DVThe Love of a NeighborMark 7:32-36Then they brought to Him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech, and they begged Him to put His hand on him. —Mark 7:32How often do you spend time thinking about the needs of others?
Think about the acquaintances, the members in church, your friends or family members who need the Lord. Devote a portion of your daily prayers interceding for each of them
A man who was deaf and hardly able to speak was healed by Jesus after his neighbors brought him to the Lord and pleaded on his behalf. This man probably had trouble communicating with people. Unless he were able to fight through the crowds and see the works of Jesus with his own eyes, he had no way of knowing of Christ's great healing powers. Surely the fit and strong had more opportunities to get to know Jesus. Though the odds were against him, this man still was able to experience the mercy of Christ. Grace came to him because his neighbors, out of their love and faith, brought him before Jesus and interceded for him.
It's easy to say, "Love your neighbor as yourself," but our real role models should be the neighbors of this unfortunate man. Like us, they have seen and heard of the works of Jesus. Faith, be it great or small, has grown in our hearts, but what has come of it? Do we use our faith only for our own benefit or do we seek, as they did, the benefit of others? The strange thing about human nature is that we seldom feel content with what we possess. Too often, our faith is: "I believe God will protect my family... I believe God will provide for my daily needs... I believe God will heal my sickness." When we beg for the Lord's attention, we beg for ourselves. This passage urges us to intercede, out of faith, for our neighbors instead.
At any one time, there will always be brothers and sisters who are weaker than others. In our church family, we take turns being the disabled man. Sermons and bible studies are filled with wonderful teachings, but the weak may be too spiritually disabled to understand. If we truly love our neighbors as ourselves, then we should plead to the Lord on their behalf. Just as the physically disabled need help getting to the physician, the spiritually weak also need others to bring them to the feet of Jesus to plead for mercy.