Summary: In this sermon we will see if we ever get more than we ask for from God, and how we should react.
MORE THAN YOU ASK FOR
Once at a fast-food restaurant, I took my burger back up to the counter, pointed to the picture on the overhead menu, and asked, Can I have one that looks like that?” The one I had was smushed, smudged, and generally unappealing.
At those places, I always get less than I ask for. And my reaction finally got the best of me.
Just once I’d like to get more than I ask for. Of course, I don’t know how I’d react if I did. Maybe dance a jig, or burst into song.
What about God? Do you ever get more than you ask for from God? What kind of reaction does that provoke in you?
Today, we are going to see a man who got more than he asked for from God. Specifically, from Jesus. We will also see a reaction to this. Then we will see if we ever get more than we ask for from God, and how we should react. Think today about what God would have to do to give you more than you ask for…
Trans: That brings us to Mark chapter 7. In chapter 7, Jesus will be faced with a man who needs God’s intervention. Read 31-32
A. Jesus gives this man healing
Now in the Decapolis, a league of 10 free cities, largely Gentile but with a significant Jewish population.
They bring a pitiful man, who is deaf & can hardly talk.
Not born deaf, since he could talk some.
They ask Jesus to bless the man – “place his hands on.” This refers to common Jewish practice of blessing.
Notice how Jesus responds to their request in v. 33.
Jesus does far more than bless the man.
Draws him aside for privacy, and personal contact.
Sticks one finger from each hand into the man’s ears.
He broke one of Mrs. Emmons’ primary rules: “Don’t put anything in your ear sharper than your elbow.”
He spits on his fingertips, touched the man’s tongue.
These are tremendous steps of identification – he enters the man’s world.
And he gives visible demonstration of his intent to heal!
That’s exactly what he does. Look at vv. 34-35.
He continues to communicate by giving a visible demonstration of where the power would come from:
He looked up to heaven
He expresses the deep emotion he always felt when faced with demon possession and disease – a deep sigh.
He speaks the healing words: “Be Opened!”
This is the 1st sound to pierce his ears in years!
His ears were opened and his tongue was freed!
This is much more than he asked for!
But Jesus gives him more…
B. This is the intervening that Isaiah talked about.
Notice what has happened here.
Mark uses rare and unusual word in v. 32 to describe the man’s speech problem. Not the usual, common, typical way of saying it. Why?
It gives us a clue that Jesus did more than heal this man.
The unusual word that Mark uses is the same word used in Isaiah 35 (in the LXX, the Gk translation of the OT)
Turn with me to Isaiah 35.
The book of Isaiah describes difficult days for the Jewish people. They faced war, political oppression, and God’s judgment for the spiritual demise. The people lived with a threat from a foreign power hanging over their head. This made living hard. Uncertain. The nation seemed to be in demise – what made it the marvel of the world was slipping away. The leader of the nation had sold out – made an unwise alliance. His personal life was a moral failure.
Those who thought of such things said the nation was in spiritual decline – people forgetting about God. There were many warning that if they kept going this way, they could expect God’s judgment. Some even said the nation wouldn’t survive.
The prophet Isaiah, for 34 chapters, has been detailing the coming judgment of God against the nations and the Jewish people for turning their back on God. They were already experiencing a foretaste of this. It would even result in them being conquered and taken off into captivity.
Then in chapter 35, God speaks up and says, don’t worry, it won’t always be this way. Sure, you will reap what you have sown, be judged and disciplined for your spiritual failure, but it won’t always be this way.
One day, he says, God will come to you. Notice this as I read vv. 1-6.
One day it will be better. Be strong, do not fear, your God will come. God will intervene. He will come to your rescue again. Things will be good, there will be blessing.
You can look forward to this day, a day when, among other things, the deaf will hear and the mute tongue shout. This will be how you know God has come to you.