Mark 7:37 And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, "He has done all things well; he even makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak."

There is something about the culture in which we live, and in particular this thing called capitalism, that leads us to believe that the meaning of life is found in the phrase, lets make a deal. The point is to trade our useless junk for something we'd truly treasure, fortunately for us, there is usually someone who would treasure our junk, which makes the system work. The problem comes when we try to apply this system outside our culture - and particularly when we apply this to the things of God. You see, we imagine that God would treasure our junk, and we imagine that whatever we are getting from God is His junk - something that is not worth much, something which costs little.

Its not hard to see how this works - for a God who can create anything out of nothing, just by saying let there be plants - and plants come into being, all of them, all of them very good, and all at once - asking God to say a word for us, well that's no big deal - and so we bring our petitions to God, and we come to expect that we deserve all the miracles we ask for. Miracles happen every day, we may expect them, and since they don't astonish us, since they seem ordinary, often we don't even recognize them. Every day, the sun comes up, we have air to breath, we have water to drink, we have clothes for our bodies, as God gives us each day our daily bread. What makes this a miracle is that we did nothing to deserve it, for God gives daily bread to not just to those who have earned and deserved it, (as if there are some who deserve it) but to all people.

We don't see it as a miracle, because it is something we have come to expect. And for us, miracles are the unexpected, the hope for a hopeless cause, a place to turn when there is no where else left. But that is not God's purpose in doing miracles - you see, miracles are what God does to get our attention, to show us how great he really is, so that we can trust in him, believe in him and rely on him. And that's what's happening in our Gospel lesson.

What would it take for us to be astonished beyond all measure? In the first place to be astonished means that what ever it is, is completely unexpected. What old testament prophet ever made the deaf to hear, or the mute to speak? This was unheard of, this was something only God could do, this is what was spoken of by the prophet, that when God came bringing salvation - then Isa 35:5-6 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy.

You see the miracle was not just that the deaf heard, and the mute spoke - the miracle was that God had come bringing salvation - the miracle was being able to see that Jesus is God, the God who saves us from sin death and the devil, who forgives our sins, and gives us eternal life.