Title: Seeking out impurity

Focus: Since Jesus declared all foods clean and ministered to those considered unclean, we should strive to minister to the “unclean” in our society today

Function: To motivate the hearers to look for ways to minister to the untouchables in our society so they could have their “ears opened” to hear the Gospel

Text: Mk 7:1 - 8:9

1.  Got an insight into uncleanliness at camp last week (can get so dirty in 8 hours)
2.  This morning’s text is about uncleanliness
3.  Jews concerned with uncleanliness
	a.  Impure can’t approach God
	b.  Impure removed from society
4.  Ways to get unclean
	a.  Eating or touching something unclean
	b.  Having dealings with people considered unclean
5.  Text turns all of this on its head
6.  Message:  We need to seek out uncleanliness

I.  Being among unclean things will not make you unclean
	A.  But doesn’t bad company corrupt good morals?
	B.  Jewish concern with purity not come from thin air
		1.  Jewish purity laws came from O.T.
			a.  Lev 13ff - Cleansing, sacrifice, with washing
			b.  Ex 30:17ff - Had to wash before approaching God
		2.  What this cleansing to signify?
			a.  Reminder of God’s purity Ps 12:6; 19:8 
			b.  (Ps 24:1-4) - Only pure in heart see God
			c.  Even Jesus said pure in heart see God Mt 5:8
		3.  Yet here Jesus is neglecting purity?
			a.  Jesus was intensly concerned with purity
			b.  His counter accusation - Neglect of commands
			c.  Why?  Greed?  Their hearts not pure - far from God
			d.  Whitewashed tombs
		4.  Teaching on “true” purity
			a.  What comes out is what defiles
			b.  Would think you already defiled, instead of coming out 
			      “making” you defiled
			c.  (Jas 1:14-15) - Not till act does it lead to sin
	C.  Why this story included?
		1.  One character in all stories we barely notice - Narrator
		2.  Narrator’s role is to explain, arrange details, etc.
		3.  (v.19) - Thus he declared all foods clean
	D.  So there are two applications
		1.  God concerned with purity of heart
		2.  Nothing outside a man can defile him
		3.  There is a further development of this in this context and Acts
		4.  This is talking about more than just food

II.  Next, Jesus goes to an “unclean” area among unclean people (v.24-30)
	A.  Went to region of “Tyre” - This detail is significant
	B.  Tyre had a certain connotation behind it
		1.  Isa 23; Ezek 26-28 - Devoted to prophecy against Tyre
			a.  (Ezek 26:2) - Planned to plunder Jerusalem
			b.  (Ezek 28) - Description of their arrogance against God
		2.  So wicked, that some believe this talking about Satan
		3.  Jesus said more tolerable in Tyre & Sidon Mt 11:22
	C.  Jesus appears to merely reflect typical Jewish attitude
		1.  Calls the woman a dog
		2.  But notice, he said “let the children be satisfied first”
			- Apparently promise of a feeding?
		3.  The woman’s response led to healing.  Why?
			a.  It was her “answer”
			b.  Shows both faith and humility`
			c.  She came with a pure faith, a pure heart

III.  Jesus then leaves and goes to another area (v.31-37)
	A.  Good, it’s time to get away from that unclean place!
	B.  Went to a place called the Decapolis
		1.  Already been there in Mk. 5
			a.  That’s where he had a run in with “Legion”
			b.  He went to yet another Gentile area!
		2.  What he does is significant
			a.  Opens ears and mouths of gentiles
			b.  They can hear and proclaim Gospel
		3.  This recalls a couple of Old Test. passages
			a.  (Isa 35:5-8) - Eyes opened, etc. - No one unclean
			b.  (Isa 55:3-5) - Will call a “nation”
	C.  ILL:  Those with different customs, language, background, etc.
		1.  Can make feel uncomfortable
		2.  Saw this overcome at camp 
		3.  Rich, poor, big, small, black, white, all thrown together
		4.  Because of faith - Positive influence - 12 baptisms
		5.  If kids can do that - Anyone can!
	D.  May find it surprising that Jesus ministered among the gentiles
		1.  Demonstrated need to minister among gentiles
		2.  Next story illustrates this same point

IV.  Another miraculous feeding (8:1-9)
	A.  Why TWO miraculous feeding stories?
	B.  There is a difference between the two
		1.  First time, fed Jews, now is feeding Gentiles
		2.  Bread of life not just for Jews, but for all the nations
			a.  First time 12 basket left over - Number of God’s people
			b.  This time it is seven - Number of completion
	C.  First incident, supposed to have “insight” (v.52) into the loaves
	D.  What “insight” are we supposed to get from the 2nd feeding?

V.  What does this mean?
	A.  To Jewish Christians
		1.  Being among gentiles not make you unclean
			a.  This a struggle in early church
			b.  Even Peter struggled with it
				- Took direct revelation for him to “go” to gentiles
				- Took outpouring of Spirit for him to understand
		2.  So Jews were to minister to Gentiles too
	B.  What about us?  We don’t have Jew-Gentile Problem
		1.  But there are those we may have aversion to
		2.  There are those who are “unclean”
			a.  Dirt poor on welfare, Gangster types
			b.  Race, Homosexuals, Criminals
			c.  Divorced, single parents, living together
	C.  But wait?  Doesn’t bad company corrupt good morals?
		1.  Yes - But we also have to be salt and light in the world!
		2.  (1 Cor 9:19ff) - Paul’s Example of being all things to all 
		3.  (Jn 17:14-18)
			a.  Jesus prayer was not JUST for unity
			b.  Didn’t take us out of world, but sent us in
	D.  Jesus made it clear that our purpose is not to steer clear of impure
		1.  He is the Physician, who came to minister to sinners
		2.  He came to us - He makes house calls

1.  Does this challenge you?
2.  We need to seek to minister to others, even outside comfort zone
3.  Some have gone to Tyre, and the Decapolis
	- VBS; Camp; Giving (is a spiritual gift); Prison
4.  Where is your Tyre and Decpolis?
	a.  May be next door, at work, or halfway across the world
	b.  Wont see it unless look for it
5.  By the way - Campaign next year
	a.  Someone in our community may be praying for direction
	b.  You may be the answer to that person’s prayer

6.  Invitation