"One Size Fits All." Have you ever heard that one? I’ve been mocked by that one on both ends of the scale. As a small child, I remember swimming in things that supposedly "fit all" — and now I’m more likely to stretch things that "fit all." You know the truth — one size doesn’t fit all. Our Savior knew that too
The story in Mark 7 is Jesus healing a deaf and mute man, but that’s not even the most impressive thing. Open up your Bible and read just how he did it. Everyone who saw it had to say: "He has done everything well" (v. 37).
In our text, we see a Savior who cares about each one of us individually. Imagine how frustrating it would have been for that man in a day without cochlear implants, standardized sign language or the Americans with Disability Act. Instead of just yelling louder for the man who couldn’t hear, adding to his frustration, look at what Jesus does. He pulled him aside, touched his ears and his tongue (so that the man would know what he was doing). Then he looked up to heaven showing where our help comes from. And then Jesus spoke: "Be opened." Jesus’ word has power. The man could hear… and speak.
They were right. He does all things well. You’ve noticed that in your life, haven’t you? Sure, maybe you aren’t deaf or crippled or blind like those Jesus was so famous for healing. Then again, maybe you are. Have you been deaf to the songs of joy those around you sing? Have you been blind to the overflow of your blessing? Have you been crippled in your living for your king? God’s word tells us from where those spiritual problems come — fear. Fearful hearts. Do you ever have that? Listen to the cure: "Say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you’" (Isaiah 35:4).
That’s what we needed. \Because we were deaf to him. That’s how sin made us. God told us to eat of any tree, just not that one in the middle. Our first parents didn’t listen, and we’ve been following their lead ever since. He wrote in our hearts that the wages of sin is death — but we went ahead and sinned anyway. We needed God to come and save us.
So Jesus did. Jesus destroyed the fear. He shut up Satan’s accusations forever when he satisfied them with the blood they demanded. He blinded God’s eyes to our sin by shining the light of his perfection. He crippled death and removed its power to walk all over us by rising from it in our place and as our preview. He has done all things well.
And he takes the same care and concern for you. He has pulled you aside as he communicates to you in just the way that you need. Maybe it isn’t the sign language of a healing. Maybe it’s the arm of a friend around your shoulder. Maybe it was a tragedy he used to open up your ears to him. Maybe it is this article right now reminding you of all God has done for you.
Do you realize what God is doing? He has gone out of his way (all the way to the cross) to heal you of your real problem — sin. And now, he has gone out of his way to build you up with that message. God’s grace is for you. I can say that without hesitation because Jesus made it clear: God’s grace fits all.
Rev. Jonathan Scharf is pastor of Abiding Grace Lutheran Church in Covington. Full sermons and more information can be found at www.abidinggrace.com.