Sermon Transcript – Ephphatha

Series B – Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost – Sunday, September 6, 2015 | Pr. Chris Rosebrough

Welcome to the Teaching Ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. Kongsvinger is a beacon for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of Northwestern Minnesota.
We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and salvation by grace through faith alone, and now, here’s a message from Pastor Chris Rosebrough:
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Time StampTranscript
0:28the holy Gospel According to Saint Mark
0:31chapter 7 verses 24 through 37.
0:37Jesus left that place and went to the
0:43Jesus left that place and went to the
0:45vicinity of Tire he entered a house and
0:48did not want anyone to know it yet he
0:50could not keep his presence Secret in
0:53fact as soon as she heard about him a
0:55woman whose little daughter was
0:57possessed by an evil spirit came and
0:59fell at his feet the woman was a Greek
1:02born in Syrian phenicia she begged Jesus
1:05to drive the demon out of her daughter
1:08first let the little children eat all
1:10they want he told her for it is not
1:13right to take the children’s bread and
1:14toss it to their dogs
1:16Yes Lord she replied but even the dogs
1:18on the table eat the children’s crumbs
1:21and then he told her for such a reply
1:23you may go the demon has left your
1:25daughter so she went home and found her
1:27child lying on the bed and the demon
1:30gone when Jesus left the vicinity of
1:32tire and went through sidon down to the
1:35Sea of Galilee and into the region of
1:37the decapolis there some people brought
1:39to him a man who was deaf and could
1:41hardly talk and They begged him to place
1:43his hand on the man after he took him
1:45aside away from the crowd Jesus put his
1:48fingers into the man’s ears then he spit
1:51and touched the Man’s Tongue he looked
1:54up to heaven with a deep sigh and said
1:56to him ephathah which means be opened at
2:00this the man’s ears were opened and his
2:02tongue was loose and he began to speak
2:04plainly Jesus commanded them not to tell
2:07but the more he did so the more they
2:10kept talking about it people were
2:12overwhelmed with amazement he has done
2:14everything well they said he even makes
2:16the death here and the mute speak
2:20in the name of Jesus
2:23all right two stories
2:25it’s like a Jesus twin spin here two of
2:29them very different both of them taking
2:31place outside of Israel technically in
2:33Gentile territory the second one helps
2:36us understand the first one but the
2:38first one is a little bit complicated
2:40last year I preached on the story of the
2:43syrophoenician woman from the gospel of
2:45Matthew chapter 15 and this is one of
2:48those texts that is really rough and the
2:51reason why it’s rough is because it
2:52looks like Jesus is racially insulting a
2:56you know calling her a dog
2:58yeah try that today you know like I
3:01pointed out last year if this happened
3:03today Twitter Facebook the news media
3:05would be a buzz I mean that would people
3:07would be unfriending Jesus like faster
3:09than you know if he were a leper you
3:11know what I’m saying but one of the
3:14things I hate about the story is it’s so
3:16convolutedly difficult to understand why
3:19is Jesus insulting this woman and I’ve
3:22um recently read a book by the by a
3:25gentleman by the name of Dr Ken Bailey
3:27who is a middle eastern studies expert
3:31and he’s written a book called Jesus
3:33Through Middle Eastern eyes and he makes
3:35a very compelling case that there’s the
3:38reason why we westerners don’t get it is
3:40because we don’t think in terms of
3:41community and culture
3:43and as soon as you put a Middle Eastern
3:45Community and culture as an assumed
3:48thing in here all of a sudden things
3:50start to crackle and come to life and so
3:53I’m gonna we’ll tackle the first one
3:55using Bailey’s idea and then we’ll take
3:57a look at the second one as well and so
4:00we’ll we’ll read it Jesus left that
4:02place and he went to the vicinity of
4:04Tire he entered a house and did not want
4:07anyone to know it yet he could not keep
4:09his presence secret just by way of type
4:12and Shadow Old Testament type and Shadow
4:14if you know the story of Elijah
4:18First Kings chapter 17 and the the
4:21showdown between the prophets above all
4:23and Elijah well that Showdown begins
4:26with Elijah basically saying it’s not
4:28going to rain until I say so because God
4:30told him to say that and then he goes
4:31and hides he hides the brook Sharif for
4:34a while and then the brook dries up and
4:36then Elijah heads to the region of tire
4:38and sidon and he like Jesus finds a
4:42woman kind of in desperate need with a
4:44child if you would and so you think of
4:46the story in the Old Testament of Elijah
