“Then 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.’” - Mark 7:36-37
After healing the Gentile woman’s daughter from afar, Jesus traveled twenty-two miles from Tyre to Sidon, another city famous for its trade and worship of Baal. From there, he moved on to the Decapolis. This was quite a circuitous route, especially considering he traveled by foot. And yet, Jesus always followed the Father’s plan rather than the logical or easy path. Every step of his journey was divinely orchestrated, as was every stop.
Even in these Gentile areas, rumors about Jesus had spread far and wide. In the region of the Decapolis, a group of men begged him to lay hands on their friend, who was deaf and had a speech impediment. Clearly, they had heard about his healing touch. So far, this story sounds familiar. But, for the first time in Mark’s Gospel, Jesus did not simply touch the afflicted or speak healing words over him. Instead, he moved away from the crowd, put his fingers in the deaf man’s ears, and then spit on his hand and touched the man’s tongue. Then he spoke the command, “Be opened” (verse 34). Mark does not tell us why this healing was different, only how. And while the methods varied, the results were the same: the man was instantly healed of his afflictions.
Jesus charged the men not to share what he had done, but Mark tells us that, the more he insisted on secrecy, the more they blabbed. To be fair, who could hide such incredible and wonderful news? Who could keep from declaring these mighty works of Jesus? I love the witnesses’ astonished proclamation: “He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak” (v. 37). He does all things well. That might remind you of the Creation account: “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have always, and will always, do all things well. The Father’s agenda might differ from yours or mine, but is he trustworthy? Is he good? Does he love you?
If you can answer these questions in the affirmative, then you can trust God’s plans and purposes for this world. You can also look forward to that final day when he will make all things right again: “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4). One day, you will see the Lord face-to-face. You will know him as you have been known. You will see his plans and purposes clearly and, and you will delight that he has done all things well. Until then, we ae called to persevere in faith and trust God’s plan, promises and timing.
There is healing today through the name of Jesus and ultimate healing in the new heavens and the new earth. May we demonstrate the faith of the deaf man’s friends; may we marvel at what the Lord has done for us; and may we continue to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ until he returns or takes us home.
Reflect and Respond:
Do you struggle to understand the will and timing of the Lord? We all do! Take some time today to surrender and to ask the Lord to assure you of his love, his care, and his plan of redemption then rest in the peace that only the sovereign Lord can bring. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Why is trust so difficult? Unlike all the broken promises of this world, God’s redeeming promises are absolute, trustworthy, and true. The covenants of God afford us with abundant reasons to trust God with his plan for our lives. Trusting God: Redeeming Promises of the Word explores the six major redeeming promises of God found in his Word. Learn more about God’s commitment to his people, the nature of a covenant, and how you can find your security in being a child of God’s redeeming promises. Learn more about God’s promises today.
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