Birthdays and Anniversaries:
None this week
Darlyne Stewart, Karl’s sister, her cancer seems to be under control for the moment.
Shirley Weeks, Steve’s mom, is not well.
Sharon Best, Steven’s mom, still recovering from surgery.
Sarah, Chris Girvin’s sister, on hospice care
Eleuterio Oviedo recovering from knee replacement surgery
Doris Coley, regular listener, also recovering from knee surgery.
Robert and Sue Waller, health issues.
David Shaffer, has been declared free of leukemia! Going back to work. Praise God!
Darla Nitti, Wendi’s mom, stage 4 kidney disease, stroke. New living situation!
Leta, has a recurring cancer, prayer request from her granddaughter via our website.
Tammy Jones, Weeks’ neighbor, kidney failure/dialysis
“Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him.” (Mark 7:31-32 NIV)
Trying to imagine what it was like to be in Israel in the first century when Jesus was there is difficult for us at the best of times. Here was a man, from outward appearance, but he was like the prophets of old. As he travelled he healed people as well as taught them the word of God. When Jesus would enter an area people who had heard about him would flock to see and hear him. Because he was known for healing people, they would bring those with them who were in need of healing.
When he was in the region of the Decapolis a man who was deaf and could hardly talk was brought to Jesus to be healed. Being deaf would make speech very difficult on its own, but it would seem that this man also had some type of speech impediment and was regarded as ‘mute’.
The Decapolis, literally ‘the ten cities’, was an area that was heavily influenced by Greek and Roman culture and was inhabited largely by Gentiles, but also had a Jewish population. Located primarily in modern Jordan, it was the area east of the Sea of Galilee, extending north and south, with the exception of Scythopolis (Beit She’an) in Israel.
“After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spat and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, ‘Ephphatha!’ (which means ‘Be opened!’ ). At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosed and he began to speak plainly.” (Mark 7:33-35 NIV)
Jesus healed people in a variety of ways. This time it was a bit unique, putting his fingers in the man’s ears, spitting and touching the man’s tongue, then looking up to heaven and saying, “Be opened!” Immediately the man could hear and “his tongue was loosened”, enabling him to speak properly (which lets us know that there was some type of speech impediment).
“Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. People were overwhelmed with amazement. ‘He has done everything well,’ they said. ‘He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.’” (Mark 7:36-37 NIV)
This is the amazing point of this incident. Although Jesus commanded those who saw this miracle to not tell anyone, they couldn’t help but to tell others! They couldn’t keep it to themselves!
What about us? We are the recipients of God’s love and great blessings. As Christians we have experienced forgiveness of our sins through the death of Jesus. We have the hope of living eternally with him because of his resurrection from the dead. All of these should cause us to be “overwhelmed with amazement”. But what do we do? Are we so amazed at what God has done for us through Jesus that we can’t help but tell others? Or are we afraid to tell others about Jesus?
This is a needed lesson for all Christians today. As disciples of Jesus we’ve been told to tell others the good news (Matthew 28:19-20). Maybe we’ve lost the amazement at all that Jesus has done for us. Although the pressure from many around us is to keep quiet about our faith, we need to be like the people of the Decapolis and tell all that we can about our Teacher and Saviour, Jesus the Messiah. The more they try to keep us quiet, the more we should keep talking about him!
Jon Galloway link to original article
Photo of Scythopolis, Israel, by Jon Galloway.