We hope you’ll stay with us for the next 30 minutes as our teacher, Dr. Baruch, shares his expository teaching from the Bible. Dr. Baruch is the senior lecturer at the Zera Avraham Institute based in Israel. Although all courses are taught in Hebrew at the Institute, Dr. Baruch is pleased to share this weekly address in English. To find out more about our work in Israel, please visit us on the web at loveisrael.org. That’s one word, loveisrael.org. Now, here’s Baruch with today’s lesson.
Dr. Baruch: Order is very important to God. In other words, God wants your life to be in his order. And unless we follow his order, his blessings, his presence, his goodness is not going to be experienced by us or by others. Take out your Bible and look with me, if you would, to the Book of Mark in chapter seven. Now, we’re going to be looking at a passage that’s very familiar to people, but I would contend, very misunderstood. And it’s that passage about a woman, a Gentile woman, that Yeshua responded to, and he spoke to her and her child as though they were dogs. And many people have a problem with that, and the only reason that they have a problem, is that they do not understand the intent of Messiah, what he was saying.
And in order to understand that, we have to understand that there’s an order to God’s will. And it’s only when we submit to that order, we apply it to our life, then and only then is God going to move in the midst of our situation and bring about a godly change to that situation. So let’s begin, the Book of Mark 7:24. We read here. “And he from that place got up and he went into the region of Tyre and entered into a home.” And what did he want? Well, the scripture says, “And he desired no one to know.” Now, for several weeks, we’ve seen that Messiah has wanted to get away sometimes from his disciples, sometimes from the masses, but he’s unable to do so. People are pressing to him. And let me say, that’s the right response of the people.
You get to Messiah. Sometimes it may be difficult to find him, to see him to understand, but all of these individuals, they responded with effort. Sometimes they ran. Sometimes they had to hunt him down, but they found him and because did, they were blessed. So one of the first things we have to ask ourselves is, are we really pursuing Messiah? And if we do, we have to understand pursuing him is pursuing his will, his order, for our life and his order for the program that he has to bring about his kingdom. And we need to see that there’s this inherent relationship between kingdom and the blessings of God. Let’s look once more. He, he enters into this house, verse 24, “And he desired no one to know, but he was not able hide himself or conceal himself.” And we see that in the next verse, verse 25. “But immediately,” I mean, he didn’t have one moment to himself, but that’s okay because God does not need to rest. Verse 25, “and immediately a woman heard concerning him.”
Now that phrase “heard” is so important because we know, scripturally, we see that in the book of Romans, there’s a connection between hearing and faith. She heard of him, the question is, was she going to respond to him with faith? That means, did she want his order in her life? Was she willing to submit to his plans and his purposes? So look again, this woman heard concerning him and it says, “and she had a daughter who had an unclean spirit possessed.” Now, obviously, this woman was grieved about the spiritual and because of her spiritual situation, I’m speaking about the daughter, there was also a physical suffering, and therefore it’s not surprising that this woman would come to Yeshua because she had heard concerning him, the miracles, the healings, the deliverance that he had done to others. So look again, verse 25 in the middle.
“She came” and she did what? “She fell down at his feet.” Now, that’s important because that is an act of total submissiveness. It is an act of total surrender. And when we approach Messiah in that way, I think what he’s going to do is check us out. That is, he’s going to test to see, are we sincere? You see many people approach God, and they say, “God, if you will only do this, then I’ll do that.” And the problem is, what we are really doing is just saying whatever we think God wants to hear. So we get what we want. So this woman, her submissiveness, her commitment to Yeshua is going to be challenged because all of our commitments are going to be challenged. That’s simply how God works. Verse 26, “but this woman…” Well, there’s a problem. This woman, it says was a Greek woman of Syrophoenician descent.
So she wasn’t even a Jew. Now, is that problematic? Well, it depends. It’s not problematic when you understand the purposes of God. Now, why do I say that? Because Israel was created for a purpose and what is that? To be an instrument of blessing. Now we saw, for example, that The Gospel was first given to the house of Israel. And it went from Jerusalem to Judea, to Samaria and to the outermost parts of the earth and who was responsible for that? Jewish individuals. In fact, we know that it tells us in First Kinkgs that that God spoke to Elijah, and he says, speaking about the children of Israel, “to whom the word of God was given.” And Paul says that same thing in the book of Romans, what advantage is there being a Jew? He says in every way. Why? Because the Oracles of God were entrusted to us.
