In Mark 7, we read of how Jesus healed a man who could not hear and who could not speak properly. Jesus took this man by the hand, put His finger in the man’s ears and touched his tongue. He then could hear and talk plainly, rightly. God gets this close to us through the Word and the Spirit. We then can hear and speak. (Mark 7:32-37)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
11:00 AM on 10/4/2020
P. Schaller –
God bless you. It’s a joy to be here today. Last spring when we were standing on this roof, Scott said should we
take it down because we are back inside. I said, no. Let’s leave it up. Maybe in the fall we’ll be
out again. Why? To reach the neighborhood. To make a statement. To say to our folks across
the street and beyond, God loves you very much. In Mark 7, there is this touching story about a
deaf man and mute man, vs. 31-32. I like to think that in the times we are living, there are
people like this amongst us. There are people that cannot hear. Yes, they hear the news and
about problems. Yes, they are troubled by different things. They are hearing but, in another
way, they are like the nation of Israel that the prophet Isaiah said in chapter 6, that my people
have waxed gross in their hearing that they cannot hear and they do not hear, understand me.
The Scripture is used I believe in vs. 10 six times in the New Testament. It’s the general profile
the Israeli people that they cannot hear. And when Jesus came, he was so artful and skillful. His
Father led him to speak a certain way. Not in a theological way in a typical Jewish fashion
quoting from the Old Testament as a rabbi but telling earthly stories. A man had two sons. A
woman lost a coin. A man lost a sheep. There was a wedding feast. There were ten virgins with
ten lamps. And the people listening and to hear but a different way than just intellectually
hearing. They had to hear God. God resists the proud. I believe that is a major problem in our
world today in the human race. We are proud. In our pride we say I know. I know. How many
times when we are evangelizing someone will say I heard that before. I know all about it. But do
they? So, in this story Jesus realizes that the man needs a healing and the tenderness of Jesus.
This is my first point. I have two points today.
One is love. What love will do for you. How love will open your ears. How love will teach your mouth to speak. How love can change your life. It’s beautiful. Jesus came into the world because God saw the world in a lot of trouble. The world could not hear and the world could not speak. They go together. If I cannot hear, then I
can’t speak or speak properly. Jesus says in the story, vs. 33. The personal touch. Come with
me. He takes him by the hand and leads him aside. The personal touch. I hope that you know
that your God is a personal God that will take your hand and lead you aside. That’s what
happened to me when I was born again and I’m believing that is happening to you. I’m believing
that new people come into our church to hear the Gospel and they want to know is Jesus Christ
real. If you are not here for that reason, then we want to introduce that idea to you very
clearly. The reason we assemble is because we are seeking and desiring Jesus Christ.
This is not a traditional church in that sense that we go through the motions without him. We seek him,
desire him, look for him, discern him, hear him and recognize him. He takes you by the hand.
Yes, even when you are sitting here in a crowd of people, he takes you by the hand and leads
you aside. I want that. Please Jesus in my bedroom in the morning take me by my hand and
lead me aside so it’s just you and me. Wow! God in you. You are the only one. You are the only
one in the universe. You are the one that God cares about. You are the one that God knows the
hairs on your head. He knows your addictions, your habits, your fears, your worries, your
insecurities, your withdrawal, your shyness, your inadequacy, your desire to be alone. He
knows everything about you, your down sitting and your uprising in Psalm 139. He knows our
thoughts afar off. He knows our wickedness. He knows our blasphemy.
He knows our pornography in the heart and maybe in your practice that he knows your unbelief. He knows
who you are. If you can be willing to admit, if you can be wiling to say actually, I’m doing all
those things and that’s who I am and I’m done. I’m fed up. I’m finished. My sin does not liberate
me. My sin is not a friend. My sin is not the way of life. It’s the way of death. My sins will grab
ahold of me one day and destroy me. P. Love in the morning message which was awesome
shared the illustration of a woman that had a pet tiger in her home, a little pussycat, a gentle
little cat which was a baby tiger. The cat slept with her and ate with her and was in the house
with her and one day it killed her. He said that’s a good illustration of how there are things in
my life that I might accept them when they are in an infantile stage, when they don’t appear to
be poisonous, dangerous, difficult.
One day they reach up and grab you and take you to hell. Proverbs 6. That hell is my destination. My alienation from God and everything good, that hell is a reality. That Jesus spoke of it passionately with tears and firmness and truth and conviction. God so he could take you by the hand and lead you aside and speak to just you. In the story, it
says in vs. 33. I don’t think I ever had anybody do that to me. Maybe that could be something I
could do this afternoon. I’d ask my wife. I’ve never asked her to do that before! Would you put
your fingers in my ears? I wonder what it means. Personal touch. I’m allowing him to get close
to me. That I can’t hear him. I see him in the face but I can’t hear him. With his eyes, he is
telling me it’s okay. I’m your friend. It’s okay. Your life is going to change in a second. Allow me
to put my fingers in your ears. Could you do that? Could you allow God to get so close to you
that he could say to you whatever. That you drop your defenses, that you allow him inside. That
you’ll say God fill me with your Holy Spirit and see if there is any evil way in me.
