Trinity Twelfth Sunday Morning Prayer (22 August 2021) Mark 7:31-37
We have heard about the many miracles that Jesus performed when He was ministering in this world. He healed many who were sick. He made the blind to see and the lame to walk. Devils fled at His command. Today’s meditation is based on our Gospel portion, the Gospel according to St. Mark, chapter 7, verses 31 to 37. Jesus left the coasts of Tyre and Sidon and went to the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. At that time, the people brought to Him a person who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech. They asked Jesus to put His hand upon him. Jesus took him aside from the multitude and healed him. In verses 33 and 34 we read how Jesus healed him. The person was made free from his bondage of sickness. He received liberty as said in St. Paul’s second epistle to Corinthians 3:17. The verse says, “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty”. Jesus offers us liberty in all areas of our lives. Today, I would like to meditate on three areas where He liberates us:
1. Liberty from the bond of sin
2. Liberty from the bond of sickness and
3. Liberty from the bond of death.
1. Liberty from the bond of sin
John 8:36 says, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed”. Jesus Christ came to free humankind from the bondage of sin. The humans whom God created in His image fell into the bondage of sin. This bond that humans had with sin separated them from their bond with God. Adam and Eve passed on the bond of sin and curse to the following generations. The whole earth was in the bond of sin and separated from the Eternal Father. The laws and commandments could not free the people from their bondage. People continued the cyclic process of committing sin and offering sacrifices. Jesus laid Himself to be sacrificed as the Passover Lamb. His sacrifice broke the bond of sin. The second Adam overcame sin. He broke the bondage of sin that came through the first Adam.
2. Liberty from the bond of sickness
Isaiah 53:5 says “with his stripes we are healed”. In the Gospels, we read about Jesus healing many people. A man who was sick of the palsy was brought to Jesus. The man was lying on a bed. Jesus said that the man’s sins were forgiven. He then asked the man to take his bed and walk. When Jesus visited the pool of Bethesda, He saw a man lying for a long time. Jesus told him to rise, take up his bed and walk. When Jesus saw him in the temple the next day, He cautioned the man. He said, “Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee”. In both these incidents, Jesus knew that sin was the reason for their sickness. Jesus first broke the bondage of sin and the curse before healing them. Moreover, Jesus cautioned the man not to sin anymore and become worse. If the bondage of sickness is because of the bondage of sin and curse, it must be first broken before we are freed from the bondage of sickness.
We also read about Jesus healing a man who was blind from his birth. Jesus’ disciples asked Him about the reason for his blindness. They asked if it was his sin or his father’s sin. Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. When a woman who had the issue of blood for twelve years touched Jesus, she was healed. Our LORD Almighty is Jehovah Rapha. Whatever the reason for the bondage of sickness, He can heal us. Exodus 15:26 says He “will take sickness away from the midst of thee”.
3. Liberty from the bond of death
John 3:16 says that God gave His only Begotten Son so that we would not perish. Jesus Christ came to redeem us from eternal death. Jesus raised many people from physical death also. Jesus raised the son of the widow from Nain. He raised the daughter of the ruler of the synagogue. He raised Lazarus from the dead four days after he died. However, Jesus came to this world to break the bondage of sin and save us from eternal death. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”. Jesus came to give us the gift of eternal life by breaking the bondage of death.
Let us examine ourselves. Are we in any bondage? Are we in the bondage of sin or sickness or death? John 8:32 says “ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”. We can be made free only when we know the truth. What is the truth? Jesus is the way, truth and life. We can receive liberty only from Jesus. Those who wanted to be freed from their bondage asked Jesus to free them. Jesus is willing to free us if we ask Him. And if Jesus makes us free, we shall be free indeed.
However, we must also remember the caution from Jesus: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. Once we have been freed by Jesus, we must be careful not to go back into bondage. When they brought the woman caught in adultery, Jesus forgave her and asked not to sin anymore. God has also given us the authority to overcome temptation. 1 Corinthians 10: 13 says “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” The Holy Spirit will guide us in the ways of righteousness so we are free from bondage. James 1:12 says “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” It is our choice to decide if we want to be blessed to receive the crown of life. I pray we stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage (Galatians 5:1).
Let us Pray!
Our heavenly Father, we thank you for speaking to us. We come to you to free us from our bondage. Proverb 28:13 says, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy”. Matthew 26:41 says that the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Lord, help us to watch and pray so that we do not yield to temptation. Cleanse us with your precious blood and made us free. Prepare us as we take part in thy table. Strengthen us to stand fast in the liberty You have given us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!