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November 8, 2020 12:01 am
After Jesus touched a man who was mute, the tongue that had failed to speak was set free to declare the glory of God. Today, R.C. Sproul continues his study in Mark’s gospel to show how this miracle points to an even greater reality in the life of every Christian.
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Coming up next on Renewing Your Mind. Jesus heals a deaf mute. The man's ears were opened.
Not only was he given the gift of hearing, but now he could speak the tongue could not be used not for unintelligible mumbling, but could articulate the glory of God is his ministry owners included amazing miracles, healing the sick, feeding the hungry, raising the dead.
But as we study the Gospels we realize the miracles pointed to something far more significant in today's controversies bowl returns through a series from the Gospel of Mark to show us how God was glorified in the healing of this deaf man. Last week we talked about Jesus leaving the traditional orders of Israel and traveling to the city of Tyre which is in modern-day Lebanon and ancient Phoenicia and Mark tells us again. Jesus continuing to be on the move, but his description of the itinerary year in the seventh chapter is one that has frankly baffled biblical scholars for centuries because we read that Jesus left tire went north to Sidon and then made his way east and came back south and then back up to the Sea of Galilee, a trip that moved in the shape of a horseshoe and that took 120 miles to go from tire back across and down and around up into the Eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee and the question is why in the world that he take the trip in this manner. Well I can answer that question.
I don't know, but in any case, I and fidelity to Mark's gospel report to you that detail that they made that journey. Then we read that he came to the midst of the regions of the capitalist of the Sea of Galilee, and they brought to him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, and they begged him, that is Jesus to Porteous and upon him when it tells us that the man was deaf and that he had a speech impediment. The word for speech impediment is a word that is only found twice in all of the Bible and it means that the person had a severe difficulty in speaking clearly or in any way in which people could discern the words that he was say now this description of his malady is again fueled no little bit of speculation as to the cause of his problem. Some say that he must've been born deaf and those who were born deaf without great training by professional speech pathologists are usually doomed to living a life of being mute as well. And yet this man still was able to speak to some degree, and so the scholars say. Probably he wasn't born deaf, but deafness afflicted him early in his life. And so whatever speech patterns. He was able to develop were at best garbled.
Again, that's all speculative, all we know is that the man couldn't hear, nor could he speak in any plain matter, but there is an element here. I think of further interest when we say why does Mark include this episode, Jesus healed so many people of so many different diseases and problems.
Why does Mark and Mark alone in all of the New Testament record of Jesus life include this brief narrative of this particular healing will, I think we find a clue in the fact that the word mogul Lawless is the Greek word for what is translated speech impediment hears only use twice in the Bible and the other place that is uses in the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament book of Isaiah.
I like to take a few moments to digress from Mark's study here and go back centuries earlier to the prophetic writing of Isaiah in the Old Testament that takes us back to chapter 35 of the book of Isaiah.
But before I read from chapter 35.
Let me give you just a little bit of a heads up here in the preceding chapters. Isaiah has been delivering to the people of Israel and oracle of doom that God had commissioned Isaiah to pronounce upon the people of Israel and her neighbors that the judgment of God was going to lay the land waste that the people were going to go through a period of severe desolation. Just to give a taste of the severity of that judgment. Let's go back even earlier to Isaiah 34 in verse eight, Isaiah says it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, the year of recompense for the cause of Zion's it's streams listen to the imagery here shall be turned into pitch tar that is in its cost and the brimstone land shall become burning pitch shall not be quenched, night or day.
It smoke shall ascend forever, and from generation to generation. It shall lie waste. No one will pass through it forever and ever. But who will own this land. Listen to what Isaiah says the pelican in the porcupine will possess it. The owl and the Raven shall dwell in it, and he shall stretch over at the line of confusion in the stones of emptiness, they shall call it snowballs to the kingdom, but none shall be there in all of its princes shall be nothing thorns shall come up and its palaces, metals and brambles and its fortresses shall be a habitation of jackals a courtyard for ostriches. The wild beasts of the desert should also meet with the jackals. The wild goats oblique to its companion and the night creature, shall rest there and find for herself a place of rest there.
