Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, December 2nd, 2023
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Bible Commentaries
Mark 7

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

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Verses 1-23

  1. Intro:
    1. Story: So I was placed on a case this week for jury duty. The D.A. questioned me. “Mr. Bell, being a religious man, it says somewhere in the Scriptures, I don’t know where, but it says that there must be 2 witnesses to convict, but if we have 1 & its a sure thing, would you have a problem w/that?” I said no. He turned & walked away. I still had the mic. I said “would you like me to explain the Mosaic Law, & what Moses meant by that in Deuteronomy?” We all laughed. He said, “maybe afterward Mr.Bell.” I said, “well you asked a preacher!”
      1. This was found in the bible, but often people quote things from the bible, when that isn't its source. People often think Cleanliness is next to Godliness is in Scripture. It’s not. And I think I found a place that says the opposite, so I chose for my Title: Cleanliness is next to Godlessness.
    2. Illustration: Once when I was in Sophia, Bulgaria I found a wonderful deal on an antique pocket watch. It looked old/rustic/cool…but, it only ran for a few days…if that!
      1. No matter how often I wound it or how many times I changed the hands…it just didn’t help. [it did have correct time twice a day!]
      2. The most important thing about a watch is to tell time. So, what I learned that day, when it comes to watches...what’s most important is...what is inside!
        1. This morning, Jesus challenges the religious leaders with what’s most important. Inside or outside? - Mouth or heart? - Washing hands or washing hearts?
      3. Keep in the back of your minds a few questions: What is holiness any ways? Does Jesus ever ditch church, & if so when?
    3. Outline: The Delegation; The Degradation; The Defilement.
  2. THE DELEGATION (1-5) Pharisees & Scribes from Jerusalem
    1. (1) A delegation of religious leaders from Jerusalem travel about 100 miles to check Jesus out.
      1. Jesus ministry is front page news & has reached all the way down to Jerusalem.
      2. These men didn’t come to see if Jesus was the Messiah…but instead to find “a fly in the ointment”…& to this end, they were masters.
        1. They could be straining their water & find the smallest gnat, but somehow miss the camel.
        2. They were majoring on minors, straining out a gnat, while minoring on majors, swallowing a camel. And being so busy with small details, they never dealt with the important matters. (Lev.11:4,23 both were forbidden as food)
    2. This was not a matter of personal hygiene but of religious ritual.
      1. They ate w/their hands so of course they’d wash up before a meal, but this was dealing with their prescribed ceremonial washing!
    3. (3) In a special way – literally means w/the fist. (Exact meaning unknown) Some think up to the elbow. (Like a doctor, nurse, surgeon scrubs in/up)
    4. Traditions of the elders – The Mishna at the end of the 2nd century said, Tradition is the fence around the law.”
      1. I think the Law needed protecting about as much as a lion in a field needs protection around him.
    5. During the late 2nd century AD, these oral teachings (traditions) were written down in what was called the Mishnah (a book w/6 divisions: agriculture, festivals, marriage, civil life, crime, & ceremonies)
      1. To this was added a commentary called the Gemara.
      2. Together the Mishnah & the Gemara formed the Talmud.
      3. These contained 248 commandments (thou shalt’s); & 365 prohibitions (thou shalt not’s)
      4. As one Rabbi put it, “The Scriptures are water, the Mishnah is wine; the Gemara spiced wine.” (David Hewitt, Mark, pg.106.)
    6. The Jewish Mishnah contained no less than 30 ch.’s on the cleansing of vessels.
      1. This Hand washing ritual came from the command for priests to wash their hands (Ex.30:19; 40:12). It was a reminder to come to God clean (i.e. w/clean hearts)
      2. All pious Jews started doing this about 200 yrs before Christ.
      3. So, by Jesus day, it was firmly entrenched as a requirement for those who wanted to be clean.
        1. They completely lost the original idea of clean hearts.
  3. THE DEGRADATION (6-13) When Lips supersede Heart
    1. (6) Honor w/lips, but not heart – Jesus says, I’ll tell you why My disciples don’t keep your traditions – Look what Isaiah said would happen when tradition takes the place of truth.
