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 him to place his hand on the man.
On the surface, this seems like something that happened wherever Jesus went. People were always asking Him to heal their sick. But if you’ve been following this blog, you know that this is a special case.
This is not the first time the Lord has been to the region of the Decapolis. The first time was recorded in Mark chapter 5, verses 1-20.
It seems that the people of this region do a lot of begging. They begged Jesus to heal this deaf man. During their first encounter with Christ, it was a different story.
In chapter 5, the Lord and His disciples met a demon-possessed man in a graveyard. He was taken over by a legion of demons. Jesus cast the demons out and they entered a herd of pigs. Immediately, the pigs ran into the lake and drowned themselves.
When the people of the area saw what happened, they begged Jesus to leave. As He was going, the delivered man begged Jesus to take him with the disciples. Instead, the Lord told the man to stay and tell what had happened to him.
Now, some time has passed. On the basis of one man’s testimony, the spiritual climate of the area had changed. Instead of asking Jesus to leave, they wanted Him to minister there.
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.
The Lord graciously brought healing to this man. It doesn’t talk about it in the passage, but I’m sure that the Good News of the Messiah was proclaimed throughout that whole region.
Then, as He’s leaving, the Lord gives different instructions.
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.”
What a turnaround. Instead of hostility to Christ, they are now amazed at who He is. Now they all have the testimony that the Lord does all things well.
This all happened because one man did what the Lord called him to do. He gave testimony to God’s work in his life.
Never get discouraged about the darkness around you. Remember that one person’s testimony for Christ can change everything.
Heed the words that the Lord originally told this man in chapter 5. “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”
Question: How has Christ shown His love to you?
© 2018 Nick Zaccardi