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Sunday, April 23: People were overwhelmed with amazement

 

MarkThe Gospel of Mark emphasizes Jesus' role as a servant. Join with us as we venture through one section of this vital gospel that recounts many of Jesus' actions during his ministry years.

Read Mark 7:31-37

Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him.

After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man's ears. Then he spit and touched the man's tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, "Ephphatha!" (which means "Be opened!"). At this, the man's ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.

Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. People were overwhelmed with amazement. "He has done everything well," they said. "He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak."

 

Reflect

After teaching around Tyre, north of Israel, Jesus traveled south to the Decapolis (Ten Cities), a Gentile-majority region east of the Sea of Galilee. He'd been here before, performing a miracle that caused quite a stir. Again this time, when he restores a man's hearing and speech, the crowd can't stop talking about it.

Respond

Why do you think Jesus deliberately healed the man away from the crowd and then asked the witnesses not to tell others about it? Even though Jesus' miracles reinforced his teaching, people were sometimes more eager to see what he did than to hear what he said. Is there anything in your own Christian experience with the potential to push the gospel into the background?

 

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