4:48traveling to this same region as type
4:51and Shadow Jesus is now fulfilling it
4:53where Elijah was able to keep himself
4:55hidden Jesus is not able to keep himself
4:59hidden it’s kind of fascinating how that
5:00works out so there’s a direct connection
5:02here type and Shadow in First Kings 17
5:05then the substance in this text
5:08but we’ll we’ll I just put that in there
5:10so that we all have that marker here’s
5:13what it says then verse 25 in fact as
5:15soon as she heard about him a woman
5:18whose little daughter was possessed by
5:20an evil spirit came and fell at his feet
5:23the woman was a Greek born in Syrian
5:27phenicia she begged Jesus to drive the
5:30demon out of her we get from the gospel
5:33of Matthew who are actual words she
5:35calls out to Jesus Lord son of David
5:39sir cry to him Lord son of David so she
5:42has she knows who Jesus is
5:44she’s got a little bit of theology
5:46training going on here she’s knows about
5:49the coming Messiah who would be the son
5:52of David and so Jesus rebuffs her in the
5:56mat in the methane account we learned
5:58that the disciples Jesus says nothing to
6:01her at first and the disciples say send
6:03her away send her away and this kind of
6:06helps us understand this so Bailey’s
6:08thought on this is that we must
6:11understand that the culture of first
6:15century Israel was extremely racially
6:20biased against the Gentiles
6:23it’s akin to what we saw here in the
6:26United States in the 20th century with
6:29this in the South against African
6:32Americans it’s that kind of racial
6:34hatred and so you see this by the way if
6:38you want an example of what this looks
6:40like go and read Acts chapter 10 and
6:43chapter 11. Acts chapter 10 gives us the
6:46story of the first Gentile Believers in
6:48Christianity the story of the Centurion
6:50Cornelius and Peter is sent by the Holy
6:54Spirit to go to his house and he shows
6:57up he preaches the gospel they receive
7:00the Holy Spirit and they’re baptized
7:02Cornelius and his whole family and
7:05rather than Rejoice that the gospel has
7:08now gone out to Gentiles in chapter 11
7:11we learned that the circumcision party
7:13within Christianity that they were
7:16actually very upset at Peter for daring
7:21to eat a meal with Gentiles and so they
7:25called Peter on the carpet and he had to
7:27give an explanation about his actions
7:30and so that gives you kind of a frame of
7:32mind that you can understand here as far
7:34as what the Jews thought of the Gentiles
7:37at this time in history it’s a very very
7:40strong racial Prejudice and so
7:44that is part of what’s going on here
7:46there’s a racial barrier but the other
7:49thing is is that when we have to
7:50understand this is that women are not
7:53permitted to talk to men
7:56and men don’t talk to women in this
7:58Middle Eastern culture and so this woman
8:01she broke through two Rock Solid
8:06barriers to talk to Jesus two of them
8:08first by way of the fact that she’s a
8:11woman and she is UN invited and
8:14basically engaging in a conversation
8:16with Jesus and calling out to him and on
8:18top of it she’s a gentile so in the
8:20methion account we the first response is
8:23Jesus says nothing
8:25and the disciples say send her away
8:30get rid of her
8:32and so what’s going on in this text if
8:34you understand the culture is is that
8:36Jesus has every intention of meeting her
8:39need this is a woman who has faith
8:43she absolutely has faith in Jesus and
8:46Jesus is not going to turn away somebody
8:48who has faith in him and not meet their
8:50need his ears are open to his children’s
8:55plea for Mercy because she has Faith his
8:58ears are attentive to her but the set
9:00kind of the subtext here is that Jesus
9:03in his response is preaching to two
9:05groups and you have to keep them teased
9:07out the first group is the woman the
9:10Gentile woman he’s challenging her faith
9:13knowing that her faith is going to come
9:16shining through but the other thing he’s
9:18doing is he’s challenging the racial
9:20Prejudice of the of the disciples this
9:23is Bailey’s Theory and I think he’s got
9:24he’s on to something here and so what
9:26Jesus does then is that she persists
9:31and then Jesus voices these painful
9:33words let the little children eat all
9:35they want for it is not right to take
9:38the children’s bread and then toss it to
9:40the dogs and what Jesus was doing there
9:42was literally giving voice
9:45to the racial Prejudice of the Jews of
9:48his day
9:49and the disciples they had that
9:51prejudice still in them because they
9:52were telling him to get rid of that
9:54woman so jesus takes up their cultural
9:59hatred if you would not because he he
10:01possesses it but because he’s going to
10:03give voice to it and by giving voice to
10:05it he’s going to show how absolutely
