Mark 7:37 - And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, "He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak."
You know, I've often wondered, what does it take for people to speak nicely about you?
Even the most casual of observers cannot help but note how men and women in public office have a difficult time keeping their names at the top of the popularity polls. Even with advice flowing from a whole herd of advisers and counsel coming from a host of public-relations people, the brass ring of permanent approval seems always beyond their grasp.
Both movie stars and musicians struggle to present a positive profile. Still, as hard as they work, today's box-office hunk often becomes tomorrow's trivia question and the chart-topping recording artist often finds himself old news, being mentioned only when someone asks, "Whatever became of so-and-so, anyway?"
Most teens spend a great deal of time thinking how they can be accepted into this group or that clique. Certainly, they don't want to be written off as worthless or unwanted.
Now, I'll concede there may be a few folks out there who don't give a hoot or a plugged nickel for what others think about them, but they are a rare breed, an almost endangered species.
Much of what most of us do -- from the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the movies we see, and the car we drive -- are selected to help us fit in: to make people think positively about us. Sadly, no matter how hard we try to win people's approval, most of the time we fail.
All of this is said as an introduction to the remarkable verse of Mark 7:37.
Taking a look at the words printed at the top of the devotion, maybe you, like me, are absolutely amazed to see that there was a day in the life of Jesus when people actually said about the Redeemer, "He has done all things well." Quite possibly, Jesus was also amazed. After all, when Jesus walked among us during the years of His earthly ministry, He didn't often receive positive comments about His teaching, His disciples, His ministry, and His claim to be the promised Messiah.
Indeed, it was that last claim which, more than anything else, took Him to the cross.
Two-thousand years later, Jesus' title, "Savior of the world" is what makes other religions, godless-rulers, and free-thinking critics go just a little bit crazy. They can accept Him as a teacher, a philosopher, a healer, and a social activist, but Savior? Impossible!
Still, for those of us who have knelt before His manger, stood before His cross, and gazed into His open, empty tomb of resurrection, He can be nothing less. Seeing how He has won our forgiveness and guaranteed our salvation, without hesitation or reservation, we too must comment: "He has done all things well."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we know that You desire all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Grant that we may tell the world that Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, has truly done all things well. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries