Summary: Jesus continues to invest into His disciples. As they travel, they discover divine moments of God-cidents!
God has His hand all over His children in everyday events. As we grow in the faith and in grace, we realize that we do have divine moments scheduled by God. We don’t always understand them or recognize them but they are there.
Today, we look at a passage of scripture that by all appearances doesn’t have a lot to explore. Ah, but it does. Let’s look at what God has to say in Mark 7:31-37.
“Again, departing from the region of Tyre and Sidon, He came through the midst of the region of Decapolis to the Sea of Galilee. Then they brought to Him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, and they begged Him to put His hand on him. And He took him aside from the multitude, and put His fingers in his ears, and He spat and touched his tongue. Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly. Then He commanded them that they should tell no one; but the more He commanded them, the more widely they proclaimed it. And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.” Mark 7:31-37
Living for Those Divine Moments
Introduction - Moments that would only happen to a dad and only a dad would appreciate…
PRECIOUS DAD MOMENT #1
One night a wife found her husband standing over their newborn baby’s crib. Silently she watched him. As he stood looking down at the sleeping infant, she saw on his face a mixture of emotions: disbelief, doubt, delight, amazement, enchantment, skepticism. He would stand back, shake his head and say, "Amazing," while smiling from ear to ear. Touched by his unusual display and the deep emotions it aroused, her eyes glistened as she slipped her arms around him. "A penny for your thoughts," she whispered in his ear. "Isn’t it amazing!" he replied. "When you take the time and really look close, how can anyone make a crib like that for only $45.99!"
PRECIOUS DAD MOMENT #2
As ham sandwiches go, it was perfection. A thick slab of ham, a fresh bun, crisp lettuce and plenty of expensive, light brown, gourmet mustard. The corners of my jaw were aching in anticipation, I carried it to the picnic table in our backyard, picked it up with both hands but was stopped by my wife suddenly at my side. "Hold Johnny, (our six-week-old son), while I get my sandwich," she said. I had him balanced between my left elbow and shoulder and was reaching again for the ham sandwich when I noticed a streak of mustard on my fingers. I love mustard. And I had no napkin. So I licked it off. It was NOT mustard. No man ever put a baby down faster. It was the first and only time I have sprinted with my tongue protruding. With a washcloth in each hand I did the sort of routine shoeshine guys do, only I did it on my tongue. Later my wife said, "Now you know why they call that mustard ’Poupon.’"
These dads will remember these “divine” moments. We usually don’t appreciate them until our children are “grown and gone.”
Jesus was teaching His disciples of His impending death. As we conclude the seventh chapter of Mark, Jesus is turning the corner and headed toward the cross. He has much to tell the disciples before that great event. He takes them into Phoenicia, gentile territory, away from the religious rulers of Israel who want Him killed. Let’s explore the scene.
First we find that Jesus makes…
…a CALCULATED journey in verse 31.
He leads them to regions where they may not be found. He is able to invest in them for some six to eight months His words of wisdom.
Look at the PLACES they traveled.
They went into the regions of Tyre and Sidon.
Tyre was considered a rock. It was a place of solitude and privacy. It was also a city of idolatry. It sustained the world’s wealth and worldliness.
Sidon was a Phoenician city between the Mediterranean Sea and the Lebanon Mountains. It was 20 miles North of Tyre. Being in the land of Canaan, it was also known as the land of purple.
Jesus and the disciples made a circuitous route to the region of the Decapolis. The Decapolis is known as the 10 cities. They include Damascus, Philadelphia (modern day Amman), Canatha, Scythoplis, Pella, Hippos, Gadara, Dion, Raphana and Gersa. Again, Jesus took them into predominately gentile regions. His popularity was not as well known…but He was still known because of previous miracles.