      1. There is a big difference between tradition & truth.
        1. Tradition is outward; Truth is inward. Tradition has to do w/ritual; Truth has to do w/reality.Tradition is something you keep; Truth is something that keeps you.
      2. What a tragedy that religious people would ignorantly practice their religion & become worse for doing it!
        1. Jesus doesn’t say, “well as long as you’re sincere!”
    2. (6b) Heart is far from me – You can’t think your way into the kingdom of God.
      1. “Christianity is a rational faith, a reasonable faith, but you do not get into the kingdom head 1st. You get into the kingdom heart 1st.” (Jerry Vines, pg.130.)
    3. (7) Hypocrites – You folks have turned religion into play-acting.
      1. We are hypocritical when we talk about love but never love; Talk about forgiving but never forgive; Talk about witnessing but never witness.
    4. I believe there are a great # of services that Jesus Christ would never attend.
      1. Worship Music - some would think of Him not attending because of “style, the volume, or lack of hymns”. - I’m thinking, no, more like when a bunch of folks that have gotten together and are “singing” because, “thats what we do every week.” I think Jesus dismisses Himself. Do you think He sticks around to be polite? “You honor Me with singing on the outside, but you plan out your week on the inside.”
        1. ​​​​​​​Do you think He sticks around for your worship if in fact you hold unconfessed sin & bitterness inside?
      2. How about Sermons? What if the sermon is a mini self-help seminar on becoming a better you? That’s moralism & its not helpful. - Any gospel which says only what you must do & never announce what Christ has done...is no gospel at all!
    5. (11) But you say… –
      1. Illustration: You’ve seen many moms place a very thin blanket over their babies in their strollers (keep the sun off). But what would happen if they just kept placing blanket after blanket. It doesn’t matter how thin these blankets are…the baby would suffocate.
        1. Over the years the Pharisees had overlaid the biblical teaching w/vast amounts of spoken teaching blankets & oral tradition blankets.
        2. Though admirable, the original aim of protecting the baby, became its demise.
    6. (10-13) Now Jesus gives an illustration of the point He just made.
      1. First Jesus quoted from Isaiah & now He’ll pull from Moses…How can the Pharisees argue with the Law & Prophets?
    7. Corban – Mark explains to his Roman audience this Hebrew word a gift to God; devoted to God.
      1. ​​​​​​​If a son wanted to avoid his responsibility, of caring for his parents in later life, he simply needed to declare his money Corban…dedicated to God.
      2. So, by observing what man allowed they could avoid what God required.
        1. Oh, Jesus is concerned about us taking care of our parents!
      3. And this was just 1 example of many, claimed Jesus (13).
    8. Note the digression here: 4 layers of thin blankets that smother:
      1. Replacing (7)(heart for lips); Neglecting (8)(God’s commandments); Then, Rejecting (9)(God’s commandments); Invalidating (13)(no effect regarding the Word of God).
      2. Aren’t these the steps of most “Cults”? – Teachings that are built around a prophet or prophetess whose writings eventually replace the Word of God.
      3. What a false confidence man’s traditions have given to so many sincere people.
        1. As if what you do on the outside, will somehow change the inside.
    9. So what is the balance or safe place with tradition?
      1. Learn from what other Christian communities have learned over the years (i.e. traditions of old)
      2. Never put it on the same level as the bible.
      3. We must constantly differentiate between what is Scriptural & authoritative & traditions, which may or may not be relevant or helpful at any given time.
        1. (eg. Scriptural - the church meets weekly on the 1st day of the week. But tradition dictates time & location, & what we do when we meet)
      4. Scripture is God-breathed; Tradition is man-made!
      5. Scripture is from God & is Authoritative & Primary; Tradition is from man & is secondary & must remain flexible.
      6. Traditions must always be subordinate to God’s Word.
      7. We must constantly assess our traditions in the light of Scripture.
    10. What traditions will we hand down to the next generation, yet consider them doctrine?
      1. Will we at Calvary require the next generation to wear Hawaiian shirts? Lead worship w/an acoustic guitar? Use aluminum communion trays? Have male worship leaders? Have a Dove as their logo?
