1.9.09, Mark 7:31-37

The Healing of a Deaf and Mute Man

31 Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis.  32 There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man.

33 After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means, “Be opened!” ). 35 At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.

36 Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. 37 People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

Jesus Christ, M.D.

This may seem like a run-of-the-mill miracle (if there can be such a thing!) – Jesus heals a man who is deaf and can hardly talk.   But I like this passage because it includes rare details about how Jesus accomplishes the healing.  It is so personal –  Jesus just doesn’t lay his hand on the man and then walk away from him.  He draws the man aside, away from the crowds.  He puts the man’s head in his hands, and places his fingers in his ears as if manually giving him his hearing.  He even pulls on the man’s tongue, as if preparing it, loosening it, to receive speech again.

For most of us, this seems intensely awkward, and there is no way we would let nearly anyone handle us in the same way.  But believe it or not, there is one group of people that we would allow to do this, and even more: our doctors.  We let our doctors put things into our ears and mouths and against our chest all the time.  We let our doctors ask us for samples of this and that, and don’t blink an eye!  We wear gowns that are open in the back.  If it were necessary, we would even let our doctors take a knife, cut into our chest and swing open our ribcage, and put a new kidney or heart into our body.  We trust doctors with the most intimate parts of our body and don’t mind because we know that they are trying to make us better, and can be trusted to do so.

Sometimes when God is at work in our lives, the process is uncomfortable.  He may call us out of our comfort zones.  He may call us to give up something we think we cannot go without.  He may touch a place in our lives where we are very sensitive, where we have a lot of pain.  He may have to discipline us, to show how our sins and habits are destroying ourselves and others.  He may even have to do surgery on us, to cut away something that is killing us.  But we allow this to happen for the same reason we allow medical doctors to prod at our bodies, because Jesus is our doctor, our healer.  We know, we trust, that all that Jesus does in us is to make us more whole and more healthy, and there is no one better at it than he.

Questions:

1. Have you ever learned an important spiritual or life lesson through an uncomfortable or difficult experience?

2. Is there a situation in your life currently that is difficult in the same way?  What is God teaching/doing through that situation?

3.Is there a part of your life that you don’t want Jesus to mess around with?  What is the problem with this mentality?

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1.9.09, Mark 7:31-37

The Healing of a Deaf and Mute Man

31 Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis.  32 There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man.

33 After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means, “Be opened!” ). 35 At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.

36 Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. 37 People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

Jesus Christ, M.D.

This may seem like a run-of-the-mill miracle (if there can be such a thing!) – Jesus heals a man who is deaf and can hardly talk.   But I like this passage because it includes rare details about how Jesus accomplishes the healing.  It is so personal –  Jesus just doesn’t lay his hand on the man and then walk away from him.  He draws the man aside, away from the crowds.  He puts the man’s head in his hands, and places his fingers in his ears as if manually giving him his hearing.  He even pulls on the man’s tongue, as if preparing it, loosening it, to receive speech again.

For most of us, this seems intensely awkward, and there is no way we would let nearly anyone handle us in the same way.  But believe it or not, there is one group of people that we would allow to do this, and even more: our doctors.  We let our doctors put things into our ears and mouths and against our chest all the time.  We let our doctors ask us for samples of this and that, and don’t blink an eye!  We wear gowns that are open in the back.  If it were necessary, we would even let our doctors take a knife, cut into our chest and swing open our ribcage, and put a new kidney or heart into our body.  We trust doctors with the most intimate parts of our body and don’t mind because we know that they are trying to make us better, and can be trusted to do so.

Sometimes when God is at work in our lives, the process is uncomfortable.  He may call us out of our comfort zones.  He may call us to give up something we think we cannot go without.  He may touch a place in our lives where we are very sensitive, where we have a lot of pain.  He may have to discipline us, to show how our sins and habits are destroying ourselves and others.  He may even have to do surgery on us, to cut away something that is killing us.  But we allow this to happen for the same reason we allow medical doctors to prod at our bodies, because Jesus is our doctor, our healer.  We know, we trust, that all that Jesus does in us is to make us more whole and more healthy, and there is no one better at it than he.

Questions:

1. Have you ever learned an important spiritual or life lesson through an uncomfortable or difficult experience?

2. Is there a situation in your life currently that is difficult in the same way?  What is God teaching/doing through that situation?

3.Is there a part of your life that you don’t want Jesus to mess around with?  What is the problem with this mentality?