Lead me in the way everlasting. I believe when we read our Bible, this is what we are allowing to happen. In a
way, I never really thought of it like that but in a way the Bible is putting its fingers in our ears.
Maybe when we bow down in our prayer life in our closet and open the book like Spurgeon
used to do on his bedside and say God speak to me. He’d just read the Bible and the Bible
would put his fingers in my ears. I would allow God to be that close to me. That’s where my life
will change. That’s where I will be different from being a typical American whatever that means.
I really don’t know what it means but I’m very tired of our culture telling us how we live instead
of God telling me how I live. I’m tired of Hollywood telling us what is normal. I want God to tell
me what is normal and I want to disagree with the little baby tiger in my bedroom and get him
out of my house. I want to say I have no place for you.
You’re very cute and it’s very nice and warm and cuddly but you will kill me one day. You will take me out. You don’t love me. You are my enemy. You are a lie. You are like chocolate covered poison or a beautiful woman that will
take me to hell. You are not what you appear to be. I need ears. I want Jesus to put his fingers
in my ears. I need the living God in my life. I need the Holy Spirit to change my life. I need Christ
in the church. I don’t need a church where I take my pet and go and get a pet blessing. Will you
bless our dogs and cats and not evangelize and preach the message and be serious about the
living God? People care more about their dog than their neighbor. They care more about their
climate change and okay that’s fine but come on! Where is the message? Where is the living
God? He gave his Son to die on a cross to say that you need me. I came for that. I want to say
another thing. All the Christians that are all messed up with constitutional things and government and they got issues and all this stuff and right wing and all this way of thinking and
this survival thing and everything.
You know what? You should get serious with God and have prayers that move mountains. Our country would turn to Jesus Christ. We don’t need to turn to the mountains and our guns and hide out with our survival kit and a lot of food in the mountains and a cabin and whatever and all that kind of thing. I’m just saying it in general
terms. I find many times those Christians are passionate about the political thing but are they
passionate about Christ? Are they evangelizing? Are they sharing? Are they building up the local
assembly? Are they finding the way and bringing salt and light into our world? Yes, okay. We
protect ourselves and we have our first amendment rights and so on. And we’re aware and so
on but our church needs to be a loving church, loving the other side. Loving the people in
trouble. Loving the sinner. God came into the world of sinners.
Jesus did not talk about the Roman government. He did not talk about Israel in that way. They were in a lot of trouble and he knew it was coming but he said that we are to sow the seed. We are to evangelize in a place
that is needy, and Baltimore city is one of those places. Okay. Let’s go back to the story. It goes
this way, Mark. 7:33, I don’t really know what that means but I do know in the Jewish law, any of
your body fluids are making you unclean. Any body fluids even I believe when a woman is
breast feeding. I got to look that up. But I know in principle that that’s true. Spitting was a great
offense if you spit in someone’s face. God said that in Numbers with Miriam in chapter 12.
When Miriam judged Moses for marrying an Ethiopian, God was angry with her and he used a
very graphic illustration. He said if your father spit in Miriam’s face, wouldn’t she be unclean for
seven days? It’s like a great offense and it makes you unclean. Jesus spit and then he touched
his tongue. I understood he touched the man’s tongue.
When Jesus opens his mouth maybe with his fingers and to get the man’s tongue, to touch the tongue, maybe Jesus did a facial expression like Jesus put out his tongue to tell the man to put out his tongue. I never heard
about it like that before or thought about it but it’s so personal. It’s so beautiful. I want to think
that God can take you aside and touch you so personally that your language would change. I
had a friend who worked at Hopkins for a couple years and he worked in a department and two
years later the guys in the department said, hey? I just realized. You don’t swear, do you? And
he said no I don’t. It took you two years to realize that? No, I don’t swear. Why not? God
changed my tongue. He changed my language. They say a factory worker has a vocabulary of
600 words that he says like maximum. Some of the words are repetitive and we know what
they are, the swear words that they say over and over again.
Could you change it up? No, I can’t. Cause Jesus hasn’t touched my tongue. He hasn’t touched my life. He hasn’t changed my heart. He hasn’t given me an interest for an expanded vocabulary. He hasn’t shown me the
words of the Bible. He hasn’t open up to me the words like redemption and sanctification and
love and encouragement and instruction and the way of life. When this happened to this man,
vs. 34. Maybe that’s sign language. Justin said this Friday night in his class in the Gospels. He
said Jesus was doing sign language with the deaf man. Jesus looking up to heaven and saying to
the deaf man that God is in heaven and he is the one that is going to heal you. Vs. 34-35. How?
