on the side of the mountain. All of the men women and children were totally satisfied and every tribe and every disciple had a basket left the crumbs left, but they weren't crumbs. They were a basket full of goodies to serve to others.

There's always crumbs with Jesus. There's always a fish sandwich. It's like it was it's like my mom. Jesus was very much like my mom or maybe the other way around. There was always food in the house, as you can probably tell.

There's all the fridge was never empty even when a hungry teenager went through fridge eating whole lumps of cheese and everything. There was always always always crumbs for Jesus. Always baskets left over. And it's always been what God wanted got that God wanting god's people to be like. Always for the foreigner, when you fed this 12 baskets this Now let me just read this is in the law of God.

This is deuteronomy 29 at 24 verse 19. Just listen to this This is how Israel was always to use its privilege. Listen. When you are harvesting your field, and you overlook a sheath, there's a sort of little bit you missed, do not go back and get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the fatherless, and the widow.

So that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. If you wanna be blessed by Jesus, by the Lord God. You don't go over your field and get every scrap from it. You leave it for the foreigner to get stuff from. It's called Greetings.

The Greetings. Listen. When you beat your olive, when you beat the olives from your tree, Do not go over the branches a second time. Don't give it a second beating. Leave what remains for the foreigner, the fatherless and the widow.

Listen? When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the foreigner the fatherless and the widow. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, that is why I command you to do this. God's always had enough for the foreigner.

Always leave it for the foreigner and the fatherless and the widows. The vulnerable. Remember what you were people. Remember what you were. You were slaves but I brought you out of slavery.

I brought you to be adopted as sons. I gave you my word and the scriptures. I gave you my promises, my covenants, I loved you. I loved you. Now you treat the foreigner.

And take the crumbs, take the baskets. That cleaning principle a bull is built into the law of God and Jesus is doing that. That's the feeding of the 5000. In chapter 8, you get the feeding of the 4000. And when you read it, feels like deja vu.

What's going on here? We've just done this and in the Mark drama it what is I think was it Erica? Did you did did you have to say, where is I saw her a minute ago? There you are. Did you have to say, oh we just done this or something?

What was your line? I feel like we just just just did this and everybody lost because and then some stupid people think, oh, yeah. Mark forgot he wrote about the 5000 and so he put the 4000 in. I mean, he's gotta be a bit thick. These are different things.

These are different places. 1 was for Israel, 12 baskets left over so that Israel can go out the disciples can go out. 1 was for the Jews so they can take those baskets out and feed people with the crumbs left overs. But the foot feeding of the 4000, he's still in gentle territory. What Jesus is to the Jews?

He is to the whole world? What Jesus is the Messiah for the Jews? He's the Messiah for the whole world. He feeds the Jews and he feeds the gentiles. And there's always leftovers.

There's enough for everyone. So that leads me to my fourth point. Unclean and clean verse 29 to 30. Then he told her, this woman, for such a reply, you may go. The demon has left your daughter.

Verse 30. She went home and found her child lying on the bed and the demon had gone, cleansed. She's cleansed from the heart. Household has been cleansed. The evil spirit has gone.

She's right with God. Look at those words that we read from Ephesians. They're extraordinary. Verse 11, first if you can go to verse 11. Therefore, he's talking to Christians like this woman now.

Remember that formerly you who were gentiles by birth and called uncircumcised by those who call themselves a circumcision which is done in the body by human hands. Remember that at that time you were separated from Christ excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenant of promise without hope and without God in the world, but now. That's what's happened to her. But now. That's what a Christian is, but now.

But now. But now. But now what? But now. You were away.

You were not privileged, but now. In Christ Jesus, you who were once far away. Once under the judgment of God, once living in Black Paul, once living in tyre, once living in in dirty circumstances, seen as unclean seemingly separated, but now in Christ Jesus, you who were once far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Look at verses 8 to 10 of Ephesians. For it is by grace you have been saved through faith.

This is not from yourself. It is the gift of God. God's given the gift to this woman and not by work so that no 1 can boast. She couldn't boast. For we are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works which he prepared in advance for us to do.

You see she's clean. The unclean is clean. The privileged ones, do you remember them from last week? They're nullifying the word of God they're washing their outside, they're not clean. But she is.

And Mark is showing us this. It's all to do with coming to Jesus with no merit, then you're clean. Now, Let me apply this. I don't know. Oh, gosh.

Let me apply this. I've got 15 lessons. Here's 1. Do we take for granted the gifts of God? Are we so privileged?

We take for granted the gifts of God. Are we acting like spoiled children? Stomping around thinking, oh, well, of course God likes me. Or we're just happy dogs. Happy to be in the family.

Really happy with a crumb. That's the lovely thing about a dog, isn't it? All these people buying cats absolutely out of order. Buy a dog. Hate cats.

Cats are just they're not only unclean, they're faraces. But a lovely thing about a dog is just a crumb. Yeah? Actually, even horse poo, delicious. You know, Sorry.

I can see it now and that this is my issue. But it love have we are you a spoiled little brat spoiled child or a happy dog. 1 of the wonderful things we put on it in in in in Share Life was the sensory story. You missed it if you didn't come. It's absolute joy to be there.

