Saturday, June 13, 2009

MkITN VII, Verses 24 - 37

24. And, having finished this exchange, Jesus left this place, and went to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And there He entered into a certain house, and didn't want anyone to know He was there. But, of course, it wasn't possible for Him to keep any sort of low profile by this time...He simply could not be hidden from public notice.

25. So, practically as soon as He arrived, and the local buzz started about Him being in town, a woman whose little daughter was under the control of a rebel spirit got word about Him, and came and literally flung herself down at His feet.

26. What was particularly interesting about this woman coming to Him in this way is that she was a Greek...a Gentile...a Syro-phoenician by nationality. But their ethnic differences seemed to be a non-issue with her. With absolute absence of pride or awkwardness, she begged Him in a very demonstrative way to expel the spirit, and to end its authority over her daughter's life.

27. But, seemingly unfazed by her demeanor, He said to her, "You're ahead of schedule…it’s not time yet for Me to be revealed to the rest of the world, and to be accessible to people like you. Right now I am solely focused on My call to minister to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. You know that the Israelites consider your people to be dogs…so because I have my hands full in dealing with them as a nation at the moment, to help you would be like taking the children's bread, and throwing it to the dogs…at least that’s true as far as they’re concerned. It's not right that the “dogs” should take bread away from the children.

28. But she answered Him, “I don’t care about what the Israelites think. I just want my daughter well. So I would humbly disagree with You…I would say...but Lord, even the “dogs” eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table!"

29. And He said to her, "You know what? Because of what you just said, and how you said it, you can go in peace...the spirit has released control of your daughter, and has left her, permanently!"

30. And so she went home, and, sure enough, she found her daughter resting peacefully on the couch, and the rebel spirit was nowhere to be found.
31. Right after this, Jesus, coming back from the region of Tyre, passed through Sidon on to Lake Galilee, through the region of Decapolis, or "The Ten Cities".

32. And there they brought to Him a man who was deaf, and had great difficulty in speaking, and the people who were with him begged Jesus to just place His hand upon him.

33. But Jesus took the man aside from the crowd to minister to him privately, and in a very unconventional manner, even for Him. He authoritatively thrust His fingers into the man's ears, and then He spat into His hand, dipped His finger into His own saliva, and touched the man's tongue with it.

34. Then, looking up to the sky, He groaned from somewhere deep within Himself as He said in His native tongue, "Ephphatha!", which means, "Be opened!"

35. And immediately the startled man's ears were opened, and he began to speak perfectly...with no impediment at all.

36. Then Jesus brought him back to the crowd, and sternly ordered the people who had brought him to tell no one about what had just happened. But, as it turned out, the more He commanded the people to be quiet about the miracles, the more zealously they seemed to proclaim it.

37. They were too overwhelmed and amazed by it all to remain silent. "He has done everything with excellence!" they said. "He even causes the deaf hear and the mute to speak!"


SCRIBE said...

Absolutely Incredible... especially the dialog between Christ and the woman whose daughter was vexed with the spirit. The woman would not give up and leave, for she was determined that she was going to get what she came for- her daughter's healing. We moms will do WHATEVER it takes to get what is needed for our children, regardless of how unconventional the means, with no thought to how we are perceived by others. Her child is what is most important to her and if she has to make a nuisance of herself and face ridicule and humiliation in the process- the SO BE IT, as long as her child is helped! AMEN. That in itself speaks volumes!

When Jesus referred to her people as "the dogs" based on Israelite standards and mindsets, it seemed to not bother her at all, and even if it did, she put her ego aside and continued to press in for the sake of her child. Even the dogs eat the crumbs (are entitled to receive that which others leave behind and disregard) because there is as much healing, wealth, deliverance in the crumbs from the loaf of bread as it is the bread / meal itself.

I have found that when we feel that we have nothing left, if we look around and ask GOD to show us what we have, usually there is indeed "something" or enough just to tie us over until something else comes in. Needless to say, GOD won't allow us to starve if we seek HIM out as our daily ration, for in WISDOM that is received, then everything else can be / is supplied. When it appears that there may be nothing to cook or make a meal of- GOD asks us to carefully consider and assess what is already in our possession. And when we lay out all we have in front of GOD, we will find that we either have just enough, or that there was / is more than what we thought. Those of us who are creative will recognize that necessity is indeed the mother of invention. There is substance and sustenance even in the fragments.

