And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them: Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.Matthew 15:30-31
And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it; And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.Mark 7:36-37
Once again, Jesus charged one of the precious one’s He had healed to tell no one about it. As we have seen before, this was because He was not on earth to be set-up as a political Messiah. But, just like before, how can this man keep from speaking and telling others about it? After all, he could not hear or speak before, and now he can! People are gonna ask questions!
Never-the-less, look at this glorious scene! God the Son is doing the will of His Father and the people of God are praising the Father for His blessings. This is how God designed for things to be done here on earth.
Think back to the charge that Jesus gave in the Sermon on the Mount:
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.Matthew 5:16
Jesus did not say to let your light shine so that people will know you are a Christian (I call that “Facebook Christianity”). The good works are not for our benefit or recognition. They are for the glory of God. Therefore, we should act like these people did in Matthew 15 and Mark 7. They gave glory to God for the good works they witnessed and experienced.
My current secular job is overseeing a cemetery. Sometimes I am asked to preach a funeral but most of the time I am there to assist families’ physical and spiritual needs in other ways. Therefore, I witness many services officiated by those who believe a little differently than I do. The messages typically go one of two ways. If the person wasn’t a believer, the message tries to skirt the issue or flat out says that the person did not go to heaven. Then, there are warnings to the listeners to not follow the same path to eternal destruction. This is not very comforting to the grieving family. But as horrible as those messages are, the ones where the deceased was a believer follow an even more disturbing trend. Rather than giving glory to God for the changed life in the person, Jesus’ name is mentioned very little and the message is filled with the good things the person did. Then the listeners are warned to do the same or face eternal destruction. Again, this is not comforting to a grieving family.
The purpose of good works is first and foremost to glorify God. We get peace within ourselves when we follow God’s path (this is justification by faith). Men and angels can see our good works and understand that we are redeemed (this is justification by works). But neither of these should focus on the acts, will, or works of the believer and his merit. Why? Because the only reason we have justification by faith or works is because we are freely justified by the blood of Jesus Christ. We are eternally justified in the court of heaven. Therefore, any manifestation of that justification here on earth should give credit to God, not the obedient child of God.
The text says, “the God of Israel.” So we too must praise the God of Covenants. God chose a certain number of people before the world began in the covenant of election. When those elect, by the regenerated spirit given them by God, do good works, we ought to glorify the covenant God of election!
Remember, it is JESUS that has done all things well!