The arrow snake shall make her nest and lay eggs in the hatch and gather them under her shadow there. Also, the Hawks will be gathered everyone with her made to get the picture.
Could you ever get a more graphic description of divine judgment on the land than to have God to take the land away from the prints away from the ruler and deliver it to the jackals to the snakes for the birds of the air in this is a rising crescendo that had gone on for several chapters about the destruction that God had planned for this part of the world, but when God gives his announcement of judgment. He almost always gives us an element of future hope because God never abandons his remnants to desolation, and even in this text, where Isaiah announces the day of the Lord's visitation the day of his destruction that would come upon the land.
He then builds upon this and hear what he says in chapter 35 then the wilderness in the wasteland shall be glad for them. The desert shall rejoice and blossom as the ropes shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy in singing the glory of Lebanon shall be given to it. The excellence of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord and the excellency of our God. To see the contrast desolation to glory destruction to the excellence of the manifestation of the Lord. So the prophet says strengthen the weekends, make firm, the feeble knees say to those who are fearful hearted, be strong. Do not fear, for behold, your God will come with vengeance with the recompense of God, he will common and he will save you in this text. What we have reiterated is a principal that is repeated over and over and over again in the Old Testament salvation is of the Jews that God works through his stiffnecked people is through to bring his redemption to the whole world, then here's the climax the eyes of the blind shall be opened. The ears of the deaf shall be unstopped than the lame shall leap like a deer, and the tongue of the dumb will sing here is where that word mogul and loss is used again where the tongue of the dumb will sing water shall burst forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. The parts grounds to become a pool with thirsty land springs of water in the habitation of jackals for each day.
This would be grass with reeds and bushes in Russia's in the highway will be there in the road and it shall be called the highway of holiness to here's difference centuries before Jesus was born in Bethlehem. God gave this message to his people looking past the destruction past the desolation to the messianic age when the kingdom of God would break through and the Messiah would come and he would give sight to the blind. He would give hearing to the death and he would loosen the tongue of the mute and of the gun and the lane would delete for July. Shirley Mark has this in mind as he pens the narrative that I've read to you this morning of Jesus encounter with the deaf mute. Let's look again at that text and he took him aside from the multitude and he put his fingers in his ears and he spat and touched his tongue. Notice that this man is also from the region of the Decapolis from the realm of the Gentiles from the land of those who had been deemed and pronounced on clean and the first thing we see is that Jesus took him aside and he touched him.
He put his fingers in his ear and then he spat on his hands and he took the spittle which spittle by the way, in Jewish purification laws was considered and on clean admission. Jesus spits on his hands and takes that spit puts it on the man's tongue.
There was a tradition in the ancient world that those who were endowed with healing powers would often use spittle as a medium to communicate that power to the people to whom they ministered, and maybe Jesus was simply trying to give this man some confidence that Jesus knew how to heal people.
We don't know others see a far deeper symbolic significance to Jesus, using his own spit to bring redemption to a suffering human being that it foreshadows the some degree, another liquid from his body, his blood, which saves us not only in our mouths, but all together when he pours out his blood for his people, but in any case we get this vivid description of the transaction and when Jesus touched the man on the tongue. He looked up to heaven.
The Scripture said he signed were groaned inwardly, indicating a passionate appeal to the father to intervene. He touched the man's tongue, a tongue that was in chains and then our Savior side and he spoke a word that is left in the original by Mark that simply means be open and at the command of Jesus that those ears that had been clogged that had heard no sound that tongue that had been in chains, making it impossible to speak clearly or set free the man's ears were opened he could hear not only was he given the gift of hearing, but now he could speak the tongue could not be used not for unintelligible mumbling, but could articulate the glory of God in a very real sense, beloved, this is what is happens and does happen to every Christian before the Holy Spirit opens us to the things of God. We are as deaf to the word of God is this poor man was deaf to all verbal communication until the Holy Spirit cleanses our hearts and regenerates our soul what we have in our mouths is mere filth, the poison of asps is under our lips and our tongue is used to utter blasphemy and poison until it is made free from the chains of sin immediately. Mark tells us his ears were opened. The impediment of his tongue was loosed and notice what the Bible says it doesn't simply say, and he spoke that would be remarkable enough of the Bible set immediately.
