In Mark’s gospel, we are learning about who Jesus is. However, in chapter 8, we see that the Pharisees and the disciples are blind to who Jesus is. They do not understand why he came and what the messiah has to do in order to save his people.
Throughout Mark’s Gospel, the recurrent question is, “Who is Jesus?” Everyone agrees He is unique, but opinions vary widely when it comes to rightly identifying who Jesus is. Who Jesus is, determines how people approach Him. In Mark 7:24-37, we are introduced to two stories of people approaching Jesus. The first is a Syrophoenician woman with a demon-possessed daughter. The second is a deaf-mute man from the Decapolis. Both are Gentiles, and both of them, ironically, approach Jesus rightly.
Religion can’t save us. Religion can’t cleanse us because we have a relational problem. Our hearts are broken, stained, and defiled. What we need is more than quick fixes, laws, and behavior modification. What we need is new hearts.
Jesus in his perfect life, substitutionary death, and glorious resurrection is God as refuge extended to humanity. When we repent and turn to him we are welcomed to experience God as refuge.