So God had an order. He had a purpose for forgiving Israel his word, the question is, are you willing to accept God’s order in your life? You will be tested. And if you’re not, then that blessing God’s purposes, God’s goodness is not going to be realized by you. So this woman was Greek. She was of a Syrophoenician descent. And she came to him and with a question, look at verse 26. And she asked him if he would cast out of her daughter, this demon, this unclean spirit. Now that verb for “to cast out,” and this phrase is in the Greek subjunctive. Why is that important? Well, the subjunctive speaks about an uncertainty and we have to understand something. This uncertainty was not in relationship to whether Yeshua was able to do it or not. No, the doubt was, was she going to receive the order for bringing it about. So this woman comes with this question and that is, “Will you cast out this unclean spirit from my daughter?”
And look at the response that he says, verse 27. “And he says to her first allow the children to be satisfied.” Now, what did he mean by that? I mean, her daughter is a child. So isn’t that acceptable for her? Well, keep reading what he says. He says, “It is not good.” That is, “it’s not the will,” meaning the will of God “to take the bread from the children and to cast them before the dogs.” Now, that is a strong statement. And the problem is people don’t understand the intent of that statement. If you are of the opinion, and let me tell you a story. Just a few months ago, we celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles and I was invited to another family sukkot, my wife and I. And we were there and there was a man, a Gentile man. He was back in Israel because his father had passed away and he spoke.
And he said, “What a privilege it is to be in a sukkot because I’m just a dog.” And he kept referring to himself as a dog. And I asked them, and I thought I knew why he was saying this. Why? And he pointed to this verse and he says, “You are the people. We’re in God’s eyes, just dogs.” Well, wait a second. That’s not the intent of this passage. If you think that Yeshua was saying, Jews are people and Gentiles are dogs you’ve totally misunderstood his intent. He’s not equating Gentiles to dogs. What he’s doing here is giving an example, a well known example about an order, his order for the blessings to come. First, just like The Gospel, just like the word of God. It first came to the house of Israel. And then it went where? To the Gentiles God’s order his way of doing it.
And you and I are in no position to disagree with God. So he wasn’t calling this woman’s daughter a dog. He was saying, “It’s not good.” He says, first allow the bread to be with the children. And then just like we know. What happens? Well, she understands this. She didn’t take it personally, look at how she responded, verse 28. And she responded to this and she said to him, and don’t miss this. If you make notations in your Bible, you need to circle this next word. It’s the word Lord. Now, why is that important? Well, remember what she did at the very beginning, she came before him and she fell down at his feet. What did we say about that? That was an act of submissiveness. It was a surrender before him. That is, she said, “You are my Lord.” Now Messiah was testing that.
Is after hearing what he said, in the manner that he said it, was she still in the belief of the opinion that Yeshua was Lord. I mean, a lot of people have told me, “I just can’t accept this verse. It bothers me. It seems out of the character of Yeshua. How could he say such a thing?”
And many people have used that verse to just turn away from Yeshua and saying, “Well, if that’s God, I don’t want anything to do with him.” But not this woman. What did she say? She answered, look at it in verse 28. She’s turns to him and says, “Lord also,” or we could translate that word even. “Even the dogs underneath the table, they eat the scraps of the children.” So what she was saying is this, I have no problem in the order.
I have no problem with the analogy that you gave, because in the end, what happens, the dogs get fed. Now, let me tell you a true, but a humorous account. When I’m traveling, especially in South Florida, there’s a family that I like to stay with. And usually when I’m there, we do Shabbat in a big way. In fact, they do Shabbat at their home in a big way, every Shabbat. And what I mean by that is, they open up their home to neighbors and friends and people before Shabbat. They, come in and they’re doing something. They’re carrying food. Lots of it. Now, before people arrive, what does that couple do? Well, they clean their homes. They scrub their floors and they have two little, white dogs. And when they see all of this preparation beginning, these dogs get really excited.
One of the last things that the wife does before the guests start arriving is to fill up those two bowls of dog food. Those two bowls with dog foods. And usually those two dogs, the moment that there’s food in their bowls, they begin to eat. But not that day. You see, they know what’s coming. And what is that Shabbat? These dogs know from what they have been taught when the home is cleaned up, when everything’s arranged in a certain way, and furniture is moved, people are coming, it’s Shabbat, and they have food. Now, obviously, that food is not for them, right? That food is for the people. I mean, the woman has just given food to the dogs in their bowls, but the dogs don’t agree. The dogs think that Shabbat is for them. And I would say that they love Shabbat.
Why? Well, after we pray, after we learn what happens, well, probably better than we pray and learn. We eat the food is fantastic. Now, things fall upon the floor. No worries. The dogs will get it, but there’s approximately 40, 45, sometimes 50 people in that home. And what does almost everyone do? Well, these dogs come up they’re underneath the table, you give them something to eat and they receive it. I give them two, three, four pieces, each one. What do you think the other people do? The same thing. And by the end of Shabbat, what happens? Well, those two dogs are lying in the corner and they’re asleep. And if you look over to their pans, what happens? They haven’t touched their food. It’s full. Well, one time I was walking and I saw a piece of meat that someone had dropped and I lifted it up and I threw it to the dog.
And it landed about that far from his nose. And he was sound asleep. He began to smell that and woke him up and he opened one eye and he saw that piece of meat in front of him. And what did he do? He went back to sleep. Now, I said to that dog, “Dog, what’s the matter with you? Why aren’t you eating that meat I threw to you?” And a miracle took place. That dog spoke to me in English. He says, “Listen, I am stuffed. I couldn’t eat one more thing.” And the other dog said, “Me too.” Now, why was that? Because they were satisfied with what fell from the table. They didn’t want anymore. And even though that Shabbat, remember what the scripture says. The Sabbath is a sign between me and the children of Israel. Well, that may be the case, but those dogs were blessed each and every Shabbat, they loved the Sabbath day.
Now, I told that story at another location and a woman came up to me and asked, “Did those dogs really speak to you?” Well, I have to confess. I exaggerated only one spoke to me. Not both. Let’s get back to the texts. Look with me. If you would, to verse 29, when this woman said that statement that “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs receive the scraps that fall underneath the table.” Meaning that order isn’t a problem for me because in the end, the blessing comes to all. Well, notice Messiah’s response, verse 29, “And he said to her on account of this your word, go. For the demon has gone out from your daughter.” Now, what does she exercise? Faith. Faith in what? What she believed? Well, faith is when we accept the word of God. His order. And when we understand the significance, and what Messiah is emphasizing here, is the significant role that Israel is going to have.
The Gospel came to the Jew first and after the Gentile. And we’re going to see that Israel plays a key role in the establishment of The Kingdom. And why am I sharing this? Because, unfortunately, today there’s so many, and it’s growing, that think incorrectly. They’re not responding to God’s order, his plan, his purposes, but they think that Israel has been set aside that God has abandoned the Jewish people. There’s no more significance to the land of Israel and nothing could be further from that. So the minute that she accepted God’s order, what happens? That demon went out from who? Went out from the child? How do we know that? Look at verse 30, “And she entered into her home and she found,” and here’s the key. There’s a change. All along we’ve been talking about this daughter, this daughter, this daughter, but when Messiah speaks, he uses a different word.
He speaks about children and he uses a different word in the previous section. But when this daughter is healed, he uses the same, of course singular, but the same word to describe this little girl, meaning that after the blessing comes after The Gospel comes, there’s no difference between Jew and Gentile in the fact that God loves both equally, but don’t think that that means there’s no longer a call upon Israel. That there’s not something unique and God purposes, his plans, his order with the Jewish people. Look, if you would to verse 30, “And she went out and entered into her home. She found the daughter lying on the bed,” meaning rest. Now, we know that one of the outcomes of demon possession is a lack of rest. People simply cannot find peace, but here she comes back and that child is resting upon her bed and notice something else for the demon had gone out.
Now, let’s look real briefly at one more section, as we conclude chapter seven, verse 31. “And again, he went out from that region of, of Tyre in Lebanon. And he went through Sidon into the area around the sea of Galilee.” And what do we find? “He went in and through the midsts of the region of the Decapolis” that is on the Eastern side of the sea of Galilee. And what took place? “And he found” or should say, “And they brought to him a deaf and mute man. And they beseeched him in order that he,” that is Yeshua, “would set his hands upon him.” And what did he do? Now, remember, this is not the first time that we’ve come to this location in our study, you might recall that there was a healing of a man who was demonic possessed with 2000 demons in that same area.
