1.12.09, 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.”

All This And More

I want to point out one more thing about this miracle of Jesus.  We assume here that Jesus heals only the physical limitation of this man’s deafness and muteness, that he gave the man the ability to hear and talk.  But if this is the only thing that Jesus did, if he just addressed the man’s physical, bodily limitation…he still would not have been able to talk.  The man was deaf, and had been so for some time, and of course we need to be able to hear conversation in order to learn to talk properly.  So healing his physical deafness and muteness in itself would not have been enough for this man to speak.

So this means that Jesus must have done more than this, more than just addressing the physical brokeness and bodily limitation, but going deeper – addressing the lack of communication.  Teaching the man speech.  Giving him the experiences he needed to have to talk.  Re-wiring the part of his brain that controls how we talk.  We don’t really know how it happened for sure, but Jesus’ healing for the man was not a mere unplugging of the ears and loosening of the tongue, but included everything the man needed to speak for the first time.

I think this is a good reminder as to what healing at God’s hands is like.  God doesn’t just make us feel better, but leave our deeper wounds unhealed.  He doesn’t just address one aspect of our brokeness and leave other parts broken.  God’s healing for us is complete.  His desire is to heal us through and through, physically, spiritually, and emotionally!  

But this may take time.  And I think the real problem for us personally is that we are so impatient in this process of healing, that once God heals one small part of us, we bolt off of the operating table and say, “Gee, thanks God!  I feel one hundred times better!”  And we leave before God’s work in our lives is completed.  Because we do this, because we leave before our wounds are completely healed, it of course breaks open again later.  We have to be more patient as God works on us, because he wants to heal us deeply and fully and finally.  And nowhere do we see this absolute and complete healing more clearly than the cross:

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!  My sin, not in part, but the whole

Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more – praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

Questions

1. Have you ever thought you had been healed or dealt with something in your life, only to see that issue come up again…and again?  

2. In order for that issue to be fully healed, what else do you think God needs to accomplish?

3. In what practical ways can you give God more time to work on your character and bring full healing?

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3 thoughts on “1.12.09, Mark 7:31-37

  1. if the same issue comes back, does that mean that God didn’t fully heal the person? or can it be that God wants us to continue to rely on Him even though the same issues may exist?

  2. I’ve always believed in healing, but I never quite believed that I could have the power to heal. A lot of this doubt came from a lack of consistent prayer, but more than anything else, fervent prayer. I’m always looking for new breakthroughs in life, and God has provided them left and right. But the most memorable breakthrough thus far has been one that occurred in my prayer life and how it has healed my soul.

    It wasn’t until the past two years that I actually prayed consistently and passionately. In addition, I didn’t really understand the importance of prayer until I completely rededicated myself to Christ. But whenever times got a bit rough, I would get down on my hands and knees and pray that God would carry me through. Most often, I also prayed for healing not physically, but issues with the heart. For example, I struggled with certain habitual sins that I just couldn’t overcome. As much as I would sit down and pray (very sporadically), I could never shake off the demon that plagued my heart. In hindsight, those prayers were empty, as I was looking for God as therapy rather than redemption. I viewed Christ’s healing presence as more of a drive-thru pharmacy than anything else. Praying was more routine for me, with a set intro, body, and conclusion that was void of any passion. I prayed like I did in Sunday school as a kid, and I never quite grew out of that state of mind. In other words, never has anyone really taught me how to engage in earnest prayer. That was the reason why I was never delivered or healed from any of those sins that I struggled with all my life. In addition, I never leanred how to be transparent about my sins. We could pray behind closed doors all we want, but I never felt God’s healing presence until I confessed my sins amongst a group of fellow believers who corporately prayed for me. I remember standing amidst 20 other men who struggled with similiar sins and we raised our hands and voices together demanding that the demons in our hearts leave in the name of Christ. Immediately, I felt God’s overwhelming presence fill my heart. My flesh was too weak to handle it so I remember breaking down in tears. From that moment on, any generational curses I carried and sins that took a hold on my life were torn away from my heart. Deliverance from those sins happened when I decided to dwell at the mountaintop, rather than at the foot of the mountain.

    I often asked God why He doesn’t bring healing in every circumstance. Why is it that it’s so hard for me to fathom why suffering occurs? ALong the same lines as Jennyper’s question, Why does God continue to allow people to suffer through the same ailments throughout their lives? For myself, I’ve been married for a few months now but I still struggle with certain sins that every man does. How come God would allow those sins to remain in my heart?