        1. None of these are bad (maybe Hawaiian shirts) but will it be required of the next Calvary gen?
      2. One generation, Your hair’s too long. The next generation, Your hairs to short, it makes you look mean, like a white supremacist.
      3. We shouldn’t pass on Non-Essentials; we must pass on Jesus.
  4. THE DEFILEMENT (14-23) Think Internal not external; Think Potential b4 Actual
    1. The issue? – Outward religious traditions vs. Inward living faith.
      1. Imagine the disciples requesting of Jesus, “Lord, teach us to wash!”
    1. (15) William Barclay calls this “well-nigh the most revolutionary passage in the N.T.”
      1. Dr. Vincent Taylor said, “[Jesus’ pronouncement]…was destined to free Christianity from the bondage of legalism.”
    2. Sin is Internal before it is External (17-19)
    3. (19) It is the heart that must be changed. - External rituals cannot do that.
      1. The capacity for fellowship w/God is not spoilt by outward things like unclean hands but by personal sin.
      2. Prov.4:23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.
        1. NLT Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
    4. Sin is Potential before it is Actual (20-23)
    5. (21,22) Here Jesus gives us a catalogue of 13 ugly sins. It is an X-ray of the human heart.
      1. All of these sins lurk as a potential inside of all of us.
      2. So Jesus calls for purity, holiness, on the inside, from a changed heart from God.
        1. In the forests of northern Europe & Asia lives little animal called the ermine, known for his snow-white fur in winter. He instinctively protects his white coat against anything that would soil it. Fur hunters take advantage of this unusual trait of the ermine. They don’t set a snare to catch him, but instead they find his home, which is usually a cleft in a rock or a hollow in an old tree. They smear the entrance and interior with grime. Then the hunters set their dogs loose to find and chase the ermine. The frightened animal flees toward home but doesn’t enter because of the filth. Rather than soil his white coat, he is trapped by the dogs and captured while preserving his purity. For the ermine, purity is more precious than life. (Our Daily Bread, April 21, 1997)
    6. (23) Some, like the Pharisees of old, have a very defective theology of man & sin and think that man is intrinsically/inherently good???
      1. And because of this they treated symptoms w/their legalism, rather than dealing w/ the root problem!
      2. Yes the bible deals with the fruit of sin; but better…it deals w/the root of sin. It doesn’t only deal w/the flow of sin; but the very fountain of sin!
      3. The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately(incurably) wicked; Who can know it? - For the wages of sin(not sins) is death.
        1. “We are not sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners!”
    7. (Spurgeon) “If sin had not been in you, it could not have come out. All the trouble in the world does not put sin in the Christian. It brings it out.”
      1. You might think, “My wife makes me so angry!” – No, anger was already there in your heart & this just gave it opportunity to come out!
    8. So, what’s the remedy?
      1. It’s not education, culture change, social reform, nor revolution, but regeneration.
      2. The heart can be purified only by faith.
    9. Wrap up: Your choice: Keep polishing your broken watch; or receive a new mainspring, from The Watch-Maker, for your heart today.
      1. Ezek.36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

Verses 24-30

  1. Intro/Title:
    1. It happened in Southwest Asia in the 14th Century. The army of Asian conqueror Emperor Tamerlane (a descendant of Ghengis Khan) has been routed, dispersed by a powerful enemy. Tamerlane himself lay hidden in a deserted manger while enemy troops scoured the countryside. As he lay there, desperate and dejected, Tamerlane watched an ant try to carry a grain of corn over a perpendicular wall. Slide#8 The kernel was larger than the ant itself. As the emperor counted, 69 times the ant tried to carry it up the wall. 69 times he fell back. On the 70th try he pushed the grain of corn over the top. Tamerlane leaped to his feet with a shout! He, too, would triumph in the end! And he did, reorganizing his forces & putting the enemy to flight.
