Mark – God is On Our Side!
About three times a year our church comes together to sing songs of worship to God on a Sunday night. As greeters at the door, Randy and I watch as many who have heartache, troubles and other life problems come to be freed from thinking about all that for awhile. They lay it down before the Lord and focus on His goodness. It is an uplifting experience to just be still before God as people gather, praying for His Presence to dwell in His place to honor Him, and then watch His Holy Spirit take over the room of hearts looking to Him for help and assurance. Yes, this Monday morning, I agree totally with the crowd in Mark’s passage as they exclaim, “Everything He does is wonderful”.
Friends, When God is in it, it is wonderful. God is on our side!
Mark 7, NLT
Jesus Heals a Deaf Man
31 Jesus left Tyre and went up to Sidon before going back to the Sea of Galilee and the region of the Ten Towns. 32 A deaf man with a speech impediment was brought to him, and the people begged Jesus to lay his hands on the man to heal him.
33 Jesus led him away from the crowd so they could be alone. He put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then, spitting on his own fingers, he touched the man’s tongue. 34 Looking up to heaven, he sighed and said, “Ephphatha,” which means, “Be opened!” 35 Instantly the man could hear perfectly, and his tongue was freed so he could speak plainly!
36 Jesus told the crowd not to tell anyone, but the more he told them not to, the more they spread the news. 37 They were completely amazed and said again and again, “Everything he does is wonderful. He even makes the deaf to hear and gives speech to those who cannot speak.”
The region of Decapolis (“ten cities”) was also Gentile territory, but before Jesus left the region, the people were glorifying the God of Israel (Matt. 15:30–31). The man they brought to Jesus was handicapped both by deafness and an impediment in his speech, and Jesus healed him. This miracle is recorded only by Mark and would be especially appreciated by his Roman readers, since the “ten cities” region was like a “Rome away from Rome.”
Jesus took the man away from the crowd so that the healing would be private and the man would not become a public attraction. Since the man was deaf, he could not hear our Lord’s words, but he could feel Jesus’ fingers in his ear and the touch on his tongue, and this would encourage the man’s faith. The “sigh” was an inward groan, our Lord’s compassionate response to the pain and sorrow sin has brought into the world. It was also a prayer to the Father on behalf of the handicapped man. (The same word is used in connection with prayer in Rom. 8:23, and the noun in Rom. 8:26.)
Ephphatha is an Aramaic word that means “be opened, be released.” The man did not hear Jesus speak, but the creation heard the command of the Creator, and the man was healed. Both the tongue and the ears functioned normally again. In spite of our Lord’s strict command for the people to keep quiet about the miracles, they told the news everywhere (see Mark 1:34, 44; 3:12; 5:43), and this resulted in a large crowd gathering and bringing people who were ill or handicapped. Even though Jesus was trying to enjoy some rest, He took time to heal them all. The result? These Gentiles “glorified the God of Israel” (Matt. 15:31).
Yes! God is for everyone. God is on our side. God created us to love Him back. Anyone who does not cannot have peace. He is God and we are not.
Do you believe God can do anything?
Do we behave like we know God can do anything?
Do we praise Him for everything He has done, is doing and will do in our lives? Are we as excited as these Gentiles who proclaimed, “Everything He does is wonderful!” Are we telling the world in need of a Savior about Him?
Dear Heavenly Father,
There are so many thoughts in this passage of Mark that are exploding in my mind. Thank you for assuring us of your love and your power over your creation. Thank you for reminding us that you love the world…you are for everyone you have created. You are on our side! Thank you for saving our souls. Thank you for restoring me to life with You 24/7. Thank you for everything you do is wonderful and perfect! Thank you for all you have done, are doing and will do in our lives.
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.