Sunday School Lessons


Commentary by Walter Albritton


May 4


The One Who Does All Things Well

 Invites Us to Act Boldly in Faith


Mark 7:24-37

Key Verse: [Jesus] has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.

--Mark 7:37


            What a beautiful tribute the astonished crowd paid our Lord Jesus: “He has done everything well….” We may add: He did, and He does!

            He delivered the poor Gentile woman’s daughter from a demon. He healed the deaf man so that he could hear and begin to speak clearly.

            We see demonstrated the unlimited power of the Savior. He could deliver the little girl without seeing her or touching her. He willed her deliverance, and it was done. When the mother returned home, she found her daughter well.

            On the other hand, he touched the ears and the tongue of the deaf man, commanding the man’s ears to “be opened.” The power of his touch, and of his spoken word, result in the man’s complete healing.   

            Some of us may winch at Jesus’ reply to the woman. He implies that she is but a dog. This is puzzling to say the least.

            If we are offended by the words of Jesus, the woman is not. She understands, as a Gentile woman, what Jesus is saying. Gentiles were commonly referred to as “dogs” by the Jews.

            The woman takes the straight talk of Jesus in stride and reveals a bold spirit in her response. Instead of taking offense at the word “dogs,” she uses the idea to make her point with Jesus: “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

            In humility, she is saying, “Sir, go ahead and feed the children of Israel first, but while you are doing it, allow us who are Gentiles to have the crumbs under the table.”

            The quick response of Jesus indicates that he is impressed with the woman’s faith. This is a woman on a mission for her daughter. She will not quit; she has spunk and courage.

            So Jesus rewards her bold faith with the healing of her daughter. Here is a lesson for us today. We should learn not to give up easily, but to take our petitions boldly to the throne of grace.

            The story of the deaf man’s encounter with Jesus is remarkable. There are people, unnamed, who care for this man. They care enough to take him to Jesus. Their example can prompt us to ask ourselves, “Who are the people I care enough about to help them to get to know Jesus?” We too can take people to Jesus!

            The sensitivity of Jesus is impressive. Gently he leads the man away from the crowd to avoid embarrassing him publicly. The kindness of our Lord should inspire us to treat others in need with this same compassion.

            When we consider the ways Jesus healed people, we learn that we cannot put him “in a box.” Some he touched; some he did not. To some he offered forgiveness of sin; to others he did not. He heals people who are present with him; he also heals sick persons who are in other places. This teaches us that the healing is not in the methods employed but in the Person of Jesus.

            Jesus realized the deaf man needed his touch, so he put his fingers in the man’s ears and he touched his tongue. Moreover, he “commanded” the ears to open. Immediately the man was healed. He could hear. He could speak plainly.

            Consider this: What Jesus did for the deaf man, he remains able to do for us. If we allow him to “do everything well” in our lives, we may need to ask him to open our ears so we can truly hear what God is saying to us.

            Then, some of us who are tongue-tied and pitifully timid, may need to ask him to touch our tongues. When he does, he releases us from our reticence to witness and enables us to speak plainly to others all that he has done for us. He can heal us of our inability, or unwillingness, to praise him with our lips as well as our lives.

            If we invite Jesus to heal our inadequacies, so that we may both hear and speak well, then we can make the crowd’s tribute our own song of praise: Jesus does everything well! + + + +