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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood


Help From Friends and Family

Help From Friends and Family

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. (Mark 7:31,32, NIV)

After delivering the daughter of the Syro-Phoenician mother in Tyre, on the coast of present-day Lebanon, Jesus crossed from the Mediterranean coastland through the high range of Galilean hills and descended to the lake nestled at 650 feet below sea level.

We do not know for sure the road juncture He next took. He could have kept going straight south to the one Decapolis city on the western side of the Jordan River, Scythopolis (ancient Beth Shean).

More likely, Jesus headed to the remaining nine cities of the Decapolis that lay to the east of the Lake of Galilee and Jordan River. Either way, He is in Gentile territory.

His venture into a non-Jewish area is a precursor to His sending the disciples to the entire world. The message Jesus brings cannot be limited to one ethnicity or one small geographical territory.

In the Gentile area of the Decapolis, His whereabouts again become known. People bring a deaf person to Jesus, begging Him to place His hand on the man.

As you follow Mark’s Gospel, you cannot help but note how instrumental family and friends were in bringing people with desperate needs to Jesus.

• Others told Him about the high fever of Peter’s mother-in-law (1:30).

• Four men lowered a paralytic through a roof (2:3).

• Jairus entreated Jesus for his dying daughter (5:22,23).

• The Syro-Phoenician mother pleaded for her demon-possessed daughter (7:26).

• People bring the deaf and nearly mute person to Jesus (7:32).

From these five occasions, three involved relatives bringing the need to Jesus and two involved friends. These instances from the Gospel encourage us that we are welcome also to bring to Him the needs of others that weigh heavily on our hearts.

We should also notice that Jesus’ healing and deliverance ministry reached beyond the borders of ethnicity to include the Gerasene demoniac (5:1-20), the Syro-Phoenician daughter (7:24-30), and this deaf man. His love and power reach out to people who are outside the faith. He gives to all from His amazing grace.

Finally, we should also note that the people bringing the deaf man “begged” Jesus to place His hand on him. The term “begged” is also used of the Syro-Phoenician mother (7:26). What’s going on?

I suspect that Mark is letting us know that, as Jesus’ ministry progressed, persistent faith on the part of the recipient or the recipient’s family and friends is becoming a more important factor in healing and deliverance. If you skip ahead to Mark 8:22, you will see again this word “begged” in reference to those who brought the blind man for Jesus to heal.

Certainly, we do not understand all the mysteries involved in our prayers for the sick. But this we do know. Jesus is asking us also to come with earnest faith as we bring to Him the needs of our family and friends.

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, I come to You today with my list of family and friends who need Your help. Lay Your hands upon them today and grant them Your mercy.

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

On Your Mark

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2013 On Your Mark

2012 On Your Mark

2011 On Your Mark

2010 On Your Mark

2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark

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