Oftentimes, when we ask GOD for something or become distraught over what we seemingly do not have, HE will have us to use our ingenuity and begin showing us little bits and pieces of things where when we pool these fragments together, there is already enough to supply the need. These incidents come about through obedience, especially when we get quiet before GOD, listen to what HE is saying, and then OBEY the instructions that He provides. And then there are those times when we may have part, another friend or family member may have another part of something, and when each individual only looks at what he/ she has, they may feel that they do not have what it takes to accomplish the task. However, through wise communications and open hearts, and willingness to share through open hands, then resources / gifts may be pooled and brought together to create a menagerie or smörgåsbord to feed / clothe / supply many households and communities.

GOD is awesome indeed! Miracles are in the making through uncanny notions and devices.

karl said...

Blessings and peace to the Varner family. It is still our Father's world.

karl said...

Hi Bishop!
Well, finally got set up here at home with internet service again, and yep, up late when the bloggin' really flows sometimes.

I look forward to WORSHIP service!
May we all let our LIGHTS shine before ALL men.

I say that time is redeemed for you today. I wrote a short note about that on my blog, of course, some of it inspired by AYITN.

See you in the morning!
Love, Karl

karl said...

good morning world!
Come, let us worship the Lord. It is good to be in the house of the Lord.

Anonymous said...

Things that make you go hmmmmm...

Since all (from God's perspective) is divinely ordered and there are no accidents or coincidences...

The multiple incidents this week of brakes failing (in the natural) to stop you and yet without major consequences...leading up to the passing of a true prophetic voice to you and this ministry who confirmed a vision of doing something that no other church has done...significant and related somehow...

God works ALL things together...

Anonymous said...

This was amazing to read.

God is always in control
Have A Blessed & Powerful Day

Cal said...

Bish, the last time I was standing at an alter singing the last verse of Just as I Am, I was 12 years old. I know it was on the last verse, but nothing was going to keep me from getting there. Today, 51 years later, I can say the HE is Faithful, full of Mercy and Grace. I believe that the best worship I can give Him it to Love him with all my heart and to love my friends, neighbors and yes, even my enemies as I love my self.

Thanks for going with the Spirit today. I so felt the presence of God today. I don't know how anyone can get along in this world without the Lord. Love you with Mad Love

Lisa said...

Todays service was beautiful, The presence of the Father was so sweet and refreshing. Thank you Bishop for dedicating Zac!!!!! Thank you Blog family for praying us through this season of our life. When I walked in the doors this morning I truly felt like I was really comming home. I didn't realise how much I needed you all and you Bishop until this morning. When you hugged me it was such a release like my daddy was comforting me and everything was really going to be OK. P. Debye and Bishop I Love you so much. I can't wait to move back home where I can take up residence once again ITB!!!! Oh and PRAISE GOD Zac is now eating again!!!!!!
I Love you all and Thank you!!!!

Anonymous said...

These passages inspire lots of questions...I'll assume though that the debate in me is the still small voice saying..."but you don't need to put them here."


v. 36 The power of the original call on Jesus' open the eyes and ears of the house of Israel...couldn't overcome His God nature to heal and to enlighten...all...and it led Him to the full call on His life.

G8TRGRL said...

Yes, today was beautiful.

Lisa, I was so glad to be able to "love on" you and your sweet family-- I hope the kids had fun in Adventureland. And, of course, Zac was fine (no bucket needed) and he's eating now!! He just needed to be in the presence... it was amazing to watch him so intently watching everything going on around him. I bet he received a whole lot more than we can know.

Love, love, loved Judah's "How He Loves"... just got it from itunes myself yesterday.


Brenda said...

I'm sitting here staring at my computer trying to put into words the meaning of today's service to me. From the story of the woman at the well to the words of wisdom for Dad Swilley it all was so amazing. The woman at the well who just told the truth about herself and having Jesus say you are type of person I have been looking for. The world would say she was not worthy to worship but Jesus said I'm looking for you, how awesome is that. Then seeing the different facets of worship from poetry to dance to signing it was all flowing and I could so clearly see Him. It was like the rain gently falling then picking up in intensity as the sevice moved through the different levels. Then the sun burst forth as Dad Swilley reminded us that as God emptied himself for us we must empty ourselves and just come to Him as we are. How wonderful it is that we can come just as we are and He can love on us and fill us with His Spirit.