      1. We love stories of those who persevered.
  2. PUPPY CHOW (24-30) - Title & read passage
    1. The brightest jewels are found in the darkest places!
      1. This is the only occasion where Jesus ventures beyond the border of Israel.
      2. Tyre & Sidon – In the region of Phoenicia. Modern Lebanon.
        1. They were 2 coastal towns on the Med. (30/40 N. of Capernaum)
        2. They were the descendants of the Canaanites. (Gentile Country) [map: we’ll do a circle clockwise]
      3. Picture this women as a the bright jewel found in a dark place.
    3. What 1st appears to be rudeness...I picture Jesus slowly turning a diamond, allowing the light to dance off each facet, enjoying every color it throws.
    4. Also read Mt.15:21-28.
    5. The Silent Treatment - Mt.15:23a But He answered her not a word.
      1. Her faith pushes on despite His closed ear & closed mouth.
      2. Now contrast that w/individuals today who say, unless I hear God I will not believe.
      3. She shows incredible Job like faith, which didn’t just say, “Though he smite me...”, but instead, “though He slay me…yet will I trust him.”
    6. The Snubbing Treatment - Mt.15:23 Send her away, for she cries out after us.
      1. Her noise annoyed them.
      2. She had many strikes against her: [1] her nationality was against her [2] she was a woman in a male dominated world [3] Satan was against her (1 of his demons took control of his daughter) [4] the disciples were against her [5] and for a time it even looked like Jesus was against her.
      3. Samuel Rutherford (the saintly Scottish minister) who suffered greatly for Christ, once wrote to a friend, “It is faith’s work to claim and challenge loving-kindness out of all the roughest strokes of God.”
        1. And that’s what this woman did!
      4. “Send her away, for she cries out after us”…excuse me?...“us”?
        1. No she never cried after them…only after her Master.
      5. Men shouldn’t treat a lady this way. Disciples shouldn’t treat a seeker this way. Christians shouldn’t treat anybody this way.
      6. They tried to chase away this she-dog with rocks & sticks, but she wouldn’t leave.
    7. The Select Treatment - Mt.15:24 I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Is.
      1. This must have felt like an elephant sitting on her heart.
        1. She could have said, “well then, He is not here for me.” Nope.
        2. Mt.15:25 says then she came & worshiped Him, saying, Lord, help me!
        3. Press through all obstacles & throw yourself a His feet. Knowing that, “the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.”
    9. Mark 7:28 Yes, Lord.
      1. She doesn’t dispute that Gentiles were to Israel as dogs but says, “Yes, Lord.”
        1. But she wasn’t coming to him on the goodness of her cause, but on the Goodness of His heart. – Not on how she presented her plea, but instead on the excellence of His power.
      2. It is our task to simply be empty…so He can fill us. It is our task to confess our filthiness…so He can wash us.It is our task to be less than nothing…so He can be more than everything to us.
      3. You’re a dog – Yes Lord, but I will wag my tail, fetch, sit up, even beg for my Master.
      4. You’re a sheep – Yes, Lord, but sheep need a shepherd!
      5. You’re a cat – No Lord, not a Cat!
        1. Maybe we’re most like a cat:
          1. A cat thinks the world revolves around them and their cat dish.
          2. They eat, lay around, & come near their master only when they feel like it.
          3. They make you feed them & even clean up their box after them.
          4. And yet after all that, He still graciously calls, “here kitty, kitty!”
    11. Faith Pleads but never Disputes.
      1. Note: she never says, “but” or “if”, not even “yet” (vs.28 not in orig.)
      2. Faith in God implies agreement with what God says.
        1. You are comparable to a little dog. – Truth Lord. (Tru-dat)
        2. I can’t feed the little dogs before the children. – Truth, Lord, that wouldn’t be right.
        3. It’s not your time yet. – Yes, Lord, 1st the children at meal time,…but the dogs right after dinner right? :)
      3. God’s Word is sometimes like a salve to a wound; and other times a knife that cuts, or a sword that slays! – Don’t fight against it – Say, “Truth Lord!”
