Faithlife Sermons

2018-08-29 MArk 7

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Mark 7:31–37 CSB
Again, leaving the region of Tyre, he went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, through the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had difficulty speaking and begged Jesus to lay his hand on him. So he took him away from the crowd in private. After putting his fingers in the man’s ears and spitting, he touched his tongue. Looking up to heaven, he sighed deeply and said to him, “Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”). Immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was loosened, and he began to speak clearly. He ordered them to tell no one, but the more he ordered them, the more they proclaimed it. They were extremely astonished and said, “He has done everything well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

I. Jesus was not afraid to touch people.

Mark 7:31–35 CSB
Again, leaving the region of Tyre, he went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, through the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had difficulty speaking and begged Jesus to lay his hand on him. So he took him away from the crowd in private. After putting his fingers in the man’s ears and spitting, he touched his tongue. Looking up to heaven, he sighed deeply and said to him, “Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”). Immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was loosened, and he began to speak clearly.

A. How often does fear keep us from ministry?

Mark 7:33–35 CSB
So he took him away from the crowd in private. After putting his fingers in the man’s ears and spitting, he touched his tongue. Looking up to heaven, he sighed deeply and said to him, “Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”). Immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was loosened, and he began to speak clearly.
Illus: We live in a scared age. We live in a time when we lock our doors, shut ourselves away from outsiders.
When we are out, we look at everyone with suspect.
When we see people who are sick, we walk away, get out our germ X and take care of ourselves.
Where we were once people
This is so different from the ministry of Jesus. He went to the daemon possessed. When he healed, he did not just speak, but instead he touched those he was healing.
Beyond that, we as believers are not what we once were. When plagues hit ancient cities, the population fled except Christians who stayed to care for those hurting.
We are called to be a people who love the unlovable, touch the sick, care for the broken and minister to the rejects.
(CSB)
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels, with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations, will be gathered before him, and he will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
35 “ ‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me; I was in prison and you visited me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and take you in, or without clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick, or in prison, and visit you?’
40 “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

B. Mission will take us to love, touch and minister to people like Jesus did.

B.
Mark 7:33–35 CSB
So he took him away from the crowd in private. After putting his fingers in the man’s ears and spitting, he touched his tongue. Looking up to heaven, he sighed deeply and said to him, “Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”). Immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was loosened, and he began to speak clearly.
Illus: As a pastor I have noticed a trend in churches. Whether at potlucks or other events, there are always a few folks who might not fit in. At these events people tend to sit by themselves or not be included in the conversation.
Truthfully, you have probably been there and felt that desire to go sit somewhere else away from those people.
Jesus did not go to the powerful and together folks. He went to the broken and hurting. He came to those who everyone else would walk away from.
Not only that, Jesus did more than tolerate people, he touched them, he cared for them, and he loved them.
(CSB) 17 If anyone has this world’s goods and sees a fellow believer in need but withholds compassion from him—how does God’s love reside in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or speech, but in action and in truth.
17 If anyone has this world’s goods and sees a fellow believer in need but withholds compassion from him—how does God’s love reside in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or speech, but in action and in truth.

II. Though Jesus healed, he did not want to be known as a healer.

Mark 7:36 CSB
He ordered them to tell no one, but the more he ordered them, the more they proclaimed it.

A. Jesus’s healing was apart of his ministry, but it was not his ministry.

Mark 7:36 CSB
He ordered them to tell no one, but the more he ordered them, the more they proclaimed it.
Illus: If you look Jesus told the people not to talk about his healing. Why? because he did not want to be defined as simply a healer.
Jesus knew his work was bigger than healing or feeding. Those were apart of his ministry, but they were not the fullness of his ministry.
The bible calls believers to take care of the poor, help build the city, minister to the broken, love the unlovable, but if those don’t lead us to the gospel then they are empty gestures.
Jesus at this point was looking forward to the cross knowing that was why he existed.
In this balance we fault in two ways. First we have the temptation to abandon the gospel and only be about good works. We do clothes clossets, feeding ministries, etc and feel good about ourselves.
If our good works do not lead to gospel ministry they are hollow.
The other fault is to do gospel work without good works. We don’t want to be people who are void of the gospel so we abandon mercy ministries all together thinking they distract from gospel ministries.
Good works support gospel work. When we love people sacrificially, we model Jesus to them, and open the door to gospel conversations with them.
(CSB)
10 A thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
Illus:

B. We are called to meet physical needs, but this ministry is not an end in itself.

Mark 7:36 CSB
He ordered them to tell no one, but the more he ordered them, the more they proclaimed it.
Illus: There has been a lot of talk recently about social justice and the church.
The bible calls believers to take care of the poor, help build the city, minister to the broken, love the unlovable, but if those don’t lead us to the gospel then they are empty gestures.
In this balance we fault in two ways. First we have the temptation to abandon the gospel and only be about good works. We do clothes clossets, feeding ministries, etc and feel good about ourselves.
If our good works do not lead to gospel ministry they are hollow.
The other fault is to do gospel work without good works. We don’t want to be people who are void of the gospel so we abandon mercy ministries all together thinking they distract from gospel ministries.
Good works support gospel work. When we love people sacrificially, we model Jesus to them, and open the door to gospel conversations with them.
(CSB)
35 “I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in me will ever be thirsty again.

III. Healing was apart of a bigger plan.

Mark 7:37 CSB
They were extremely astonished and said, “He has done everything well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

A. For those watching closely, Jesus ministry was defined in this miracle.

Illus: These miracles were pointing back to the old testament prophecies. They were pointing to something much bigger.
Ilus:
Isaiah 35:4–5 CSB
Say to the cowardly: “Be strong; do not fear! Here is your God; vengeance is coming. God’s retribution is coming; he will save you.” Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
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