08 August 2010

Jesus Causes All Kinds of Talk

Mark 7:31-37

Jesus is His Father's Son.  Jesus listens to His Father and His Father alone.  Jesus does not follow the foolish, ignorant whims of men.  He knows who He is and He knows who His Father is.  This is noted time and again as I read through the recordings of Jesus.  In fact, I was about to title this post "Jesus is His Father's Son", but was lead to a different title since Mark seems to make a different point about people talking in this short account unique to Mark.

But it is noteworthy that the deaf man's friends, who are from the same region as the naked demoniac Jesus helped, wanted Jesus specifically to lay his hand on him to heal him.  Instead, Jesus takes the man aside (I normally don't choose cartoon pictures for my posts, but this one from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints website is the only one I found that was away from crowds.) and performs his own method.  We sometimes get so hung up on method that we forget to who we are worshiping or praying to.

Our Father is not so concerned about our methods as he is looking for hearts who know and love Him.  That's what He prescribes.  That is what brings answers to prayers.  "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."   Let us not be so hung up on how we do things that we forget about who really answers prayer and gives blessings freely.

"Be opened."  How wonderful and simple a command.  Sin has so marred God's creation.  It seems to be tangled up in our own mess.  And the more we struggle to escape on our own, the tighter it grips us.  This man couldn't hear and he couldn't communicate clearly.  How wonderful that this man who couldn't hear the stories about Jesus was brought by his friends to Jesus.

I am sure the man knew he was being taken to be healed.  I am sure he could feel the hope of his friends as they took him on this journeyHe could surely see people being healed by this man.  And then Jesus took him aside, away from his friends and the crowd.  I wonder if "Ephphatha" was the first word he heard that day?  Jesus caused him to hear and to speak clearly.

Curiously, in the same region where Jesus tells the reformed demoniac to tell people what God has done for him, he tells the deaf man's friends to tell no one.  Why?  I'm not sure.  Could it be that Jesus wants the focus of his healings to be on His Father?  Maybe.  Was it because his fame would make his larger mission harder?  Maybe.

But while Jesus could give sight to the blind, sounds to the deaf and speech to the dumb, even he could not control the reactions of people to his actions.  I can't be that hard on the friends.  What would I do in that circumstance?  Could I keep silent on the most wonderful thing I had ever experienced?  I doubt it.  Yes, Jesus is Lord and we need to listen carefully to his instructions since he is Lord and we are not.  But, I can certainly understand why the more Jesus insisted on silence, the more people would proclaim the news anyway.

The footprints of a Lord, the evidence of a kingdom that is at hand is changed lives.  As Christians, we marvel at how our Father through His Son has changed our hearts from stone to flesh, has changed our lives from futile to meaningful and has changed the way we relate to each other from loathing to loving and we proclaim to all we come in contact with that we are all witnesses to someone who has the power to even turn death around.  

I really do love being a follower of Jesus!


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