Leviticus 16:29-17:16; Mark 7:24-8:10; Psalms 41:4-13; Proverbs 13:20-23
NT: “Again, leaving the region of Tyre, he went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, through the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had difficulty speaking and begged Jesus to lay his hand on him. So he took him away from the crowd in private. After putting his fingers in the man’s ears and spitting, he touched his tongue. Looking up to heaven, he sighed deeply and said to him, “Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!” ). Immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was loosened, and he began to speak clearly. He ordered them to tell no one, but the more he ordered them, the more they proclaimed it. They were extremely astonished and said, “He has done everything well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”” (Mark 7:31-37 CSB)
In this section of this Gospel account, Mark records three miracles that Jesus performed for the gentiles in a gentile region of Palestine: Casting a demon out of a Sidonian woman’s daughter, healing a deaf and mute man in Decapolis, and feeding 4,000 just outside of Decapolis. This is the account of the deaf man and is only recorded in Mark’s gospel. An interesting thing to consider with this story is that the deaf man would not have heard Jesus’ sigh and command of “Ephphatha!” Jesus’ command wasn’t for the deaf man’s sake but a command to the man’s body and any spiritual thing that was causing the man’s deafness. Just as Jesus can speak to the wind and waves to be silent, He can also speak directly to the bodily organs involved in healing and tell them to be opened. After that miracle, Jesus’ reputation in the gentile community grew, and it was said of Him in the gentile community that He did everything well. The Greek word for ‘well’ is a pretty loaded word. It means beautifully, excellently, rightly, honorably, and commendably. The Jewish community didn’t think that highly of Jesus. That begs the question, what do people that don’t hold the same beliefs as us say about us? What do atheists, agnostics, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and the like say about us? Do they say that in all things we do things rightly, respectfully, honorably, with excellence? People will always disagree with us… and at some times vehemently – but they should never be able to say that we are not respectful and excellent in all that we do. God can grace us with the grace that Jesus had to walk life in that way and glorify God even to people who don’t hold our beliefs.
Psalms: “My enemies speak maliciously about me: “When will he die and be forgotten?” …All who hate me whisper together about me; they plan to harm me… Even my friend in whom I trusted, one who ate my bread, has raised his heel against me. But you, Lord, be gracious to me and raise me up; then I will repay them. By this I know that you delight in me: my enemy does not shout in triumph over me. You supported me because of my integrity and set me in your presence forever. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and amen.” (Psalms 41:5, 7, 9-13 CSB)
King David was betrayed more that once. Based on his honest writings in the Psalms, we can see that despite what people did to him, he wanted to make sure he was right with God… that he behaved well, despite what was being done to him. He knew that if he maintained his integrity, God would support him, even if everyone else around him didn’t. He placed justice in God’s hands and trusted that in the end, his Lord would make everything right.