10:08ugly it is
10:09and so he says
10:11first let the little children eat all
10:13they want for it’s not right to take the
10:15children’s bread and toss it to their
10:18called her a dog
10:20and the fact that the disciples record
10:23this account
10:25and memorialize This Woman’s faith is
10:28critical for us to understand what’s
10:30going on here because Jesus here you can
10:32almost see the disciples wince and going
10:36man that doesn’t sound right right
10:39but she has faith she’s a penitent
10:43Sinner and so rather than getting sensed
10:46and upset and blow up on Jesus and say
10:48how dare you call me a dog
10:51she responds with faith yes Lord
10:56she replied
10:57but even the little dogs under the table
10:59eat the children’s crumbs
11:03she’s not going away she’s got Jesus by
11:06the hand and she’s not letting go
11:09and so her faith comes shining through
11:13and then Jesus says for such a reply you
11:17may go the demon has left your daughter
11:19and in the methion account in Matthew 15
11:22Jesus says woman great is your faith
11:26so we know that she has faith and so the
11:29idea here is is that Jesus who is our
11:33God his ears are attentive they’re open
11:35to the needs of his children who have
11:37faith in him and this woman although
11:39she’s a gentile and although she’s a
11:41woman in this culture men and women are
11:43not supposed to be talking to each other
11:45and she’s broken through all these
11:47cultural barriers that have been set up
11:49and her culturally what she’s doing is
11:53like unbelievably Beyond The Pale
11:56still Jesus knows that she has faith
12:00tests her faith a little bit
12:03and knows that she’s going to pass just
12:05fine and at the same time there’s a
12:07secondary thing and that that’s going on
12:09here is that this begins to unwind
12:12the racial Prejudice in the minds of the
12:15disciples against the Gentiles
12:18this is what begins to unwind that
12:21and part of the reason we know this is
12:23because of the next story that we read
12:24then Jesus left the vicinity of tire and
12:28went through sidon down to the Sea of
12:30Galilee into the region of the decapolis
12:32the region of the decapolis is not
12:34Jewish territory the capitalist means
12:37the ten cities this is in the
12:39northeastern region of the Sea of
12:41Galilee and extends all the way up into
12:43Syria and so there people brought to him
12:47a man
12:48who was deaf and could hardly talk and
12:52They begged him to place his hand on the
12:55man another Gentile by the way by by the
12:58fact of where he lives now we’ve all
13:01experienced and understand this man’s
13:06In Our Lifetime we all probably met with
13:08and talked with and spoken with people
13:10who are deaf
13:12you know this is a lonely existence to
13:14not be able to hear and deaf people they
13:18can learn how to speak but you can
13:19always tell by how they speak that they
13:22don’t have the ability to hear
13:24there’s a certain way in which all of
13:26them kind of talk and I you know from
13:28time to time you see somebody posting on
13:31Facebook you know a link to one of those
13:33videos where somebody receives their
13:35hearing for the first time because we
13:36now have medical technology these
13:38Cochlear implants or whatever the thing
13:40they’re called where somebody has a
13:42medical procedure and they’re finally
13:44able to hear with the help of some
13:46technological device and when they turn
13:49it on for the first time I mean the
13:51videos on YouTube of people hearing for
13:53the first time it just brings tears to
13:55your eyes but even after they hear they
13:58still talk as if they’re deaf does that
14:02make sense it’s going to take them a
14:03long time to learn how to not speak that
14:06way because that’s the way they’ve been
14:07speaking their whole lives and so this
14:09is a man like that he’s deaf he has some
14:12ability to communicate
14:15like many deaf people they can learn how
14:17to talk but he doesn’t speak very well
14:19so Jesus watch what he does he took him
14:22aside away from the crowd big deal by
14:25the way because one of the things if you
14:28have that had the opportunity to speak
14:30with people who have you know don’t have
14:32the ability to hear being in a crowd is
14:35a very difficult thing for them
14:36and so Jesus
14:38extremely sensitive to this man’s
14:42feelings and sensitive to his disability
14:47doesn’t put on a circus in the crowd
14:50instead he takes the man by the hand
14:53leads him away and then privately begins
14:57to deal with him and you’ll notice that
14:59in the in up above when Jesus healed the
15:02little girl of the demon that the mother
15:05had come for he just gave a word Jesus
15:08does something different with this man
15:09and what’s going on here is is that he
15:12is actually being very sensitive to him