Plain. It was clear. I like to go to a fellowship and we’ve all grown up in a ministry where it is
spoken plain. Right is right and wrong is wrong. It shouldn’t be difficult to understand. We don’t believe you live with your girlfriend before you marry her.
We don’t believe that drinking alcohol is good for you in any way and also, it’s not needed. And also, you can save a lot of money. You can take that money and buy furniture for your wife and build a family. We don’t
believe in lying, Psalm 101. We don’t believe that being deceitful or dishonest or cheating
people is a good way of life. We speak plain. We don’t believe in division or as in the church at
Corinth which was a mess. The book of Corinthians teaches that they had so many problems in
that church about marriage and divorce, about women in the church, money questions. They
had division. They had leaders with their ego competing with each other. Prostitution
questions. Celibacy within marriage, law suits, idolatry questions, concerns about women
praying, prophesying in immodest ways, chaos in worship, questions about speaking in tongues,
competing voices, inequality in the communal meal, denials of the bodily resurrection, the
collection of the offering for the money to go to Jerusalem, and a change in Paul’s travel plans.
They had problems with all of this.
Why is that book in the Bible? Because it mirrors the problems that we may have in our church and that it teaches. The second part of the message and the closing part. I need love. And when I have love and I start to hear and I can speak, that leads to instruction, the second word I want to say today. Instruction is a way of life. It’s like
driving a car. When you’re driving a car, you need a lot of instruction by my mirrors and the
speedometer and I need an oil change and headlights and lights on the dash and all kinds of
instruction that happen when driving a car. When you think about it and a man has a family,
how much instruction does he have? If I am an engineer, I need a manual this thick to teach me
how to run the machine. When I become a parent, I have nobody teaching me except maybe
my own family upbringing. I remember my dad said or I remember my mother was but many
times it’s not enough. I need instruction to be a dad. I need instruction to be a mom. I need
friends. But not just any friends. I need the good ones.
The ones that are loving and wise. The ones that can instruct me. When I run a business, I need people to help me and pray for me. I need God in the local assembly. To be a doctor, I don’t just want to be a doctor. I want to be a
Spirit filled doctor. A good doctor. A wise doctor. To be a teacher. There are a lot of teachers
that are bad teachers. They are bad teachers because they don’t know what they are doing.
They have a gift but what are they saying? Are they misleading children? Are they hurting us?
Are they like the little pussycat that will one day come and grab me by the neck? The TV cannot
teach me. I need something more. I need Jesus to take me aside, talk to me, open my ears and
give me a new mouth. Then with all those kinds of people around me we have instruction. We
also have a question about divorce. We also have a question about money. We have questions
about our ego, our division, our complaining, our fears.
We have questions about covid. We have questions about life for schools. We have questions about life in many areas. We say to God, if you open my ears and if you teach my tongue, will you not then answer my questions?
Will you not be my counselor? Will you not give me good people around me that will help me
so I can keep my marriage together by the grace of God. I can teach my children how to live a
godly life and say to my children we don’t do that in our family. In our family we don’t do that. I
forbid you to do that. That is not right. This is called in our Bible admonition or exhortation. I
need exhortation. As you come to this church, it will hit you. There will be some times there will be a message of exhortation. And you’ll go, wow! That’s good. I accept that. I believe that.
Another Christian will say I don’t like that. No, I’m not coming here anymore. I don’t like that. I
like the pussycat in my living room. Don’t talk to me about the things that I enjoy and like. We
have to say to those people which are here and our doors are open. Come back. You need what
God has to say to you. We are not saying we are the bottom line. We are saying that God is the
bottom line and we can all seek him.
The exhortation that is needed is good for me. It keeps me out of a bar room. It keeps me off of a respirator early in my life. It keeps me on the straight and narrow. It will exalt us in Proverbs 6 and instruction is a way of life in vs. 22, 23. The Word of God will guide you as you walk along the way. It will keep you while you sleep and when you
awake, it will speak to you. The Bible. Hide it in your heart. The Bible. Listen to it all the time.
The Bible, the counsel and the guidance. The Bible, the food that comes from heaven. The Bible
that will teach me Jesus is the one that loves me like no one else. He will take me aside and
change my life and then I will follow him because I want more instruction because I have found
a way of life. In a year and a half, I’ll be 70 years old.
To me, that’s a huge number. I’m looking forward to it. I hope I make it. I feel young. I feel fresh. I feel encouraged. I do. I feel like 70, an old man! Seventy! Oh! How come? He renews our youth like the eagle in Psalm 103. How
come? That Moses was 120 and his face was not abated. How come? He was refreshed by God
as a way of life. I have the same hope for you and everyone else that is listening and say Jesus is
the way, and the truth, and the life. God bless you. I’m so thankful he answered our prayer
today. He gave us a word. Thank you, Lord.
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.