Sep 072017
 

He Has Done All Things Well

“Then he returned from the region of Tyre and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment, and they begged him to lay his hand on him. And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue. And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, ‘Ephphatha,’ that is, ‘Be opened.’

And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, ‘He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.’ ” (Mark 7:31-37)

“He has done all things well”, confessed the astonished crowd. When Jesus does things, He does them, all of them, “well,” as in – leaving nothing to be desired. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.” Christ’s works are indeed astonishing.

“He has done all things well.”

Jesus is our Redeemer, who does the things for our redemption well. With this account, Mark takes us back into the Book of Isaiah, in which it is prophesied: “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.” (Isa 35:5-6) Jesus was out fulfilling God’s promise of redemption for the world on a highway called “the Way of Holiness” (Isa 35:8). Jesus testified that He is the “Way” (John 14:6), and the earliest Church was known as “the Way” (Acts 9:2).

The “Way of Holiness” passed through the womb of a young virgin, a manger, a short ministry of preaching and works of mercy, a cross at Calvary and a sepulcher which could not hold Him. Jesus united Himself to creation in His incarnation, so that He could redeem creation as our Redeemer. On the cross Jesus atoned for the sins of the world, dying as a ransom for many. The Gospel is the proclamation of our redemption given to faith in Christ alone.

“He has done all things well.”

Jesus has compassion for the plight of humanity which is captive to sin and death: “looking up to heaven, he sighed”. Though He came to redeem the whole world, Jesus is a personal Savior who heals each one of us according to our individual needs.

Jesus heals from afar, and He heals close up. He heals in public, and Jesus heals in private. Jesus heals using His finger inserted into a deaf man’s ear, and He heals by inserting a disciple’s finger into His nail-scared hand. He heals using physical elements (e.g., mud, spittle, water, the fringe of His garment, bread and wine), and Jesus heals by His Word alone. Jesus heals at the request of faithful intercessors, and He heals according to His own initiative. Whatever the circumstances, Jesus heals each one of us according to our individual needs.

“He has done all things well.”

When God completed His original creative work, the Book of Genesis records: “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” (Gen 1:31) The words “well” and “good” (in the Septuagint) both come from the same Greek word. What the crowd in Mark’s gospel confessed about Jesus’ redemptive work is essentially the same declaration that God made concerning original creation. Therefore, we may have absolute confidence that Jesus’ redemptive work is every bit as beautiful, excellent and God-directed as the original creation itself. After all, the Word who said “Let there be light (Gen 1:3), also said Ephphatha.”

“He has done all things well.”

“And they were astonished beyond measure….” This is the part of the story that might make us uncomfortable. The people who brought the deaf and speech impaired man to Jesus were astonished by the healing. They knew Jesus was a healer, but witnessing Him actually heal this particular man astonished the crowd. This historical event raises questions for us: Are the days of astonishment over? Is Jesus still at work today doing astonishing things? Or does the issue reside with our faith?

Should we not be astonished:

  • that Jesus has opened the door to heaven for us and through His suffering and death has reconciled us to God out of pure grace?
  • that Jesus speaks to us today in His Word as surely as He spoke to the peoples of Palestine 2,000 years ago?
  • that Jesus heals our hearts with the forgiveness of sins through faith in the Gospel? “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24)
  • that Jesus baptizes us into His own death and resurrection, making us heirs of God and fellow heirs with Him, creating in Him one family and kingdom consisting of brothers and sisters from all nations, races and ethnic groups?
  • that Jesus enables us to pray to God as Father for all our needs and in times of trouble by the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, and that our prayers will be heard?
  • that Jesus comes to us in a Holy Communion meal to personally bestow us with the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation?
  • that just as God raised Jesus from the dead, He promises us the resurrection of our bodies?

Upon reflection, we do have many reasons to be astonished today, indeed many more than the short list above describes. Jesus has done, and continues to do all things well, for us. “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)

May our Lord and God open our ears to receive His Word of astonishing grace, and release our tongues to sing aloud of His righteousness, both now and forever. For “He has done all things well.” Amen.

“And a highway shall be there,

   and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;

the unclean shall not pass over it.

   It shall belong to those who walk on the way;

   even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.

No lion shall be there,

   nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;

they shall not be found there,

   but the redeemed shall walk there.

And the ransomed of the Lord shall return

   and come to Zion with singing;

everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;

   they shall obtain gladness and joy,

   and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isa 35:8-10) Amen.

  2 Responses to “Jean’s Gospel: He Has Done All Things Well”

  1. “Upon reflection, we do have many reasons to be astonished today, indeed many more than the short list above describes. Jesus has done, and continues to do all things well, for us. “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)

    May our Lord and God open our ears to receive His Word of astonishing grace, and release our tongues to sing aloud of His righteousness, both now and forever. For “He has done all things well.” Amen.” and Amen

    worth repeating – IMHO

    my take-away today is thinking on holiness – we/i tend to think of it as esoteric and untouchable – when, in reality it is holiness that is powerful and beautiful and has made all things that are solid and satisfying to the soul – the essence of life is wrapped in holiness, is it not?

  2. “that Jesus enables us to pray to God as Father for all our needs and in times of trouble by the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, and that our prayers will be heard?”

    This has always been astonishing to me. That God actually wants to hear from me, that He actually wants me to come to Him. That He has made me worthy of His attention.

    This is an amazing thing.

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