    12. FAITH ARGUES (not argumentative)
    13. Her arguments were correct, strictly logical, & thorough.
      1. The best way to reason with a man is to take His own statements and argue upon them.
      2. She was bold like Jacob wrestling with the angel, who even overcame the angel. The angel said, "Let Me go, for the day breaks." But Jacob said, "I will not let You go unless You bless me!"
    14. Position
      1. ​​​​​​​Yes, dog I am, but you have come all the way here to Sidon.
        1. I am not like the scavenger dog out in the street; I am a little puppy under your table.
    15. Relationship
      1. ​​​​​​​Their masters table - Mt.15:27 Master.
        1. She could not call him Father. She could not claim the privilege of a child. But she could call Him Master. And Masters feed their dogs (at least crumbs).
        2. The woman, being a Gentile, had no covenant right to come to Jesus and call Him “Son of David” (Matt. 15:22); but she could call Him “Lord” and have her prayer answered.
          1. Jesus was not rude to her; He was only testing and strengthening her faith.
      2. Like the prodigal that came back content with just being one of his fathers hired servants.
        1. She spied out a dog’s relation to his master & made the most of it.
        2. She is the only one we know of that ever answered Jesus’ mini-parables back with a mini-parable.
    16. Children
      1. ​​​​​​​In the East, as a rule, a dog is not allowed indoors. They are foul creatures that roam about uncared for & half wild. They were very low on the food chain so to speak.
      2. Adults wouldn’t associate with them, but children knew nothing of this.
        1. They would take them to join in with them in their sports, games, & ultimately be invited under the table. (excellent for getting rid of your Brussels Sprouts)
        2. So for the kids sake, they often were allowed under the table.
    17. Consent
      1. ​​​​​​​It is sure to get a crumb from one of its playmates.
      2. The children (Israel) have a full portion in You! (in Your presence; Your Word; they sit at your feet; have obtained all sorts of spiritual blessings.)
        1. I’m sure they can’t begrudge my daughter to be free from this demon; For that would only be a crumb compared to all they have been blessed with.
    18. Abundance
      1. ​​​​​​​We’re not talking a poor man’s table who can’t afford to lose a crumb; but a Kings’ table where much is not even accounted for.
      2. If a man gives a dog a crumb he has none the less; If Jesus gives mercy to the greatest of sinners He has none the less.
      3. Since the beginning, it has always been God’s plan that through the children (Israel) the puppies (Gentiles) should get the bread.
    19. FAITH WINS
    20. For this saying...the demon has gone out.
    21. Persistence
      1. ​​​​​​​Not that she earned Christ’s ear or earned His healing power. Her persistence was only a demonstration that she had faith.
    22. What a great lesson to every mother. Mother’s plead for your daughters & for your sons until you hear, “O Woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” Mt.15:28
    23. Even a mother bird afraid of human footsteps will remain upon its nest when the intruder comes. [eg. diving birds - scare you walking under tree; then you turn around & watch others freak out]
      1. Parents, be encouraged to pray for your children.
    24. Lastly: Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for freedom, spiritual freedom.
      1. In this case, a little girls freedom from severe demonic powers.
      2. In your case, maybe today you need His ultimate sacrifice for freedom for your sins.
      3. As we wrap up our service on this Memorial Day Weekend, again we’ll remember the ultimate sacrifice for our physical freedom many men & women paid for us. Actually 1,321,600 men & women.
    25. End w/Memorial day Video

Verses 31-37

  1. Intro:
    1. An elderly woman by the name of Mary made frequent trips to the branch post office. One day she faced a long line of people who were waiting for service from the postal clerks. Mary only needed stamps, so a helpful observer asked, “Why don’t you use the stamp machine? You can get all the stamps you need and you won’t have to stand in line.” Mary said,“I know, but the machine can’t ask me about my arthritis.” :)
      1. People still need human contact. A word of encouragement. A scripture promise. Reassurance. Hope. A touch.
        1. Let’s observe Jesus & His interaction with a Double Handicap.
  2. DOUBLE HANDICAP (7:31-37)
    1. Now they travel again, completing a clockwise circular journey.
      1. From Capernaum, 40m N to Tyre; 20m N to Sidon; S/E to the Decapolis.
        1. The Decapolis, a Rome away from Rome. And although in Gentile territory most of the 10 cities had a large Jewish community.