And the problem is that most of the time, these places were ungodly. They were given over to idolatry, but it comes back to this place that that told him go away from us. But Messiah came back and there was a group of people who, apparently, believed because they brought to Yeshua, they brought a man to him who was deaf and unable to speak. Now, pay attention to that. It says deaf, and then unable to speak, pay attention to the order. It’s going to be significant. So they asked them to place his hand upon this man, meaning to heal him. And what did he do? Well, look at verse 33. “And he took him from the crowd by himself and he cast his fingers into his ears. And he spat upon the tongue and touched it.”
Now, why would he do this? Spit upon this man’s tongue? Well, very simply, when you understand the Biblical context, we know that in the book of Deuteronomy chapter 25, there’s an example of one spitting in the face of another. If you look at that context, what does it have to do with? It is a curse. And what is Messiah doing? He’s cursing that which has seized, has took, possession of this man to the point he could not hear, and he could not speak. And in essence, what we’re talking about is that being deaf and mute, oftentimes, is just the outcome of sin. Now, not necessarily, this man’s sin, but rather original sin and original sin manifests itself in the lives of every individual, but in different ways. So what does Messiah come to do? He’s come to curse sin to defeat sin and to restore us back to what? God’s order his purposes.
So look at the next verse. Verse 34, and “He lifted up his eyes to heaven and he sighed, and he said to him Ephphatha!” What does that mean? Be open. And immediately his ears were open. That first. And he spoke. Why? Because he was free. It says, “And his tongue was set free from the bonds,” the word desmos, the bonds that, that held it. Now, once you see the outcome of him and the emphasis is on the speaking. He could not speak. Why? Because he was deaf. And it’s only until we what? Deal with the deafness because you hear the way that someone learns to speak is that they hear and then they’re able to speak. So there’s what? It’s emphasized twice in the scripture, that first he healed his ears, and then he was able to set free that tongue. And he spoke how? Well, this man had never heard, but once Messiah healed him, the text says he spoke with clarity.
Now that’s a miracle, an added miracle. Why? Because of God’s order? Well, let’s conclude. Verse 36. “And he commanded them that they should say nothing.” And he gave this command, but it says,” but all the more that he commanded, they proclaimed it.” Why? Well, it wasn’t because this group was a rebellious group of people that didn’t want to obey what Messiah told them to do. They couldn’t help themselves when they, and remember the miracle, when we know the scriptures, the prophecies, one of the things that Messiah is called to do a sign that, that reveals the identity of Messiah, is that he causes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak. So when he did this miracle, they knew who he was.
And even though he said, “Shh, don’t tell anyone now.” They couldn’t help themselves. And the question is this. If you have come to the conclusion that you know the Messiah, are you really telling other people, even though the world might tell you to be quiet, that we don’t want to hear that, there’s separation between church and state. This might be offensive to other individuals. If you really know him, you can’t help but share. Verse 37, and we’ll be done, and we look, “And even the more so where they amazed saying, all that he does is…” What? “Good.” What does that mean? Well, remember that word good is in relationship to the will of God. What it says here is that everything he does is according to the will of God. How can we understand that? In accordance with the scripture there’s restoration. And finally, this is the third time, it says, “And the deaf, he opens their ears and the ones who are unable to speak, he makes them to speak.” That order.
So this miracle of the healing of the deaf and mute man takes place. It’s emphasizing… What? The order in which Messiah did it. Why? To reconfirm what we learned about that Syrophoenician woman who also accepted God’s order to the Jew first, and then also to the Gentile, who saw and understood the significance of Israel. And when we accept God’s orders and God’s plans, what’s going to come? Restoration. God is going to restore us back to his purpose, his plans, and his blessing, the scriptures. They’re not difficult. They’re given in a way that we might know the truth, that the truth might set us free, that we might give glory to God who is our deliverer. Well, we’ll close with that until next week.
Speaker 1: Well, we hope you will benefit from today’s message and share it with someone else. Please plan to join us each week at this time and on this station for the radio edition of loveisrael.org. Again, to find out more about us, please visit us at our website, loveisrael.org. There you will find articles and several other lectures from our teacher, Dr. Baruch, these teachings are in video form. You may download them or watch them in streaming video until next week. May the Lord bless you in our Messiah Yeshua. That is Jesus. As you walk with him, Shalom from Israel.