His ears were overtaken here and I can speak but Marx is more than that. Immediately instantly after Jesus touched his tongue and made the commandment not only could he speak, but he could speak clearly. Any pathology that was there was removed and he was articulate and what he said. Then Jesus commanded them as he normally does, that they should tell no one but the more he commanded them the more widely they proclaimed it and they were astonished beyond measure and in their shock in their astonishment. Notice what they say in this response is with a save Jesus. He has done all things well. He makes both the deaf to hear and the mute to speak. He has done all things well what is description of Christ Jesus never did anything poorly in his life when he set his face toward Jerusalem and determined to make his meat and his drink be obedience to the will of the father. He did it well.
There was no failure.
There was no blemish to his work. I'm sure that as a child when he was working in the carpenter shop that when Joseph looked over his shoulder and watched him working that Joseph was beaming with pleasure at how well his son did what he was doing the father in heaven makes the same evaluation when he says from the sky. This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. I remember when my friend Jim Boyce received a diagnosis of terminal cancer. From the time of the diagnosis to the time of his death was six weeks and everybody in the church worth wringing their hands and weeping and complaining and offering him all kinds of remedies that would cure him.
He said hey, be at peace about this God does all things well that's the heart of a Christian is to be is the same God was manifest hearing Jesus in ministering to this afflicted man by the Sea of Galilee in the Decapolis. It's the same God who created the heavens and the earth. And when God created the heavens. He looked at what he made through the power of his voice. He saw the lights shining into the darkness, and he says well that's not too bad Nona. He looked at the work of his hands and pronounced his divine benediction upon it. That's good because what God does in creation.
He does well and it is the same God who calls light in the darkness of the power of his voice that is at work here by the Sea of Galilee restoring this man's hearing and his ability to speak.
It is the same God who redeems you and in the work of redemption that was accomplished for your souls. Christ did it well. That's why we can saying in the midst of tribulation.
It is well with our souls. Not because we make our souls well in the midst of the store, but because when the Spirit of God comes into the soul of a person and brings his peace and brings his joy. He does it well, and that's with these pagan Greeks notice about is looking him everything he does he test it so well because he is God incarnate, the one who creates the one who redeems the one who loosens tongues and opens deaf ears does all things well and when we survey our lives in the midst of pain in the midst of sorrow were not always sure that I talk to somebody who told me were watching television at a interview with Robert De Niro and at the end of the interview. The hostess said to Robert De Niro at the end of your days. If you come before God. What will you say to him when you meet him in the narrow in a kind of cocky manner said when I say to God is you have some explaining to do. None up Mr. De Niro. You are going to be the one who's doing explaining God doesn't have to explain anything that pleases him to bring the pass in this world. He didn't have to explain to Israel why jackals were inhabiting the land. He didn't have to explain it to Israel why their screams had become like rivers of our worthless for navigation worthless for fishing. The reason for that was clear they were a sinful nation beyond the tar beyond the jackals is the Redeemer one like us does all things well. God is glorified in times of trial and in times of peace. We know we can trust our God who does all things well listening to the Lord's day addition of Renewing Your Mind and each Sunday. Dr. RC Sproul was walking his verse by verse through the gospel of Mark getting a glimpse of the life and ministry of Christ through RC's preaching this series was the basis of our resource offer today.
It's Dr. Sproles commentary on Mark's gospel there nearly 400 pages in this hardbound volume filled with RC's insight and I encourage you to requested today and use it as a study guide through the rest of the series will send it to you for donation of any amount to look at your ministries.
You can reach us online at Renewing Your Mind.Ward we are grateful for your financial support because of your gifts. The truth of God's words being heard around the world. Even now, so thank you next Sunday will continue the series by looking at yet another miraculous event in the life of Jesus. We've already seen him feed 5000 next week. Another crown will experience a Bellevue food from Jesus hands. I hope you'll join us next Sunday. Here for doing your mind