      2. Jesus is taking the long way home - probably took 8 months. Using this time to train His disciples. A kind of walking seminar.
    2. This story is only found in Marks account.
    3. Do you think the man in ch.5:19,20 did his job? (read)
    4. This man was both deaf & he had a severe speech impediment.
      1. The Greek word Mogilalon(mogy-la-lone) means speaking w/difficulty.
      2. Mark uses an unusual word to describe this man’s condition. It is only used here & in the LXX in Is.35:6 which seems to be an illusion to this promise.
        1. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then the lame shall leap like a deer, And the tongue of the dumb sing. (LXX stammerers sing)
      3. He wasn’t completely w/o speech, but he could not communicate clearly.
    5. When an outstanding football player comes to town, the athletes & sports enthusiasts get excited. When an outstanding musician comes to town, the musicians get excited. When Jesus came to town, the blind, the deaf, & the lame got excited.
      1. If you want to be like Jesus, make sure you spend time with people who are physically or spiritually handicapped. Thats always where Jesus was.
        1. I thank our Children’s Church staff for seeing the importance of Special Needs classes. FYI - There are 2, during 2nd service. 1 for children, 1 for youth & adults.
        2. I thank Teri Schroeder, Christianne & Caitlynn for serving in those classes.
    6. Modern medicine/science is making a lot of progress in helping people who have different handicaps/disabilities. The ability to hear with hearing aids. See with glasses.
      1. In the last olympics we were impressed to watch Oscar Pistorius, the South African sprinter, because of the invention of the Cheetahs, the blade running biomechanics.
      2. It seems the medical community is finally catching up with Jesus in what He did 2000 yrs ago. :)
    7. Here’s what I was fascinated with…HOW Jesus deals with this man.
      1. Jesus shows us here...each person is special & deserves a unique approach. :)
        1. Difficult for you & I who have grown up to deal with numbers, groups, races, stereotypes
        2. We classify people into groups. Jesus saw each person as an individual.
      2. Jesus begins to speak to him in a language that this deaf man could “hear”.
        1. Jesus uses sign language & symbolic acts.
      3. At 1st His actions seem almost disgusting(spittle) – but in fact it was Jesus’ beautiful way of entering this man’s world.
      4. He recognizes this deaf culture & communicates to him in a kind of sign language.
        1. You’ve heard of ASL – This is SSL (Savior Sign Language)
      5. Let me speak a word on Contexualization.
        1. Con(together) + Texere(to weave) [weave together or Join by Weaving]
        2. The Gospel never changes, yet it must be contextualized (or fitted/joined) to the culture, or to the individual that it is brought to.
        3. How can you contextualize the gospel into the culture of our day?
        4. How can you contextualize the gospel into someone you are witnessing to? (or desire to)
        5. How can you contextualize the gospel into each of your children today?
        6. Let’s watch how Jesus does exactly that with this man.
    8. Every touch & gesture has meaning: (I found 6)
      1. The contact of connection - He took him aside – maybe to give him the quiet careful attention he needed…away from the crowd.
        1. Wow, the undivided attention of deity.
        2. If you want to help people, touch them in their need. Get right down where they live.
        3. Shun your shelter mentality. Flee your fortress mentality. Yes we must be insulated as Christians, but not isolated. Insulation then infiltration.
        4. Remember what C.T.Studd said, "Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell."
      2. The touch of wellness - He put His fingers in his ears – showing him what he was going to heal.
        1. Many don’t know Jesus invented the famed Wet-Willy.
      3. The contact of the curative - He touched his tongue – again showing him what he was going to heal. (saliva was connected with healing in that day)
      4. The look of communion - He looked up to heaven – to demonstrate where the healing is coming from. Prayer of dependence.
