Lesson 200-October 13. 2019
Lesson: “Opened Ears and a Loosed Tongue”
Scripture: Mark 7: 31-37, Matthew 15: 29-31
Lesson Goal: To better understand Jesus’ compassion and care for all people.
Heart to Heart:
As we begin today’s lesson I want to thank the Lord and each of you for allowing me the blessing and privi-lege to write our Life Focus materials. Today is somewhat of a mile stone in our current study of “The Life and Ministry of Jesus” with this lesson being number two hundred.
During the past years I have had people ask me why I’m writing Sunday School (Life Focus) lessons. With so many outstanding materials and curriculums out there, why spend time and effort writing lessons? My re-sponse usually begins with my desire to curtail any negative thoughts that some might entertain, such as, “I must have a problem with publishers or other writers.” This was not the case. My purpose in writing was not to point out flaws in others. A second area that some have mentioned, thinking it must have to do with eco-nomics. I must do it to combat the high cost of published materials. As I began writing neither was this my motive or purpose.
My purpose in writing is actually very simple, During my ministry I had dreamed of and looked forward to a time of writing if God should ever allow me. I had mapped out some various book topics and subjects along my journey that I thought I would like to concentrate on if ever the opportunity presented itself. One day while studying in sermon preparation the Lord planted the thought in my mind and heart concerning writing Sunday School materials. From there the idea was born. Although this was not the map I had charted for my writing it was no doubt the plan and purpose of God.
I’m so thankful for those two early classes (Genesis I and II) that were willing to give it a try. From there the Lord has blessed me allowing me to fulfill a dream of my heart. Many lessons preceded our current study but none more enjoyable or blessed than our current study spanning the time of Jesus’ birth (prophecy) to His ascension back to the Father.
Thank you Mars Hill Baptist Church and a special thank you to all our Life Focus teachers for the willingness to try something new and different. Thank you for the blessing of allowing me to write the Life Focus materi-als. May the Lord continue to bless the writing and the study of these materials for His glory and honor! To-day, Lesson 200 in our study of “Jesus’ Life and Ministry.”
Scripture: Mark 7:31-39; parallel passage Matthew 15:29-38.
Introduction: David Platt, “The disciples’ world had just been rocked when Jesus turned their thinking up-side down about what makes someone clean. Now He takes them into Gentile territory, a place filled with un-clean people according to the standard Jewish view (Mark 7:24-30; Matthew 15:21-28). Many Jews would have felt compelled to send this Canaanite woman away; yet this whole story and the story that comes after this, is intended to be a reflection of the reality that Jesus’ plan involved much more than Israel. His salvation would spread far beyond Israel to the ends of the earth, an idea that may have been shocking to those 12 Jew-ish disciples. Through His words and demeanor, Jesus was subverting the standard Jewish view of the Gen-tiles. According to Jews, the Gentiles had no right to the children’s bread. Jesus aimed to change this mind-set.”
Mark 7:31-Again, departing from the region of Tyre and Sidon, He came through the midst of the region of Decapolis to the Sea of Galilee.
It appears that geographically Jesus traveled briefly on northward then journeyed East/Southern going to the region of Decapolis (Ten Cities), then Westward to the Sea of Galilee. The entirety of this journey would have been approximately 120 miles.
Question: What are some possible reasons for Jesus’ travels into and through some of these areas. (It is obvi-ous from a geographical standpoint He did not travel a straight or direct path).
(v32) Then they brought to Him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, and they begged Him to put His hand on him.
This man was one in the “great multitudes” that came to Jesus. Many who came to Jesus were lame, blind, mute, and maimed (See Matthew 15:30). The multitude marveled (amazed) “when they saw the mute speak-ing, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing and they glorified the God of Israel (Matthew 15:31).
Mark gives attention to one man that was brought to Jesus (Mark 7:31-35).
According to the Nelson Study Bible, “the healing of this deaf man (who also had a speech impediment) is one of the two miracles recorded by Mark only. The other is the healing of the blind man recorded in 8:22-26.
This man had both a hearing and speech problem. Those that brought this man to Jesus, “begged Him to put His hand on him.”
Question: What does the fact that those that brought the deaf man “begged” (to beseech, to plead, Greek “parakaleo”) Jesus “to put His hand on him” imply?
(v33) And He took him aside from the multitude, and put His fingers in his ears, and He spat and touched his tongue.
“Jesus took the man away from the crowd so that the healing would be private and the man would not become a public attraction. Since the man was deaf, he could not hear our Lord’s words, but he could feel Jesus’ fingers in his ear and His touch on his tongue, and this would encourage the man’s faith.” Wiersbe
Question: What does the fact that Jesus is willing to touch him say to this deaf man?
Jesus helped the man understand by these acts (put His fingers in his ears and touched his tongue) what He was doing, Jesus was using sign language to communicate with this man. Also, it would be these areas that Jesus would touch with healing power. The touch of Jesus’ fingers to the man’s ears and then removed com-municated “I am going to remove the blockage in your hearing.” The spitting and the touch to this man’s tongue meant, I am going to remove the blockage in your mouth.” Akin
(v34) Then looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him “Ephphatha, “ that is “Be opened.”
Question: What does “looking up to heaven” mean in this context (deaf man)?
“He sighed,” In this we see the Lord’s compassion and care for this man “The same word is used in connec-tion with prayer in Romans 8:23 and the noun in Romans 8:26.” Wiersbe
“Ephphatha” -an Aramaic word that Mark then gives the interpretation for his largely non-Jewish audience, be opened.”
(v35) Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosed, and he spoke plainly.
Daniel Akin states that, “the result is given in simple, straightforward language. ‘Immediately his ears were opened, his speech difficulty was removed, and he began to speak clearly’ (v35). The original text says literal-ly ‘the shackle of his tongue was released.’ Like a prisoner bound in chains, Jesus broke the fetters of his cap-tivity and set him free.”
(v36) Then He commanded them that they should tell no one but the more He commanded them the more widely they proclaimed it.
On other occasions Jesus had given the same instructions to “tell no one.” Why did Jesus give such instruc-tions?
“We do not condone their disobedience but we can understand their response!” Akin
(v37) And they were astonished beyond measure, saying “He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”
Please read Isaiah 35:5-6.
O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise
The glories of my God and King
The triumphs of His grace!
Hear Him, ye deaf; His praise, ye dumb,
Ye blind, behold your Savior come;
And leap, ye lame, for joy!
My gracious Master and my God,
Assist me to proclaim,
To speak through all the earth abroad
The honors of thy Name. Charles Wesley