Mark Part XXIX - Rejoice, O Gentiles (7:24-37)
Throughout the New Testament, the elimination of the ritual purity laws of the Old Testament carries deep theological significance. It is no minor issue that these regulations were eliminated. Why? Because they stood as a barrier separating Jew from Gentile. And if Messiah was coming to inaugurate the Kingdom of God - as Jesus has manifested again and again was His intention - and if the promises of the Kingdom's inclusion not just of Israel but of the nations were to come true, then something would have to be done with the ritual purity laws which separated Jews from Gentiles.
This, according to Mark in the first part of chapter 7, Jesus did. Jesus pointed to the elimination of the ritual purity laws. If that is the case, then it would seem evident that He was also pointing to the elimination of Jew and Gentile. This implication is made explicit in our text today when Jesus extends his ministry beyond the borders of Israel and begins ministering to Gentiles.
Stuart Bryan is the pastor of Trinity Church. He and his wife, Paige, have seven children, four homegrown, two adopted from the lovely land of Guatemala, and one adopted from Ukraine. Stuart earned his B.A. in Religion from Whitworth College and his M.A. in Theological and Historical Studies from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida.