What does it mean to be INCLUSIVE?
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Mark 7: 24-37
This scripture passage is the story of Jesus being challenged Yet Jesus’ response was that he came to save the children of Israel. But the woman did not give up. She said the dogs in Israelite homes receive scraps that the children have left behind. Surely, the crumbs left by the dogs could be used for healing a Gentile woman?
Jesus whole ministry was changed for not only did he come for the redemption of Jewish or God’s chosen people, Jesus can to save all people. As he was talking with this woman he acknowledged the strength of her faith and he told her that her daughter was healed.
Did Jesus’ have a new perspective upon healing and even a wider perspective about his mission for all people?
Jesus had just taught that everything God had made was good. There was nothing that was unclean. Yet in this story he was ready to exclude the Greek speaking Syro-Phoenician woman and her plea to heal her daughter.
When we think of the church we say we want to be inclusive but are we really? Do we have conditional love for all people? We will welcome you to our church family, but… then the conditions are not made clear but one learns to see who is asked to do things, who is excluded from others. We also see that there are people who want everyone involved yet they themselves do not take part. Is this inclusive or exclusive?
After Jesus healed this woman’s daughter, the passage continues with Jesus healing a mute and deaf man. The people were overwhelmed with amazement at his ability to do this. He has done everything well. But Jesus’ eyes were also opened—to realize that in his coming to earth, he would become the Saviour not only to the Jewish people, but to all who would receive him. Jesus became inclusive of all people because this woman spoke up and asked for the crumbs of faith.
Are you in need of healing? Or maybe you are searching about how to grow in faith? Realizing that Jesus too grew in his understanding of his mission, we may be content to know that we too will continue to learn to grow in knowledge of heart and mind. But we must be ready to ask the questions, to seek the answers and to be open to the Spirit moving in us all!
Wonderful Jesus, we ask for healing upon those who are not well physically bring healing to the bodies of those who have had surgery, mentally bring clear thoughts and hopes to those not sure of what is real; and openness to all who pray knowing that spiritually they are growing in you. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.