I have been away for two Sundays and it was so good to come back and feel his presence in such a profound way. I got so much from this Sunday that I just can't tell it all. What I shall do is let it shine through me and let my life be the better for it.
Thanks Bishop for yeilding yourself to the Holy Spirit and being obedient to the voice of God.

Larry Usher said...

Just had a short word to share from the Spirit-filled atmosphere ITB today:

It is worship when we celebrate who we are because we are created in His image;

God loves it when we celebrate who we are because he has ordained it for us to be so (you were created to show forth His glory in that unique expression of God that is you and only you- you are THE wearer of glass slipper!)

He loves it when we acknowledge the gifts that He placed within us, because we are recognizing our eternal, tethering to Him and the divine impartation within us.

God loves a cheerful receiver-one who without reservation will accept that which a glad, overflowing heart must dole out to His children. Thank you Father! Thank you, thank you for thinking of me and listening to me and knowing me well enough to know that which will please and fulfill me!

The Father loves it when we acknowledge the wonderful mercy He poured out through His Son Jesus- even though we didn't deserve(of serving) merit this, He had to give it for it is who He is (how much more does He long to give us gifts!)

He is the Great I Am and since we are created in His image and indwelt by Him and are one with Him, we have the "I AMness" of God through Christ working in our being. We are, in a fashion, like "Mini-Me" to God- we carry in us His gestures, His attitudes, His character, His nature, His Word(don't you know that you are living stories of who God really is in this world?).

Loved the service today, love this Body, love my God...

Bro Lar

Teezy313 said...

Just checkin in...service was awesome..but something bigger is on the horizon..I can feel it...I know it...can't wait for Wednesday's LifeSkills and P404 Thursday...

Come, Now is the time to worship,
Come, Now is the time to unite our hearts,
Oh come, from out of your corners for worship,
Come, now is the time to stand as one,
Oh come

One day there will be no more black church or white,
Because in your prescence we're all the same,
We have come together for one purpose,
To glorify your name!

(We are One/Come, Now is the time to worship-Pastor William Murphy III and the FGBCF)

Izumi/JOY said...

24. What I appreciate about this version is how it makes me ask questions, like, "What exchange?"

Immediately, I scroll back to where I read days ago, and say, "Oh, I get it... last chapter, Jesus was talking about issues of the heart."

I love the synchronicity of how Jesus couldn't keep a low profile. Apparently, neither could the Syro-phoenician woman.

v.26 ..."But their ethnic differences seemed to be a non-issue with her..." How like the Father!

Is it why she was ahead of schedule in the next verse?

Like, "Well, would you look at this. Faith, I didn't expect to find you here, yet. You're asking so boldly, seeking so persistently and knocking so loudly. What do you see in Me, that others haven't fully glimpsed?"

v. 28 - No wonder the Lord released such mercy. She probably heard that term before.

Maybe she did feel like a dog.

A dog would think little of sleeping on the floor beside her daughter's bed, (if she ever slept) keeping watch in the night. A dog would protect her from injuring herself. Or, others from harming her.

A dog might not notice when she last ate. Or, had her hair brushed, without feeding and grooming her pups, first.

A dog doesn't seem to hold a grudge for being scolded. (but, peanut butter & Kraft caramel treats, yes)

v 28. I like how she completely disregarded public opinion and focused on whatever Jesus said.

Even if it appeared like measly word crumbs. (look what He did with the morsels in chapter 6!)

Izumi/JOY said...

The pic at v. 24. Does anyone know what the writing says? Plus, her pose - is it significant?

v. 30 - the region of the "Ten Cities", causes me think of the word, "minyan" - the minimum number of Jews (traditionally male) needed to conduct a formal prayer service.

So, when I reached v.33, I was intrigued how Jesus took the man aside from the crowd. Everything He did, the Father already had done.

Was He re-creating the 6th day in Genesis?