WORD FROM THE CENTER: MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2021
Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s verse is Mark 7:37, where the Bible reports this reaction to Jesus’ ministry:
They were utterly astonished, saying, “He has done all things well; He makes even the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”
DON’T JUST BE AMAZED BY JESUS, BELIEVE IN HIM!
Have you ever had to deal with something that was locked up tight with no possibility of entry or release? I am beginning to travel again and one of my constant concerns is to have the keys to the townhouse in Washington, D.C. with me. There’s no worse feeling than getting off the plane, heading to the D.C. office, and then realizing that I may be “locked out.” Then it’s locksmith time. Being locked out with no possibility of entry when you really need to get in can even be terrifying in some circumstances. In life, being locked out, locked up, or locked in is not the life God intends for you. He wants you be free and open outwardly toward others.
But a problem lies behind our text. There are diseases that debilitate eyes so they don’t see, ears so they cannot hear, and tongues so they are unable to speak. The Bible also talks of a greater disease, of hearts that are closed to the righteousness of God, lives that are shut off from the healing love of God, and minds that are closed to the moral wisdom of God. For things that are hopelessly closed, physically or spiritually, there is only one “locksmith,” the one “who has the key of David” (Revelation 3:7), our Savior, Jesus. That’s the message reflected in our verse for today which comes as a response to His healing activity.
Prior to our text, amazing things have been happening in Jesus’ ministry. In Mark 7 he had just healed a deaf person. Other times He heals many others who were sick, gives sight to the blind, and even raises the dead. These are not just anomalies or curiosities. These healings and other miracles by Jesus were signs of the arrival of the Messiah (see Isaiah 35:5-6; also Jesus’ words about Himself in Luke 4:21 where He proclaims that Isaiah’s prophecy about the Messiah is fulfilled IN HIM). The Promised One is here, and He has come to fulfill God’s greatest miracles, the salvation of sinners and the opening of our hearts and minds to God in faith. The one born of a virgin and laid in a manger came to live our life substitutionally, die our death on a cross sacrificially, and rise again proleptically so that we might have life now and forever in Him. That’s the miracle of miracles!
Mere amazement though is a hazard. The crowd says, “He has done all things well.” That’s an understatement if there ever was one! Of course He does all things well. Of course He does the best of the best. When He’s at work, everything becomes as it should be. His words have authority. His teaching is unparalleled. And the work that He is about to embark upon, His work on the cross and in His resurrection, is unmatched. And then there’s the fact that He does such things not as opportunities for personal gain or glory, but in service to others so that they might be saved. Is there anyone else like Jesus? Anyone at all? No.
Today I pray that the Spirit of God stirs you up to be more than amazed. Yes, He did “all things well.” But the Bible is calling you to realize that Jesus did all things well for you! Don’t just be amazed, believe. Put your trust in Jesus and His Word. As you deal with the many issues on your plate this week, as you struggle to make sense of some things in your life, family, or community, remember this: There is one who is Lord and Savior over all of this. There is one who can be trusted in the midst of all things. There is one who has seen the worst of humanity and still redeemed humanity so that we can be who we were created and redeemed to be IN HIM. What He wants for you and me today is not merely to be amazed by Him. He wants you to believe in Him, to walk with Him, and to live forever with Him. He also wants you to put the power of faith in Him to work in your lives, now and forever. Be amazed, yes, but also believe.
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, we often forget that the power of faith does not depend on how much we believe, but, rather, on the one in whom we put our trust. Give us courageous, confident faith to trust You, to believe in You today and always. AMEN.