Summary: Pentecost 16(B) - Our Lord Jesus Christ does EVERYTHING well. Jesus opens our ears to hear. Jesus opens mouths that speak.

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August 31, 2008 --


Mark 7:31-37

INTRO: The crowd saw the effect of Jesus’ miraculous healing of a man who could not hear and could hardly speak. Their conclusion concerning Jesus: “He has done everything well”. This is quite an understatement. Still we would all readily agree with such a general statement. As Christians we believe even more about our Lord Jesus. We know and confess that Jesus does everything perfectly. Jesus always does everything for the good of all his people. Therefore we can always rejoice. "I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he"(DEUTERONOMY 32:3,4). Moses writes this about God. Jesus is the Son of God and God himself. Jesus is our faithful God, upright, just, who does no wrong. The conclusion of the crowd will serve as our theme:


I. He opens our ears to hear.

II. He opens mouths that speak.


A. Verse 31. Jesus travels to the region of Decapolis in a very round about way.

1. Jesus goes 25 miles north (Tyre to Sidon) before going south. There is a reason.

2. Jesus plans his trips to be in just the right places at just the right time.

B. Verse 32a. Friends bring a man who needs help to Jesus. The man cannot hear and hardly talk.

1. Verse 33a. Jesus takes the man aside to do this miracle in private.

2. Jesus walks and works in humility as a Man of the cross not a man seeking glory.

C. Verse 33a. Jesus puts his fingers in the man’s ears. There is physical contact and a spiritual touch.

1. Verse 34. Jesus looks to heaven. He is filled with compassion just as he was at Lazarus’ tomb.

2. Jesus speaks to a man who cannot hear, “Ephphatha!” The man’s ears are opened, verse 35a.

D. Truly our Lord Jesus does everything well. Psalm 51 reminds us that we are sinners at the moment of our conception. We are sinners even before we take our first breath of air outside our mother’s womb. Do you think being born we are going to be instantly changed into friends of God? Scripture reminds us that we are all born as enemies of God. It is almost impossible for an enemy to become a friend. This is our natural condition as sinful human beings. "For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them"(MATTHEW 13:15). Note that the Lord would have the sinner turn, repent and be forgiven (cf. Ezekiel 33:7-11, first lesson for today).

E. We are tempted to think that only the unbelievers do not listen. Only the unbelievers have closed their eyes to the glories of God. The Lord chose prophets to go to his chosen people so that they too might re-pent. We close our eyes and shut our eyes against God whenever we sin. "Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people"(EZEKIEL 12:2). We daily sin much and also rebel against God and his word.

F. Thankfully our Lord Jesus does do everything well. We are not left on our own to try and save ourselves. That is simply impossible. Mankind will always pick the path that leads away from God. For by nature we are sinful and selfish, concerned only about ourselves. God in his infinite mercy and grace does everything well to overcome our rebellious, sinful nature. Our Lord Jesus opens our ears to hear. "In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll, and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see. Once more the humble will rejoice in the LORD; the needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel" (ISAIAH 29:18,19). With the still, small voice of his powerful Gospel our Lord Jesus opens our ears and speaks directly to our hearts. Jesus commands, “Ephphatha! Be opened”. Jesus opens our ears to hear.


Jesus opens our ears to hear the saving Gospel.


A. Verse 32. The man’s friends spoke first. They begged Jesus to place his hand on the man.

1. These were people who knew of this man, Jesus. They knew his power, his miracles.

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