It was well run by women in the church. They were so good. It was so beautiful to see. It brought genuinely brought tears to buyers and even thinking about it now it does. They brought in, I don't know, 8 or so people with, you know, massive educational and and physical disabilities, and it was just beautiful to see these these people.

And they told the bible story, they told creation. And just when it came to, you know, water, they spray a little bit of spray on the face and the face is lit up. With joy. How they were loving it? Little bit of wind.

And I sat there utterly rebuked in all my privileges. All my privileges and I've never been that happy with a little spray on my face. All the senses God has given me and the educational ability that God has given me. And I've never been that happy over that. So privileged brothers and sisters.

The gifts that God has given us We're so privileged, but not only that we have a bible. We have the word of God. Do you see Jesus in that? Or do you use it to defend yourself or a pharasalical way? We have a gospel church.

We have singing of songs, we have literature, we have our upbringing, we have money to spare. We're so utterly privileged. Do we take these things for granted? Or they do they turn us to be a happy dog saying, I don't deserve any of this God. You're so generous.

The crumbs are so rich that they can't be called crumbs, they're baskets. I'm a happy dog in my dog bar. It. What a joy. Here's a second lesson.

Do we miss the blessings of Jesus because we're offended by the gospel? You're a dog. Did you know that? You're a sinner. You've taken God's words and his privileges and you've broken every law in the book.

You're a sinner and people don't like that, do they? You're a sinner. You've sinned in your mind and your actions. You're a dog. You're a dog.

You don't deserve anything. So will you come for crumbs? Oh, no. Out there. I'm gonna knock him off the platform.

I'm offended. I cancel him. I don't want this gospel. This gospel that says that you're a dog but you can have the basket of crumbs. In that 1 Corinthians reading, it's staggering.

Because he says the message itself of the cross is offensive to people, philosophers, and ideologies. And religious people. They hate the idea of a cross. Surely, I work my way to God. Shortly, I clean myself up.

Surely I do all the ritual laws. Surely, I'm the 1 who does stuff and then God will put his thumb up to me. But the cross that God had to come into the world. I mean that's ridiculous. That's just foolish, that God the creator would become created that God, the great 1, would become small, it's madness to religion, it's madness to philosophy, How can you work this out?

That God became small. The big became small. The strong became weak. But of course only God could do that, that he would come and die on a cross, what profit dies on a cross Why would he die on a cross? To take our sin?

To take our judgment on the cross? This seems foolish this. The message is foolish but it's not it's the very wisdom of God because that's where we're saved. That's where we're cleansed. That's where all the evil impurities.

Are brought out of us and placed on the cross and the judgment of God that's over tire and every other place is now poured upon Jesus. That's the wisdom of God. But not only that, don't we want to be something special in the world Don't I want to be well, he says this in that 1 Corinthians precious brothers and sisters. Think of what you were when you were called, not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were influential, not many were of noble birth but God chose the foolish things of the world. Why?

Why? To shame. This woman's been chosen to shame those with privilege, to shame the wise God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. If you think you're strong and you've got something to offer God, then he chooses people like this woman. To shame us.

If you think you're privileged, he chooses these people to shame us. Because that's how God works. There's a third thing. Do we miss the blessing because we focus on the outside always the rituals and never being cleansed on the inside. There's a fourth thing.

The message we have is for all people groups and the whole world. We have this privileged responsibility to take the baskets out. If you don't like our church, filling up with people from all nations, then you're a pharisee. It's wonderful. This message is for all people groups, all nations.

We are to share If we wanna be a country that throws out the foreigner, we've gone miles away from the Christian faith. Miles away, because we are to be people that are generous Don't go over the harvest the second time. Leave it for the foreigner and the widows and the fatherless. That's to be us as Christians, and we need to reteach our nation that has become so utterly selfish that we wanna shove any foreigner away into another country. You know, I don't talk politically much, but this is a disgrace.

But that's what a Phar would do. So our job as Christians is to preach the message Have a church that's full of different internationals. Say that we love the foreigner. Say that we love people and we have food for the world. And in our privilege, we will share and not reap constantly so that no 1 can have any of our cleanings.

And then the last thing here, this is for those who believe in the doctrine of election or predestination. You ready? I love this because I do believe in that. But I love this woman because she says basically, okay, I may not be elected, but wouldn't you give some problems to a dog? Spurgeon His point on evangelism was, Lord, bring in the elect and can you elect some more?

And that's her attitude and that's her attitude to evangelism. We go out believing that God will save and say more, please. Please say more. Let's go out there. Let's chuck the baskets out.

Let's get people fed. In the lord Jesus Christ. There are some of the thoughts about the privileged position that we're in brothers and sisters Let's use our privilege to feed the unclean and see them come to Christ.

Preached by Pete Woodcock
Pete Woodcock photo

Pete is Senior Pastor of Cornerstone and lives in Chessington with his wife Anne who helps oversee the women’s ministry in the church.

Contact us if you have any questions.

Previous sermon Next sermon

Listen to our Podcasts to help you learn and grow Podcasts