Sunday, May 22, 2016

"Why Abraham?"

Hearing, Speaking and Disobedience

“Hearing, Speaking & Disobedience”

“From Ulster Plantation to the Carolina’s with the Gospel!” *

Russell H. McCullough / Archdale church of Christ, 2525 Archdale Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210 / - Date: 23 May 2016

Text: Mark 7.31 - 37
Thesis:  Obedience requires more than hearing, speaking and enthusiasm.

1           Introduction

A. Jesus and His disciples finally achieve privacy and seclusion for rest and teaching.  This journey may have lasted up to 2 months.
B. They encounter no one from the time of the Syrophoenician woman in Tyre until they encounter the deaf and speech impeded man in the Decapolis.
C. Seclusion was made possible by the journey deep inside the realm of the Gentiles where no on knew Jesus.
D. Roman Israel looked very different than biblical Israel.  The entire region was known to them as IUDAEA.
             1) Idumea, Judaea, Samaria, Galilee, Phoenicia, Gaulantitis,
                 The Decapolis, Peraea and Nabatea
             2) In totality, the entire area was roughly 95 by 125 miles.
E. “The Decapolis” was a totally Roman / Gentile region made up of ten cities, hence the name:
             1) Damascus, Canatha, Dion, Raphana, Gadara, Hippos,  
                  Pella, Gerasa, Scythopolis  and Philadelphia

2          The Encounter – 7.31 - 34

A. According to Matthews account, Jesus encounters large crowds once more as He re-enters southeast Galilee
B. Just who brought this man to Jesus is not stated
C. The original language suggests that his deafness was a direct cause of his “stammering.”  In other words, his condition was likely caused by some kind of disease or accident that took away his hearing and consequently his ability to speak coherently.
D. His friends knew well of Jesus’ power and methods
E. They begged him to lay His hands on their friend as he could not speak for himself
F. Jesus takes him away privately because He does not at this time wish to create even more sensation regarding His healing power as is confirmed later in vs. 36.
G. The purpose of Jesus’ actions in vs. 33 is vague at best.  We just don’t know for sure why He did what He did.  Numerous explanations abound but Edmund Heibert’s observation appears plausible – Jesus uses targeted touching to communicate to the man what He is about to do for him – heal his ears and his tongue.
H. Jesus’ love and compassion is quite evident by the fact that He literally “groans” out loud at the man’s plight – absolute uselessness in that day and time because of his limitations.
I. Jesus orders the healing in Aramaic, the daily language of the people.  This is why Mark gives the translation to his Roman and Gentile audience.

3          The Healing – 7.35

A. His ears were opened!
B. His tongue was released!
C. He spoke plainly!

4         The Command – 7.36 - 37

A.  Jesus tells them all not to tell anyone
B. The more He insisted, the “more excessively” they proclaimed it!
             1) The more Jesus commands, the more they do the
C. They were “astonished beyond measure”
             1) Literally; “over excessively they were astonished!”
D. “He has done all things well!”
             1) Literally; “ideally all things He has done!”
             2) He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak

5          The Meaning of the Text

A. The man heard
B. The man spoke
C. The man & his companions heard the command of Christ
D. The man & his companions ignored the command of Christ
E. The more instruction from the Lord the more they did the opposite

6         The Challenge of the Text

A. We must seek Christ as he did
B. We must hear the commands of Christ as he did
C. We must OBEY the commands of Christ as he did NOT
D. James 1.22 - 24

7          “The Gospel Call”

·         *  My fifth great uncle was Hugh Gaston who was rector at the Ballywillan Presbyterian Church (pictured above left) in County Antrim, Ulster Plantation (Northern Ireland) and wrote the most dangerous book of his time; Gaston’s Collections.  It allowed “the ploughman to know more Bible than his clergyman.”  Hugh fled to South Carolina where he died prematurely of the measles.  He is buried just one hour south of Charlotte in Chester County, S.C. in “Burnt Meeting House Cemetery.”   Uncle Hugh continues to inspire my ministry to this very day.  You can read more about Uncle Hugh here:
Ruins photo courtesy of:

·       *   On Friday night, August 5, 2016 Russ will dramatically portray the life and times of his 5th Great grandfather, John “Justice” Gaston entitled; “A Patriot of the Revolution.” A portion of the event will cover also the life and times of his brother, Hugh Gaston.  The event will take place at the Archdale church of Christ, 2525 Archdale Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210 at 7 p.m.   The public is invited to this free presentation.

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