Big Idea: There are moments in life, such as graduation from High School, where our world view must shift. We must learn to adapt, so that we will enjoy success and fruitfulness.

Introduction: Think of shifts in our lives, from infant to toddler, to student, to teenager, to graduation, to career, to adult, to marriage, to parenting, to a new culture, to elder, to retirement, to death. Each requires that we adapt to a new reality. The better we learn to listen to the new world, shift the way we think, and respond sensitively to the new world, the more effective we will be.

Jesus is God, but he became a humble baby Jew, and had to adapt to his new world. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,  but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  Philippians 2:5-11 ESV

As the time of his crucifixion approached, Jesus was teaching his disciples, in Decapolis, how to relate to the culture of Gentiles. He was teaching his disciples how to be culturally sensitive and adapt to their future mission, which was only a few months away.

Then he returned from the region of Tyre and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. 

In this story of the healing of the deaf mute, Jesus was modelling how to relate to a person who experiences life differently than we do.

And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment, and they begged him to lay his hand on him. And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue. And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, Ephphatha,” that is, Be opened.” And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”  Mark 7:31-37 ESV

How are we doing at relating to our new reality?  

What paradigm shifts are facing you today?
Where are you in your shifts to this new stage of life?
How are you doing at adapting to this new relationship?
How are we adapting to the cultural shift in our world?
How will our church adapt to our new post Covid world?

And Jesus, aware of this, said to them,
“Do you not yet perceive or understand?
Are your hearts hardened?
Having eyes do you not see, and having ears, do you not hear?
And do you not remember? …
Do you not yet understand?”  Mark 8:17-21  ESV

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