Tongue-Tied! #3

Friday, May 14, 2021

And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him (Mark 7:32 KJV).

What can this tongue-tied man possibly teach us?

Reading verses 1-13 (passage preceding today’s Scripture), you notice Israel has relegated the Hebrew Bible to an inferior status. Whereas the written Law of Moses commanded the Jews to honor their father and mother, they circumvented that by appealing to rabbinical interpretations of Jewish religious tradition. Rabbis taught Israel did not have to financially support their aging parents. All a Jew had to do was merely claim to dedicate his wealth to “God” (the money actually going not to God, but the religious system of the Jerusalem Temple!), thereby freeing him from his obligation to his parents. Religious tradition took precedence; God’s words, especially the Ten Commandments, really meant nothing to them! The Lord Jesus criticized these hypocrites or pretenders for spurning His Father’s words. Since they did not have the Scriptures on their mind, they were unable to have faith and teach others.

Moving to verses 14-23 (also prior to today’s Scripture), you realize Israel is sidetracked with religious tradition, fanatical ceremonial washings. They ignored the most fatal contaminant; their hearts were unclean because of sin: “[20] And he [Jesus] said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. [21] For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, [22] Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: [23] All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”

Thus far, we see national Israel has two problems—both are in the heart or soul. Firstly, Israel has a heart of sin, which separates her from God’s purpose and plan for her. She is defiled internally. Secondly, Israel has a heart of unbelief, and she has rejected God’s words to the degree of substituting works-religion (church tradition) for God’s righteousness (pure Bible). In contrast to Israel wallowing in this rank unbelief, a Gentile (!) woman has faith in Jesus (verses 24-30). Finally, as the chapter closes, a deaf and speech-inhibited man appears in today’s Scripture. Depicted here is Israel’s pitiful condition, spiritually deaf and babbling, whom the Lord faithfully restores to perfect health….

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