TRUST: Your Approach to Jesus Makes A Difference


In the post TRUST: Jesus Cannot Be Hidden, the primary focus centered around the fact that we can TRUST that Jesus and His work will be known to people. As a consequence, people will seek Him out. Despite that, every believer has the responsibility to testify or witness about who Jesus is, His character, and what Jesus has done, His work/power. All followers of Jesus can see those things in TRUST: Your Approach to Jesus Makes A Difference.

One of the teaching tools seen throughout the scriptures is comparison/contrast. In Mark, Jesus uses this repeatedly to show the difference between those who truly follow God versus those who do not. In Mark, we see Jesus comparing people with the Pharisee and some teachers of the law. The Pharisees and teachers of the law are supposed to be the ones who lead the way in pursuing God; however, Jesus consistently shows that their heart and faith are centered on themselves and not God nor Him. That is the basis for TRUST: Your Approach to Jesus Makes A Difference. Let’s see this again in Mark 7.

Mark 7

24 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 presence secret. 25 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. 26 The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.

27 “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.”

28 “Lord,” she replied, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

29 Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”

30 She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

Repentance through Faith in Christ/God is Jesus’ central message in the Gospels. It is God’s message throughout all of the scriptures, Old and New Testaments.  As a reminder, Jesus told the Pharisees and some teachers of the law that “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: “‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” (Isaiah 29:13) That was a condemnation of their faith. Jesus assessed the condition of their heart – what they thought and believed. What we think and believe directly impacts what we do. We know from James 4:3 that God judges and responds to our request based on our motives. If wrong, we can forget getting what we asked for. 1 Corinthians 4:5 also informs us that Jesus knows and will reward us on the basis of our motives.  Again, we have insight into TRUST: Your Approach to Jesus Makes A Difference.

Now, let’s look at TRUST: Your Approach to Jesus Makes A Difference in this passageBy going to the Gentiles in Tyre, Jesus made Himself available to the people. How did the woman approach Jesus.

  1. She did approach Jesus – she did not fail to engage Him. She came to Jesus.
  2. She had faith – first she heard about Him then acted on her belief about who Jesus is (character – compassionate and a healer) and what Jesus can do (power). She believed in Jesus.
  3. She showed reverence – A Gentile and a woman both of which were well established reasons not to engage a Jew, but she did not allow tradition to dictate her response in truth/faith. She came and fell at his feet.
  4. She sought Jesus earnestly –She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.

This Gentile, Syro-Phoenician, woman serves as a model of TRUST: Your Approach to Jesus Makes A Difference. From chapter one of Mark up to the present chapter, Jesus is careful to outline how those who received a miracle or help from Him obtained it. Each one of the persons o   In Mark 2 with the paralytic, we see the model of how friends can bring about Jesus’ intervention in the life of one unable to  come, believe, fall and beg. While Mark 3 does not follow that pattern, it contrast the stubborn, unbelieving hearts of the Pharisees with that of a man with a shriveled/withered hand who came to the synagogue surely for help. 

We see all four steps evidenced with several words used to represent the word beg which is used in the NIV for them both. First, parakaleō  as defined by Strongs G3870 is to call near, i.e. invite, invoke (by imploration, hortation or consolation):—beseech, call for, (be of good) comfort, desire, (give) exhort(-ation), intreat, pray. parakaleō – to call to one’s side, call for, summon. We see it used in Mark 1:40, 5:10, 5:12, 6:56, 7:32 and 8:22. Lastly, erōtaō as defined by Strongs G2065 is to question, ask,  request, entreat, beg, beseech. We see it used in Mark 4:10 and 7:26.

TRUST: Your Approach to Jesus Makes A Difference. The Pharisee never sought Jesus out of faith and reference. They certainly never fell at His feet or sought Him earnestly. We do know from Philippians 2:10 and Romans 14:11 that every knee will bow to Jesus. It is better now to come to Jesus in faith and reverence to earnestly present our request to Him. Those that do now Jesus responds to their needs both physical and spiritual. Your approach makes a difference – TRUST Him.

 

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