A Constant theme of Mark is that when faith abounds, healing abounds. And often it is the faith of someone other than the one healed. We are going to see more of that in this passage.
We learn a number of important things about God from the Scripture prior to Christ.His Power / His Holiness / His Love / His Mercy / His Justice. In Christ’s humanity we experience God’s humility. His Humility… Demonstrated as the Suffering Servant: Jesus the God-Man. It could be argued that HUMILITY is the unique trait of the Triune God. Ultimate humility was demonstrated by the only True God in His incarnation. How Jesus The Christ lived and died was the epitome of humility.
The apex of Christ’s humility was His death on a cross. The power of that act cannot be overlooked! I would argue the power to forgive sin is released from the depth of God’s humility.
The cross is also the apex of the servanthood of The Messiah.The Gospel of Mark constantly shows Jesus in the role of the active servant / healer. To describe Jesus in that role the Author uses the word ‘Immediately’. The Author / H.S. Uses it 35 times! Immediately is used 79 time in the whole new testament, all but one of those is in the Gospels and Acts. Jesus of nazareth described Himself as a servant… He said the greatest among His followers would be the servant / slave of all.
What servants do is act immediately. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus is acting immediately, not after a day or two. God moving in active servanthood, servanthood is a demonstration of humility. The humble servant is active: ‘The Son of man came to serve, not be served.’ ~ J.C. The God of the universe condescending to servanthood of HIS creation? Yep!
What activates the humble servanthood of the Messiah is the humble faith of people. What seems to be most powerful is when people have humble faith in Jesus as God / Messiah on behalf of another!
Mark 7:24-27 [MOUNCE]
24 From there Jesus arose and went to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and wanted no one to know about it, yet He was not able to escape attention. 25 But immediately after hearing of Him a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit came and fell at His feet.
- Some manuscripts include Sidon to describe the AREA [Costal Phoenicia]
- Jesus puts Himself exactly where He want to be, to meet this woman
- Once she heard about Jesus she came in desperate, humble faith (prostrate)
- Her daughter was been possessed by a demon
26 The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth. She begged Jesus to drive out the demon from her daughter. 27 He said to her, “Let the children first be fed, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”
- The Phoenicians were the masters of the seas before other peoples
- She could be considered a gentile, like the Roman Centurion in Matt 8
- Most agree Jesus is referring to the Israelites as ‘the children’
- He is saying the people that God has chosen to foster the Messiah get 1st shot
- He is saying: ‘this is how my father says it is going to be done’
How will she respond?
28 But she answered Him, “Lord, even the dogs under the table feed on the children’s crumbs.”
- She certainly could have been offended, she was given the place of a dog
- Humbled before the God of all creation, she is good with the place of a dog
- She calls Him ‘Lord’…and Jesus knows she means it!
- That makes all the difference… Humble faith before Her Lord
29 And He said to her, “Because of this reply you may go, the demon has left your daughter.” And when she arrived at her house she found the child lying on the bed, the demon having departed.
- Jesus, God is honored, pleased, blessed and glorified by her reply [a non-jew!]
- The recognition of God in humility activates God’s power and BAM!
- Perhaps the demon was gone once she humbly declared Jesus Christ Lord
- The immediate action of a God who serves
31 Departing again from the region of Tyre, Jesus went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee in the midst of the region of the Decapolis.
- This seems like a crazy route but it makes sense… water is important [SEE MAP BELOW]
“A topographical map will show that there is a mountain (Mt. Meron) 3/4 of a mile high [with no supply of water] directly between Tyre and the Sea of Galilee. But there is a pass from Sidon through the mountains to the Jordan river valley, where foot travelers to Galilee could have fresh water for the journey.” ~ Tim McGrew
32 And they brought to Him a deaf man who could hardly speak and they begged Him to lay His hand on him. 33 Taking him aside from the crowd privately, Jesus put His fingers into the man’s ears, and after spitting He touched his tongue.
- ‘They’ brought to Him…Once agin it is the faith of another or others
- They begged, expressing humility born of faith, or is it faith born of humility?
- In private, not seeking attention, He get pretty personal, kind of right in there
- Not healing from afar [another healing of a non-jew]
34 Looking up to heaven, He gave a deep sigh and said to him, “Ephphatha!” That is “Be Opened!” 35 and immediately the man’s ear’s were opened, that which bound his tongue was loosened, and he began to speak clearly.
- The look to heaven, to direct the glory
- The sigh, to demonstrate association with the suffering
- Why does He say ‘Be Opened!’ ?
- He is connecting to Isiah 35, which tells of when the Messiah comes:
Then shall the eyes of the blind be lightened, and the ears of the deaf be opened. ~ Isiah 35:5
36 Jesus ordered them to tell no one, but the more He ordered them the more they spread the news. 37 They were absolutely astonished, saying, “He has done all things well. He makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak!”
- He told them not to but He knew they would
- The crowd in general is coming to the place of seeing Jesus as the Messiah
- In a way they are saying ‘He has passed all the tests’
- How many O.T prophecies did Jesus of Nazareth fulfill? [ 570 / 300 ]
When Jesus read the beginning of Isaiah chapter 61 in the synagog [read] and then declared that He was fulfilling this prophecy, He was saying ‘I Am’.
The Spirit of The Lord God is upon me, because The Lord has anointed me to announce good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted; to proclaim freedom to the captives, to let out into light those bound in the dark; to proclaim the year of the favor of God. ~ Isaiah 61:1-2a
It is similar to what Jesus told John the Baptist when he asked from prison if Jesus was the Messiah:
Now when John heard in prison about the works of the Messiah, he sent word through his disciples, asking Him, “are you the one who is to come, or should we wait for someone else?” Jesus answered them saying, “Go and tell John what you have heard and seen: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised and the poor are being told the good news.” ~ Matthew 11:2-6
In His humility, The Servant / Healer Messiah changes lives! How will you approach Him for your self and on behalf of others? Humbly
The active nature of God in people’s lives is fully displayed in the Gospel of Mark: ‘Emmanuel’.
We see the biblical doctrine of The Messiah, Jesus, coming for all peoples!
God responds to our humility before Him on behalf of others with healing.
People need help coming to Jesus to be healed, God honors your faith for others.
The Gospel of Mark constantly demonstrates how Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah.
The Messiah comes to serve and heal in humility; our response is to believe He is who He proves to be.
When was the last time you got on your face and begged your ‘Lord’ to do something for you or for someone else?
Do you get offended by God if He doesn’t treat you how you want to be treated? What is the cure for that?
What can you do to ‘bring people to Jesus’ like ‘they’ brought the deaf mute man?
Following Jesus example requires getting into the ‘Nitty Gritty’ with hurting people, how are you doing that?