Summary: First sermon in series on how Jesus changed lives by His touch.
There are many miracles of Jesus recorded in the gospels whereby Christ conquers the day by simply speaking the words of victory.
Often, however, we see Jesus actually extending a physical touch to those in need of His grace, love and power.
Here in today’s scripture is the story of the healing of a hearing impaired man. It is one of those miracles of Jesus that advances in distinct stages.
First of all, notice Christ begins the miracle process by taking the man aside from the multitude.
Christ has compassion on the multitude - BUT HE IMPARTS HIS TOUCH ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS.
We see in the very next chapter, Mark 8:2 - "I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now been with me three days and have nothing to eat."
But later in that same chapter notice Mark 8:23: "he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the town..."
Anyone who at any time senses the need of being touched by the Master needs to GET ALONE WITH GOD.
The multitude has a way of keeping you distracted and preoccupied with its agenda. God, on the other hand, has a way of leading us to a place of solitude where He can have our undivided attention.
Many are those touched by the Master who spent time in isolated settings: Moses, David, John the Baptist, Paul, Elijah, Jonah, Daniel, Joseph, etc.
Don’t feel sorry for yourself if God has led you into a wilderness situation. He often leads people away from the crowd so He can touch them!
Jesus didn’t parade those He healed across a stage.
Quite often He instructed them to lay low about their miracle.
Yes we must get alone with God and He is not too busy to grant us an audience with Him. Problem is, we are often the ones too busy.
We would rather be with the crowd than with alone with God. And quite often the price we pay is His touch!
As in Jesus’ day, the crowds flock to the miraculous, but thin out for true worship and individual devotion to God.
One man was awaken by his wife in the middle of the night. She was about to give birth to their first child. She calmly told him that it was time to go to the hospital. Nervously, he dressed and grabbed the suitcase proclaiming, "If you’re going with me you’d better hurry up!"
Could he have gone to the hospital and had the baby without his wife? Of course not. No more than you and I can have God’s touch without God.
Next, notice how Christ put His fingers into the ears of the hearing-impaired man.
Earlier in this same chapter Mark records several warnings from Jesus about false teaching. The Pharisees and scribes couldn’t be trusted in their slanted religious teaching. Their man-made doctrine amounted to a distraction from the truth; a constant countermeasure of Satan against what God wanted the people to hear.
When we read of Jesus putting His fingers into the man’s ears we realize that He is touching the part of the man that needed to be healed - but we also wonder if He might be reinforcing His earlier warnings.
It is safe to say that we must SHUT OUT THE WORLD’S NOISE if we would touched by the Master.
If you study the gospel narrative closely you will see that the most difficult thing for Christ to do during His time on earth was not to heal people, but to get people to listen to Him!
In Christ’s day you could listen to the voice of the Roman government. But like many in America today, the prevailing belief was that religion had no place in the affairs of the state.
You could listen to the Jewish religious leaders. But they had so twisted the teachings of the Old Testament scriptures and intermingled them with their own traditions that they were teaching false religion.
The Greek philosophers taught that man could find meaning on his own. Yet they and their followers went around in circles and died hopeless and helpless people.
If you need to be touched by the Master you’d better tune out the world!
Sure there’s something to be said for being aware of what’s going on in the world around you but as the Bible warns, "Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character." (1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV)
Finally notice how Jesus spit and touched the man’s tongue with His own saliva.
This is a bit unorthodox but Christ never did anything witout a reason.
Now we know that saliva aids digestion by moistening and softening food. It also contains an enzyme to convert starch to sugar. In other words, saliva is not of any great medicinal value.