        1. Just like He did before He raised Lazarus. He lifted His eyes towards heaven. Jn.11:41
      5. The groan of emotion - He sighed – identifying with the man w/this inward groan, a compassionate response to his pain & sorrow.
        1. Jesus’ deep sigh brings healing balm, for it is the breath of compassion.
        2. The sigh of compassion came right after...the look of communion.
          1. i.e. The closer we get to God the more aware we are of the needs of hurting people.
      6. The word of consummation/complete - He spoke – commanding the healing.
        1. Ephphatha (e-fa-THA’) – Aramaic word meaning, be opened completely.
          1. Ephphatha is easily lip-read by a deaf person.
        2. Ephphatha was the first sound to penetrate the man’s ears in years.
        3. He could now hear & speak plainly. And it was all because of Jesus.
    9. Donald Grey Barnhouse (Presb minister) in a radio sermon once asked this question: What would Philadelphia look like if Satan took over? Then he conjectured...If Satan took over Philadelphia, all of the bars would be closed; pornography banished; and pristine streets would be filled with tidy pedestrians who smiled at each other. There would be no swearing. The children would say, yes sir and no ma'am. & the churches would be full every Sunday where Christ is not preached.
      1. Here's what's scary, most people would be satisfied if our city and our lives and our churches looked just like that.
        1. Jesus or no Jesus, we just want to be safe.
        2. Jesus or no Jesus, we just want our kids to turn out okay.
        3. Jesus or no Jesus, we just want our marriage is to be easy.
        4. Jesus or no Jesus, we just want to pay our bills.
          1. No, we need Jesus. The One who can bring the dead to life. It is only He who can heal our brokenness.
          2. See, Jesus speaks deaf. Jesus speaks mute. Jesus speaks alcoholic. Jesus speaks pot. Jesus speaks homosexuality. Jesus speaks adulterer. Jesus speaks liar. Jesus speaks porn addiction. Jesus speaks pride.
            1. Meaning, Jesus touches people directly in their need, in their brokenness.
            2. Jesus fixes people where they are broken. Where are you broken?
            3. Jesus opens people where they are closed. Where are you closed?
            4. Jesus unclogs people who are jammed up. Where are you clogged?
          3. Because, that’s what the Gospel is all about.
            1. Many still think Church is all about, A good person, telling other good people, how to be a better people. That’s not what the bible teaches.
            2. Christianity is not turning over a new leaf; it’s receiving a new life. Christianity is not you must do; it’s Jesus already did.
    10. Tell no one – He didn’t want people to follow to him cuz he was a miracle worker/healer.
      1. This man must have found the injunction harder to obey than most.[I need to tell someone]
    11. (37) One man does one thing well; another does another thing well; but Jesus does ALL things well. - Here is a biography of Jesus in miniature.
      1. 6 words that can carry us into the uncertain days ahead. He has done all things well.
    12. I believe that all of these miracles in the physical realm are illustrations of what Jesus can do in the spiritual realm.
      1. You know one of these days all of these limitations are going to be removed.
      2. We even note that it will be before heaven...it will be during the Millennial reign of Christ on earth (see Is.35:1-6) All physical handicaps will be corrected.
      3. The blind will see. The deaf will hear. Those missing legs will be running, skipping,
        1. jumping. Those confined to a wheelchair will be the ones jumping rope.
      4. If you have spiritual blindness, would you like to see the things of God? If you have spiritual deafness, would you like to hear/understand the Word of God? If you have spiritual lameness, would you like to walk with God?
        1. To die in that condition is to be a spiritually handicapped person...for eternity.
    13. Before the Lord can use us He must…call us aside from this busy & distracting world; Then He must touch are ears to give us ears to hear Him; then & only then can He loose our tongues that we might speak His Praises & tell others about Him.
      1. Maybe this morning He’s calling you aside. [The undivided attention of deity]
    14. Know this morning, God is not mad at you; but know, He misses you.
      1. In the most significant work in religious English literature, Pilgrims Progress, the man Christian progressed, but not by always making the right decision, but by responding appropriately to wrong ones.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Mark 7". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/mark-7.html. 2017.
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