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Summary: If you want a message that’s got humor, a good message, and it will “preach,” this one’s for you. It’s an unusual healing by Jesus.

“BE OPENED”

Mark 7:31-37

INTRODUCTION

A. HUMOR: THE GARLIC REMEDY

1. Soon after Bernard reached his 110th birthday, a Houston Chronicle reporter visited him looking for a story. "So, Bernard," asked the reporter, "to what do you think you owe your longevity?"

2. "That’s easy," replied Bernard. "It’s garlic."

"Garlic?" said the reporter. "Can you explain further?"

"Well," replied Bernard, "I eat a clove of garlic every morning after breakfast. Then, after lunch, I eat another garlic clove. And finally, just before I go to bed, I eat my third clove of garlic."

3. "Good grief!" said the reporter. "And why do you think that works?" "Well," said Bernard, "whenever the Angel of Death comes to me and calls out, ‘Bernard, Bernard,’ I turn and face him, take a deep breath, and loudly say, "Whooooooooooo?"

B. TEXT

31 Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. 32 There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man.

33 After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man's ears. Then he spit and touched the man's tongue. 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, "Ephphatha!" (which means, "Be opened!"). 35 At this, the man's ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.

36 Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. 37 People were overwhelmed with amazement. "He has done everything well," they said. "He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak."

C. THESIS

1. This 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 pause for thought.

2. So we’re going see some unusual facts about this, the seven steps in the miracle, reason for the crowd’s amazement, and what this miracle means to us.

3. Title: “Be Opened!”

I. UNUSUAL SETTING FOR THIS MIRACLE

A. JESUS’ NORTHERNMOST TRIP

1. 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.

2. Mark is the only gospel-writer who records this particular incident from Jesus’ public ministry.

3. Not that healing people was unusual in the ministry of Jesus. Of the 3,779 verses of the Four Gospels, 727

(1/5) of them are devoted to Jesus’ healing ministry!

4. JESUS HEALED EVERYTHING AND ALL

a. “…healing every disease and sickness among the people” Mt. 4:23.

b. “…healing every disease and sickness” Matt. 9:35.

c. “He healed all who were sick” Matt. 12:15.

d. “He…healed [all] their sick” Matt. 14:14.

e. “People brought all their sick to him…and all who touched it [cloak] were healed” Matt. 14:34-36.

f. “…power was coming from Him and healing them all Luke 6:17-19.

5. 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.

6. 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!

B. AREA OF REJECTION REVISITED

1. 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.

2. But the formerly possessed man had been testifying

about Christ and we see how eager the people were to receive Him now!

3. Aren’t you glad Jesus gives a second chance to those who rejected him? Probably all of us did at some point; thank God He’s a God of second chances!

C. 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. May the Lord heal all such.

D. LOW EXPECTATIONS BY THE PEOPLE

1. "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.

2. 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.

3. 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.”

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