“New Ears Resolution” | Mark 7:31-37 Bible Study

First streamed 1.4.23. First posted 1.7.22.

This study is largely based on a previous sermon on Mark 7:31-37.

Introduction

Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution? Once or twice?

As you likely know, a New Year’s resolution is when you promise or resolve to do things differently in the new year.1 To do things better. To put down some bad habits and pick up some good habits.

Now according to survey data,[1] which New Year’s resolutions do you think are typically the most common?

Apparently, most often, people resolve to lose weight, eat better, exercise more, and be more fit. So, frequently, people resolve to make changes that revolve around their physical health.

But what’s more important than our physical health is our spiritual health. Physical health is temporary; spiritual health is eternal.

So, we need to make better choices not just when it comes to what we put in our bodies, but what we put in our souls.

Now soul food… might not be the best thing for our bodies. But, man, I love me some chicken. Fried chicken. Grilledchicken. Baked chicken. Chicken breast. Chicken legs. Chicken soup.

But, as long as it’s prepared properly, pretty much any way you cut it up and serve it up, I’ll eat it up.

But what about the word about the One who was cut up and served up for us? As long as it’s prepared properly, we should eat it up. For the word of the Lord is chicken soup for the soul.

But many aren’t eating enough of the Savior’s soul food. Many would rather binge on worldly junk food than Jesus. Would rather consume carnal candy than Christ.

And you know what they say: “You are what you eat”.

Since, spiritually, many eat a lot of empty calories, we speak a lot of empty words.

Spiritually, we need to hear better things, so we can speak better things. We need to hear better, so we can speak better.

As you may know, it’s hard for a person who is physically deaf to speak rightly, since they cannot hear rightly. And it’s hard for a person who is spiritually deaf to speak rightly, since they cannot hear rightly.

Brothers and sisters, for Jesus, we need to speak rightly. For Christ, we need our tongues to be unchained. Thus, to the Lord, we need to resolve to have open ears. In the New Year, we need a New Ears resolution.

Now, many of know how to make a resolution. But many don’t know how to keep a resolution. And that’s really the most important part of a resolution: the keeping. Anybody can just make them.2[2]

It takes a strong resolve to keep one’s resolution. And that’s hard to do in our own strength. That’s why we can’t do it by ourselves; we need to allow the Lord to clear our ears.

For the Lord can make the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.

[1] https://www.statista.com/statistics/378105/new-years-resolution/ ; https://www.countryliving.com/uk/news/a38576418/new-years-resolutions-2022/

[2] https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0697648/characters/nm0000632

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Live Stream Recording

Bible Study Slideshow

1-4-23 Bible Study Slides Mark 7_31-37

Conclusion

Now, it’s tempting to focus on the miracles more than the message, more on the signs than what the signs signify. But we can’t put too much focus on the physical.

We want Jesus to be healing people, but we should also want people to be hearing Jesus.

Now if you look closely, you’ll see that my ears are not in alignment. In both ears I suffered an injury common to many wrestlers, grapplers, and martial artists. It’s called, “cauliflower ear”.

It’s when the outer ear experiences blunt force trauma that results in swelling that deforms the ear’s cartilage. And, as in my case, this can take place even when you’re wearing protective headgear.

And when this happens to your ear, you can try to wrap it and ice it. But what someone often needs to do is just stick a needle directly in the outer ear, and drain out the excess blood and fluid.

I can tell you from experience, this is not a pleasant process. And it’s not always successful… because even if you drain out some fluid, the ear can still swell up again. And after a while, the ear hardens in a deformed state. Both of my ears are all jacked up.

But what’s worse is when people have spiritual ears that are all jacked up… when troubles of this wicked world have caused blunt force trauma… and their ears harden in a deformed state.

But thanks be to God, Jesus can transform what is deformed. If we allow Him, the One who was pierced for our transgressions, can pierce our ears, and drain out all that causes swelling. If we are deaf to God,3 Christ can clear our ears – so His word we can hear.

He can make us hear better so we can speak better. He can make us hear what the Lord says, so we can speak what the Lord says.4

And remember that, to open this man’s ears, Jesus takes this man away from crowd in private. So many times our ears are listening to so many other things… that the voice of Jesus gets drowned out in the crowd.

Maybe we should turn down the radio a little in 2023, maybe we should turn off the TV a little in 2023, maybe we should strive to let Jesus talk to us in private.5  Some private time with Jesus can be great not only for physical health, but for spiritual health.

After a touch from the healing hands of Christ, even if we have false teeth, we can speak the true Gospel. Even if we have crooked ears, we can be in line with His will.

So, in the new year, with the Lord’s help, let’s resolve hear the word of the Lord better. Let’s make a New Ears resolution.

May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Bibliography

  • Arndt, William, Frederick W. Danker, Walter Bauer, and F. Wilbur Gingrich. In A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000. [BDAG]
  • Balz, Horst Robert, and Gerhard Schneider. In Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1990–. [EDNT]
  • Bratcher, Robert G., and Eugene Albert Nida. A Handbook on the Gospel of Mark. UBS Handbook Series. New York: United Bible Societies, 1993. [UBS]
  • Cole, R. Alan. Mark: An Introduction and Commentary. Vol. 2. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1989.
  • Cole, R. Alan. “Mark.” In New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition, edited by D. A. Carson, R. T. France, J. A. Motyer, and G. J. Wenham, 4th ed., 946–77. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994. [NBC]
  • Edwards, James R. “Mark”. In The Baker Illustrated Bible Commentary. Gary M. Burge, and Andrew E. Hill, eds.Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2012.
  • Elwell, Walter A., and Barry J. Beitzel. “Lebana, Lebanah.” In Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, 2:1321. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988. [BEB]
  • Evans, Craig A. The Bible Knowledge Background Commentary: Matthew–Luke. Edited by Craig A. Evans and Craig A. Bubeck. First Edition. Colorado Springs, CO: David C Cook, 2003.
  • Garland, David E. Mark. The NIV Application Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1996.
  • Garland, David E. “Mark”. In Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary: Matthew, Mark, Luke. Vol. 1. Edited by Clinton E. Arnold. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002. [ZIBBC]
  • Keener, Craig S. The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament. Second Edition. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic: An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2014.
  • Langston, Scott. “Sidon and Tyre.” In Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, edited by Chad Brand, Charles Draper, Archie England, Steve Bond, E. Ray Clendenen, and Trent C. Butler. Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2003. [HIBD]
  • Louw, Johannes P., and Eugene Albert Nida. In Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains. New York: United Bible Societies, 1996. [LN]
  • Merriam-Webster, Inc. In Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003.
  • Porter, Stanley E. Idioms of the Greek New Testament. Sheffield: JSOT, 1999.
  • Robertson, A. T. A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research. Logos Bible Software, 2006.
  • Silva, MoisÈs, ed. In New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology and Exegesis. Vol. 1–5. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014. [NIDNTTE]
  • Wallace, Daniel B. Greek Grammar beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996.

Sources

  1. MW
  2. Adapted from Seinfeld, “The Alternate Side” (1991)
  3. NBC, 963
  4. Garland, 301
  5. Garland, 302
About @DannyScottonJr 455 Articles
Imperfect Servant ✝?⛪ | Husband | Princeton U. Alum | M. Div. | Assistant (to the) Pastor | Sound Doctrine & Apologetics @catchforchrist