“On Your Mark”
Hear His Voice and Live (Chapter 7 Verses 31-37)
Meanwhile back in the Decapolis (v31-32). Remember? Where they did not want Jesus (Mark 5.1-20)? Had the delivered demoniac filled the area with the good news? What about your neighbours, your work mates? Have they heard the good news? How do you communicate to a deaf and dumb person? Well here is a lesson (vv33-35. The people have a clue as to how Jesus heals, he lays hands on them, so they request exactly that (v32). First Jesus gets the man’s attention by subtracting him from the excited crowd. The man realizes the Lord wishes to communicate with him, he is all ears, so to speak, only they are not working. Jesus does what everyone does who wishes to speak with the deaf and dumb (v33), he uses sign language which the man can understand. He puts his fingers in his ears, i.e., you have a hearing problem? Yes, that is correct. Then Jesus spits and touches his tongue, i.e., you have a problem with speech, your tongue? Yes, that is correct. Then (v34) Jesus looks up to heaven, and the man’s eyes shine with illumination, yes! yes! He has got it, divine help, and as he feels the breath of the sigh on his face, understanding, yes, only power beyond anything man could do! The command is issued, and the work is done (v35). Simple, is it not? Communicating the gospel I mean.
The Lord does not wish to be made a political King by the people (John 6.15), and so he tries as much as possible to keep a damper on things, by commanding silence (vv36-37). But the more he does so, the more they talk about him and his work (v36). Their praise of Jesus is definitely warranted (v37). He makes the deaf hear, and the dead live (John 5.25). And he opens the mouth of the dumb, and even puts a new song in their mouth (Psalm 40.3). The God we worship and adore is in the business of communicating, he does so, and nothing will hinder him. Do not limit God (Psalm 78.41). Do you question his ability to speak to someone you know and love? And just because they are not in a Church or reading a Bible, does not mean God cannot speak to them. Or just because they will not listen to you, does not mean they will not listen to him. Yes, he can open the deaf ears. But could we as Christians ourselves, sometimes be deaf to what God is saying? Have we listened to the clamour of other voices? And neglected the reading of the Bible, the preaching of it? Are our ears trained and tuned to hear him? You always hear what you are listening for, an expectant phone call perhaps? With the same intensity we need to listen for the Lord (v16).
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)