15:15to let him know that he’s being cared
15:17for so this is a tactile
15:20healing if you would
15:22so we took them aside Jesus put his
15:25fingers into the man’s ears so the first
15:27thing he’s touching his ears okay he
15:30can’t hear but he’s touching his ears
15:34then he spit and he touched the Man’s
15:36Tongue very tactile
15:38then Jesus looks up to heaven
15:41and by just do it you look up to heaven
15:44you now know what’s going on this is a
15:46signal to the man it’s Heaven that’s
15:48going to be healing you right so he
15:50looks up to heaven and he sighs a deep
15:54sigh and he says this word
15:59this is the way it says it right
16:01and so all of this is a signal to the
16:04man who can’t hear to let him know Jesus
16:07has got him
16:08I’m going to heal your ears we’re going
16:10to give your give you the ability to
16:14and then he sighs you know looking
16:16looking up to heaven to let him know
16:18that heaven is doing this
16:20and he looked up with a deep sigh said
16:22ephatha which means be opened
16:25at this the man’s ears were opened
16:28his tongue was loosed and he began to
16:31speak plainly
16:33given the ability to hear and to no
16:37longer speak as one who has been deaf
16:41total healing Total Restoration and
16:44you’ll notice Jesus does this privately
16:47when you turn on the television you have
16:49the televangelist they put on a big show
16:51right bring somebody up on the stage and
16:53they do their faux fake healings and
16:56people you know applaud and stuff like
16:59that and afterwards they send the
17:00buckets to the audience you know to get
17:02the money out of the people’s wallets
17:04right Jesus doesn’t do this
17:06it’s not a show it’s not a circus
17:10he doesn’t make this man pay for his
17:13healing he doesn’t make the crowd
17:15pay for his healing by sending the
17:17buckets to the crowd
17:19the one who pays for this man’s healing
17:21is Jesus
17:22that’s the one who pays for it how does
17:25he pay for it by going to the cross and
17:27bleeding and dying for this man’s sins
17:30in fact Jesus is not some kind of
17:32charlatan huckster showman circus
17:36you know ringleader right
17:39says this after the healing Jesus
17:41commanded them not to tell anyone
17:44but the more he did so the more they
17:46kept talking about it and people were
17:48overwhelmed with amazement
17:50he’s done everything well they said he
17:53even makes the death here
17:55in the mute speak which is exactly what
17:57Isaiah prophesied the Messiah would do
17:59we read it this morning
18:00Jesus has truly done everything well
18:03now if you remember as we’ve been
18:04working through the gospel of Mark one
18:06of the things we’ve heard Jesus say on
18:09several accounts is the one who has ears
18:12to hear Let Him hear
18:14the one who has ears to hear Let Him
18:19all of us we all were born with the
18:21ability to physically heal to hear right
18:24but all of us because we’re descendants
18:27of Adam Eve we’ve been born deaf to
18:31God’s word to his gospel to his law
18:34and Jesus has had to open our ears it’s
18:38important for us to remember that we are
18:41very similar to this man and very
18:43similar to that woman we both have faith
18:46but here’s the important part you were
18:48born without the ability to hear God in
18:51his word but Jesus opened up your ears
18:53in the waters of your baptism
18:57speaking his gospel is a privilege to be
19:00able to do and to speak it plainly and
19:01it’s important for you to remember today
19:03as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper that
19:05this morning Jesus is going to touch
19:07your tongue
19:09he’s going to touch your tongue with his
19:10body and blood broken and shed for you
19:12for the Forgiveness of your sins to open
19:15up your mouth so that you can sing his
19:18praises and proclaim the mercies and The
19:21Wonder of God
19:22and to let the world know that Jesus
19:26truly has done all things well and he’s
19:28done all things well for you and for me
19:32he lived a sinless life
19:34so that we can be clothed in the
19:36righteousness of God and he took his sin
19:39our sins upon himself so that we would
19:41never have to face the wrath of God
19:44and so Jesus has opened our ears and
19:46opened our mouths opened our eyes we who
19:50were deaf blind and mute to the things
19:53of God are no longer blind no longer
19:56deaf no longer mute and we thank and
19:59praise God that he has done this to us
20:01and he has done this for us and so it is
20:05truly true
20:07that Jesus has done everything well he’s
20:09done it all well for you and he even
20:11makes you who were deaf and mute
20:15to hear and to speak the Wonders and the
20:18great mercies of our God and King Jesus
20:21Christ in the name of Jesus Amen
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