Antioch Southern Baptist Church
Order of Worship 11/20/22
- Worthy Of Worship (Judson)
- Your Great Name
- Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me
- How Great Thou Art
- IntroductionReadThen he returned from the region of Tyre and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment, and they begged him to lay his hand on him. And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue. And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”A Private AudienceRemember the last time Jesus was in the region of the Decapolis?And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region.His reception this time is much more enthusiasticStill can’t fly under the radar. Apparently had a broad healing ministry there. Matthew doesn’t record this specific miracle, but does tell us:Jesus went on from there and walked beside the Sea of Galilee. And he went up on the mountain and sat down there.And great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others, and they put them at his feet, and he healed them,so that the crowd wondered, when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they glorified the God of Israel.Mark doesn’t mention all that; zeros in on this specific incidentNo word of who brought the man, but given the region (Decapolis), likely Gentiles bringing GentileThe man is deaf and mute, likely congenital. Can’t hear, speech wouldn’t develop properlyAt that time in history, no cure. No cochlear implants. Hopeless. And someone in this condition would have been considered mentally handicapped. Jews even assumed deafness/blindness were God’s judgment for some sin:As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”I used to work with a man born deaf. Could read lips well, hard to understand. Even after cochlear implant. 21st century America, difficult life. Imagine being in that condition 2000 yrs agoI love this statement: “And taking him aside from the crowd privately,”Jesus treated this man as an individual human being, attended to his pressing needFor this man’s whole life, he had been scorned. But now he has the private attention of the one who created himBut how he did it requires some attention:A Bizarre Ritual?Jesus didn’t simply heal him w/ a word or a touch, like he often had. Look how Mark describes
he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue. 34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.”I puzzled over this: why this ritual?First, two options: either Jesus needed to go through these steps, or he didn’tAncient healers had elaborate rituals. Saliva even involved, especially from king or holy manBut I’ve seen enough to know that Jesus surely didn’t have to do all this. So that leaves option 2: Jesus didn’t *need* to perform these stepsMust be doing them for others’ benefitLeads to next 2 options: did he do it for those watching, or for the man himself?Easy: first took him away from the crowd privately, so he’s doing it for the man’s benefitI was still stumped: why?Sinclair Ferguson, little commentary, first clued me in: sign languageThe man can’t hear him speak, so he communicates to him in a way he could understand. Three signs:put his fingers into his earsspit and touched his tongue:Shows what he’s going to do for him. Man would have understood, especially with use of saliva, Jesus intended to heal him3. looked up to heaven: shows where the power for his healing will come fromThen he spoke—more in a secondBut before he spoke, Mark records that Jesus “sighed”; literally “groaned”Not a sound of contentmentAnd not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling,Related to word used in 8:12:The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”In ch 8 he’s groaning over the display of sinfulnessHere he’s groaning over the effects of sinThis is a groan of compassion, for a child of Adam whose life has been wrecked by the effects of sin on Adam’s race, and on him in particularJesus not handing out miracles like Oprah, “and you get a healing, and you get a healing, and you get a healing”No doubt this man was a sinner. Yet Jesus genuinely feels the pain of this man’s sufferingDo we?This week I heard about a young person coming home from school, talking about two girls here in our town who have announced they are now boys and are dating each other, while their peers applaud themNow do not misconstrue what I’m about to say: The sin of transgenderism is, of course, deeply evil and satanicTo a grown man dressing as a sexually provocative drag queen to read stories to children, I would say, you child of the devil, repent, before you perishBut for young teen girls, transgender ideology is like a corrosive acid; once the come in contact with it it consumes them. In some way they are as powerless in the face of this adult evil as this man was over his ears and tongueThese girls aren’t just sinning against God by acting against the sex he created them; they are victims of a world system, esp. education and social media, hell-bent on confusing them and destroying themLike the serpent beguiled Eve in the garden, our young girls especially are being deceivedI bring that up because do you know what the response was of the young person telling about these girls? Tears. He was groaning about the effects of sinSo do all Christians as we look at the destruction caused by human sinfulness in the worldUnlike us, Jesus is able to do something about it. And he does:And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.”And as usual w/ Jesus’ miracles, results are instant and total:And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly.Notice what Mark makes clear: it wasn’t touching ears or tongue that accomplished the miracle. It wasn’t the saliva. It was the authoritative word of the Lord that accomplished itMark even records the original word that Jesus spoke: probably Aramaic, language of Jews of that time. Mark records probably the first word this man had ever heard, and its instantaneous effectsMark translates it for his Gentile readers: be opened. It’s the word used, for instance, by Stephen, first martyr, at his stoning:And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”And his ears were opened, and his tongue was released, literally "the chain of his tongue was broken.” We have an expression, tongue-tied. Not this man, not any longerDon’t miss the creator-level majesty of this miracle. Ears didn’t work: ever studied the ear? Know how complex and delicate it is? Likely required creating or connecting nerves to brain, who knows what elseAnd didn’t just hear, spoke plainly. When someone gets a cochlear implant now, how many years of speech therapy does it take before they speak plainly? Jesus creates what’s missing in his ears and rewires his brain. No wonder the people’s reply:And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”Whether they knew it or not, they’re referring to a prophecy about the MessiahProphecy FulfilledMark used an interesting word to describe this man’s condition. English translation just says he “had a speech impediment”Word mogilalos, only used here in the NTUsed one other time, in Septuagint:Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;Mark writing for Gentiles, doesn’t refer to OT much, but think he does so here intentionallyWorth considering that prophecyIsa 34 contains prophecy of judgment on the nationsDraw near, O nations, to hear, and give attention, O peoples! Let the earth hear, and all that fills it; the world, and all that comes from it.For the Lord is enraged against all the nations, and furious against all their host; he has devoted them to destruction, has given them over for slaughter.Only gets worse from thereBut then, in ch 35, promises to bring the ransomed back, makes the promises we saw about the blind and the deaf and the muteAnd listen to this specific promise:The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad; the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the Lord, the majesty of our God.See that word Lebanon? Guess where that is?Right there in what Mark has called the region of Tyre and Sidon. Right where Jesus has just opened the ears of the deaf and loosed the tongue of the muteMark is telegraphing that the glorious end of the age has drawn near with ChristHe’s showing that the promises of God, that even Gentile Lebanon will be included in his salvation, have begun to be fulfilled. Salvation is coming even to the Gentiles. And all my Gentile friends said, “Amen”No wonder the people can’t keep silent though Jesus tells them toLet’s just close with that command:And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it.Here it is again: the Messianic secret, Jesus not wanting people to spread the news about him and his miracles. Before we’ve seen him tell Jews to keep the secret, now we see him telling Gentiles. Why? Same reason as we’ve seen before, and same for both groupsFor Jews, and Gentiles, it’s not enough to know about Jesus as a miracle-worker.If you’re going to truly have faith in him, you have to know what he’s done on the crossHe didn’t just come to hear the deaf; he came to save sinnersBut as Mark tells us, this man and the crowds couldn’t contain themselvesMaybe you say, if I saw a miracle like that, I couldn’t keep quiet about it either!If you have been saved by faith in Christ, you have seen such a miracle. You’ve seen an even greater miracleYou saw, in your own life, a resurrection. You saw a dead person, dead in trespasses and sins, brought to life by the Spirit of God through faith in Jesus ChristAnd friend, Jesus hasn’t commanded you to keep quiet about what he’s done. He’s told you the opposite: go spread the newsSo imitate your ancestors in the faith in this passage, and zealously proclaim itPrayInvitationSomething connected to sermonSomeone down front
2 Corinthians 5:2ESV
- Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)
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