This Father’s Day service sees us continue our sermon series entitled ‘Opening Times’. Preaching from Nathan Gordon.
Then Jesus looked up in prayer, groaned mightily, and commanded, “Ephphatha!—Open up!” And it happened. The man’s hearing was clear and his speech plain—just like that.
(Key verse: Mark 7:35) MSG
You use just like that to emphasise that something happens or is done immediately or in a very simple way, often without much thought or discussion.
If Mark was alive today, I am sure he would conquer with the above phrase concerning the miracles performed by Jesus throughout his gospel account. Mark records the immediacy of Jesus’ transformative power no less than forty times, expressing the urgency of Jesus to perform the miraculous without delay, slackness but with blessed efficiency.
Jesus can perform the miraculous just like that, but we may still have to exercise patience.
Although Jesus often performed miracles promptly and seemingly with ease, the stories behind those who were healed or delivered paints a picture of patience, perseverance and even years of suffering. The miracles are exciting and make the headlines but often we minimise the importance of enduring the challenges, difficult times and frustrations in life.
The Bible calls for Patience in our struggles
Rejoice in hope, be patent in tribulation and be constant in prayer – Rom 12:12
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and faint. – Isaiah 40:31
This morning let us consider a man who understood full well having to navigate through life with a health condition that rendered him unable to hear or speak clearly, but found total healing through the power of Jesus Christ, the way maker and miracle worker.
A miracle with Unusual Methods
- Jesus takes the man away from the multitude to a secluded area to perform the miracle.
- The use of fingers in the ears
- Spit on the tongue
- The declaration to be open
The response of Unrestricted Praise
- Jesus instructs the multitude to keep the miracle a secret
- Jesus may have been concerned about the news spreading into the wrong ears, like the religious authorities who may have seized him before the appointed time
- The multitude could not keep the secret but burst into declarations of unrestricted praise “He makes the deaf to hear and the dumb to speak”
The response of unrestricted praise after the miracle is seemingly easier than offering praise and worship during trials and tribulations. The psalmist helps us in this regard with a challenge to offer praise and worship in every season of our lives.
I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth. – Psalm 34
- Have you ever had to patiently wait for an answer to prayer? What did you learn in the process of waiting on the Lord?
- To praise God at all times sounds great but its not always easy when going through trials and tribulations. How can we maintain a posture of praise, devotion and focus on God in the midst of life’s challenges?
- What impact have you seen in sharing your testimonies or hearing other testimonies about God’s work in peoples lives?
Theme: Opening Ears and Mouth
Reading: Mark 7 v 31 – 37
Preacher: Nathan Gordon