By: Walter Jones
Scripture: Mark 7:31-37
Date: 23 September 2018 – Bikers Church
Tags: Divine Healing, Deaf And Dumb
Story of Bernard and longevity
This miracle may appear simple but was a substantial miracle of Jesus. That would be reason enough to study it. But there are some mysterious sidelights that give one even more cause for thought.
UNUSUAL SETTING FOR THIS MIRACLE
JESUS’ NORTHERNMOST TRIP
Jesus had just traveled all the way to Sidon. This is the furthest point to the north that Jesus ever went. Then He went to the Decapolis. Tonight Jesus is here, just to meet with you. individually. “where two or three are gathered there He is…”
Mark is the only gospel-writer who records this particular incident from Jesus’ public ministry.
Not that healing people was unusual in the ministry of Jesus.
Much of Jesus’ ministry are devoted to healing!
JESUS HEALED EVERYTHING AND ALL (read through the gospels)
Jesus said, “He that hath seen Me, has seen the Father.” You see, God is a Healing God! Just as it’s the devil’s nature to destroy, it’s God’s nature to heal.
We know it’s God’s will to heal the sick because God healed people throughout the O.T. and because Jesus spent the largest part of His ministry healing the sick!
AREA OF REJECTION REVISITED
The Decapolis, “Ten Cities,” was where Jesus had previously healed the Gadarene demoniac. The people there had rejected Jesus; they asked Him to “move on” to somewhere else.
But the formerly possessed man had been testifyingabout Christ and we see how eager the people were to receive Him now! when Jesus does something for you, you cannot be quiet. it is near impossible. when Jesus touch you, you can never be the same again.
A DEAF-MUTE BROUGHT TO JESUS
It’s hard to imagine being in that condition. At least he wasn’t blind. Many people have partial spiritual senses – they can see a little of what God’s doing, but they can’t hear from God and don’t feel the liberty to speak for God. Christians today dont speak about God due to compromise and all sorts of stuff in our lives. (Undercover christians) May the Lord heal all such.
LOW EXPECTATIONS BY THE PEOPLE
“They begged Him to lay His hand on the man.” They wanted Jesus to give him a ‘blessing.’ People brought their children to Jesus for Him to bless them, so He put His hands on them.
That’s all that they were expecting Jesus to do. That they faith was small is confirmed by their overwhelming astonishment after Jesus healed the man.
We have the tendency to “low ball” our requests, to only ask for the minimum. We need to have more faith! Jesus said, “As is your faith, so be it unto you.
THE SEVEN PARTS OF THIS MIRACLE
In Mark 7:33-34, our Lord Jesus did seven things in performing this miracle:
HE TOOK THE MAN ASIDE
The first thing Jesus does is to take the man off to the side, apart from the midst of the crowd. Jesus wants his full attention, no distractions. we were called to stand out. today we blend in, this is why one cannot tell the difference between the world and the church. we cannot go with the flow anymore. for a child of God it is a matter of life and death to spend time alone with God. come out from amongst the crowd!
Another reason could have been the unbelief of some in the crowd. At Nazareth, “And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith” Mt. 13:58. “He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village” Mk. 8:23.
Sometimes, to get our full attention, the Lord has to take us aside. this is why God allows things to happen to us or allows the thing we hang on the most to be removed or sacrificed, so that He can have your full attention. Jesus wants us to have a face-to-face with Him. Job said, “I know whom I have believed!” Know Him!
PUT HIS FINGERS IN HIS EARS
Second, Jesus put His fingers in the man’s ears. The Greek is even stronger, “thrusting [Gr. word, ebalen, (ekballo)] His fingers into his ears.”
The Lord put them in and pulled them out, as if to make way for sound to enter. The Lord wants us to hear His voice!
Third, the next thing Jesus does is to . . . spit? What’s up with that? Some think the spitting was a gesture of blessing. In the Big Fat Greek Wedding they knew of two magic remedies: Windex and spitting. i asked myself what is the significance of spitting. Jesus does it a couple of times.
Alfred Edersheim, a converted Jewish scholar says that the Jewish Talmud mentions spitting on the tongue as a means of healing. Edersheim also said that saliva was universally accepted for cures by the Rabbis.
