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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood


The Home and the Lesson

After he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about this parable. “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him ‘unclean’? For it doesn’t go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods “clean.”) (Mark 7:17-19, NIV)

Jesus’ ministry took place out in the open, in synagogues and also in homes.

At this point in Mark’s Gospel, we are now in home number six. Look at what happened in the previous homes.

First, there was the home of Simon (Peter) and Andrew into which Jesus came and healed Peter’s mother-in-law (1:29,30). Next, He’s preaching in a home where four men tore a hole in the roof and dropped down their paralyzed friend whom Jesus forgave of sin and healed (2:1-12).

The third occasion finds Jesus in Levi’s (Matthew’s) home where He ate with sinners and tax collectors (2:15-17). After the appointment of the Twelve, Jesus entered another home, but He and His disciples were unable even to eat because too many people heard He was there (3:20). The teachers of the Law accused Him of being in league with the devil, and His own family thought He had lost His mind.

At Jairus’ home, He raises from the dead a 12-year-old daughter (5:37-43). And now in this passage (7:17-19), He’s in a home explaining to His disciples that food does not defile, but what comes out of the heart does.

Notice that in three of the six homes, miracles of healing and resurrection take place. In the other three homes, He eats with sinners, seeks refuge with His disciples and then teaches them.

There is a lesson in this for us. What are our homes for? They are designed by the Lord to be places of healing, refuge, evangelism and training. That’s how He used the home.

There’s more. Remember the statement, “Jesus declared all foods ‘clean.’” Why then, years later, is Peter still keeping the kosher law (Acts 10:14)? He had not applied Jesus’ teaching to his own life, and his failure to do so made it impossible for him to consider going to a Gentile’s home and eating there.

He needed the experience of a large sheet being let down from heaven full of all manner of non-kosher and kosher food, along with a command to “get up, Peter, kill and eat,” before he actually experienced the truth of what Jesus taught him years earlier.

Isn’t that the same with us on occasion? How many truths lie dormant because we do not practice or experience them?

Take, for example, the stewardship of finances. We know the Scriptures teach that the first portion — the tithe — belongs to the Lord. But, like Peter’s nonresponsiveness to the Lord’s teaching that “all foods are kosher,” we may not put into practice the Bible’s teaching on giving. And that’s just one example. There are so many more — how we are to relate to our spouse, our children, our parents, our neighbor; our responsibility to fulfill the Great Commission; praying in words we know as well as praying in the Spirit.

Jesus actually called His disciples “dull” because they did not catch or apply His teaching. Let’s make sure He doesn’t call us “dull”!

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, may my home become more than a place of personal refuge where I am insulated and isolated from others. Come into my home and transform it into a center for healing, evangelism and instruction. May I live and obey what You taught.

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

On Your Mark

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2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark

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