I know one time I always spit: when I get something nasty in my mouth. The Lord told the Church at Laodicea (R 3:16) that because they were lukewarm, “I am about to spit you out of My mouth!” Maybe this man had been lukewarm! church we need to be so careful not to be court somewhere in the middle. are you luke warm today?
HE TOUCHED THE MAN’S TONGUE
Fourth, “after spitting,” it says, Jesus “touched his tongue.” Possibly Jesus was dealing with his inability to speak. Many of God’s people need freedom/ liberty to be able to speak up for God! An anointing to get up and get out for Jesus & break their cover. the world today does not need undercover brothers or sisters.
James said, “The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell!” Jm. 3:6.
Isaiah had an impure mouth so God sent an Angel to touch his lips with a coal of fire (Isa. 6:6-7). His guilt was taken away and his sin atoned for. Maybe that happened here! Maybe we need our lips touched!
HE LOOKED UP TO HEAVEN
Fifth, He looked up to heaven. Jesus is directing man’s gaze heavenward. David said, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills— from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.” Ps. 121:1-2.
At the feeding of the 5,000, Jesus…LOOKED UP TO HEAVEN and blesses the fishes and loaves (Mat.14:19).Jesus was interceding for this man with the Father asking Him to bless what He was about to do.
HE SIGHED DEEPLY
Sixth, He SIGHED DEEPLY. The dictionary defines ‘sigh’ like this. ‘To take in and let out a long, deep, audible breath, especially in expressing sorrow, fatigue, longing, etc.’ It must have been loud to be heard in the crowd.
I wonder how many times God had heard this man sigh in sorrow, fatigue, longing, etc? How many times has He heard YOU sigh? you are where you are in life and maybe you have just accepted that, thats where you will stay. God wants you free from that place.
How wonderful that Jesus stands with us and so completely shares our sorrow, hurts, & disappointments, etc., that He sighs with us!
HE SPOKE THE WORD “Ephphata”
Lastly, Jesus spoke the Word, “Ephphatha!” After putting his fingers into the man’s ears, after spitting and touching his tongue, after looking up to heaven and sighing, now Jesus is ready to speak and to do his mighty work.
One word, in Aramaic, the word “Ephphatha,” which means, “Be opened.” “Ephphatha!” Mark was an eyewitness & recalled the exact word. This is the only Aramaic word in his otherwise Greek-written gospel. It really stands out. “Ephphatha!” “Be opened!”
Ephphatha comes from the Hebrew word Patah which means “door,” and Jesus commanded it to be opened! Immediately his ears were opened and his tongue was loosed.
This same sort of powerful, divine word was spoken at Creation. “And God said, ‘Let there be light.’ And there was light.” God called the things that be not as though they were. Jesus reveals Himself again as the Creator! in this week and months to come, may you experience doors being commanded to be opended.
III. AMAZEMENT OF THE CROWD
ULTIMATE SOURCE OF THEIR AMAZEMENT
“And they were astonished beyond measure.” The effect of this miracle “blew their doors off.”
Suddenly, they connected the dots from 700 years before where the prophet Isaiah had predicted about the Coming Messiah;
“Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.” (Is.35:5-6).
They began zealously proclaiming, “‘He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.'”
Jesus “charged them to tell no one.” This was a practical request.
But with a miracle like that, how could anybody not tell their friends and family what they had seen?
We don’t have to hold it back today. Now the Lord wants us to tell everyone what Jesus’ done for us!
GOD’S WORD TO YOU TODAY
Are you needing a miracle today? To you Jesus speaks a mighty “Ephphatha!” “Be opened, be loosed from your burden! My blood, shed on the cross, releases you from bondage!”
Isaiah heard the wonderful declaration, “Behold, your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.” The sure hope of total healing is yours today because of Christ.
Jesus says to you spiritually, “Be opened!” Your spiritual ears are opened to hear the Voice of God calling to you; to understand the Good News that God has spoken.”
“Your tongue, that was tied, is loosed to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father! You can now praise his holy Name!” (For “No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.”)