    If Jesus were to instantly remove a sin or heal a disease at a moment’s notice, how would people respond? One, they could be so amazed that instantly they would follow Him without any second thought. But I don’t think that would happen too often. For example, the Israelites saw amazing miracles and breathtaking interventions from God during their exodus from Egypt. But they still rebelled and quickly forgot about Him. They received an unlimited supply of Mana from heaven, but they still rejected Him. Witnesses saw Jesus perform miracles, but they still rejected Him. Something tells me that God allows healing to happen at a pace in which people will work out their faith in a way that draws them closer.

    To share a little experience: I have a close friend whose mother recently overcame a critical illness in which doctors thought that she had no hope of recovering. Prior to his mom becominging ill, my friend engaged in some high risk behavior. His family members were very distant from each other and rarely had any gatherings. But when the mother became seriously ill, the dynamics of the family began to change as they drew closer to each other. Conflicts were healed; old grudges were put aside and the bitterness in that family began to subside. My friend was broken literally into tears, and he was searching for an understanding why this would happen. He looked towards God and found a peace in His heart that things would get better. God sent our small group to the hospital amidst this seeming tragedy to earnestly pray for healing for the mother and for the family. The healing was immediate as every pain-staking day allowed Ryan and his entire family to draw closer to each other. The mother was fully-healed and Ryan now attends our small group and is making tremendous strides in his faith.

    God made me realize through this experience and others that my prayers didn’t have a focus nor did I have complete faith they would be answered. I prayed something like this, “God, if you’re willing, can you heal his mom?” or “God, this person might die, so we ask for comfort…”

    NO! That’s exactly what God didn’t want me to do. I prayed, “Lord, we believe that you will heal her! In Jesus’s name!” I realized that God may not answer every prayer in the we would like, particularly in healing. But I needed to believe that He would in every prayer! That’s what faith was all about for me.

    How can I allow more time for God to work on healing my body and soul? God wants me to love Him and love others. In addition, Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians, “Pray without ceasing…” I found as I loved others through humbly serving them… God brought healing all the time.

  3. good question – what’s the deal when something re-occurs in our life?

    as related to this devotional, sometimes things crop up again in our lives because we rush the process of healing, not taking enough time or enough measures to make sure we are really whole. and when we rush this process, of course these problems come up in our lives again. but this is a consequence of our own action, not the inaction of God.

    but like you said, there are times where God will allow something in our lives in order that we might depend on him more, like paul’s thorn in 2nd corinthians. in this situation, he allows a smaller problem to exist for a greater good in our lives. this may seem cruel, but it’s akin to a doctor telling us that a thorn that has been bothering us for weeks is actually stopping cancer from killing us – the thorn is not that bad then.

    problem is, how can you tell the difference between the two? it’s important to be able to identify the issue clearly. if the recurring issue is related to sin, as in something that we do or when we have been sinned against, we can safely say that it is God’s heart to heal and to heal fully. in this situation, we just have to make sure we are patient in the healing process, and doing whatever it takes to be healed, which may include lifestyle change, confession, forgiveness, apology, accountability, and a lot of other stuff we naturally hate doing. but overcoming sin is part of God’s work on the cross, so we can claim that.

    but when the issue is not that clear, when it is an illness, or a personality trait, something of that nature, we need a combination of both mentalities. we should pray that God would heal, because he can, and he may. but if he doesn’t we need to be able to trust that he doesn’t for a greater good in our lives that we are not entirely aware of. this is not at all easy, and requires us not to have faith that God will answer us in the way he wants, but that God will always do what is better.

Comments are closed.

1.12.09, 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.”

All This And More

I want to point out one more thing about this miracle of Jesus.  We assume here that Jesus heals only the physical limitation of this man’s deafness and muteness, that he gave the man the ability to hear and talk.  But if this is the only thing that Jesus did, if he just addressed the man’s physical, bodily limitation…he still would not have been able to talk.  The man was deaf, and had been so for some time, and of course we need to be able to hear conversation in order to learn to talk properly.  So healing his physical deafness and muteness in itself would not have been enough for this man to speak.

So this means that Jesus must have done more than this, more than just addressing the physical brokeness and bodily limitation, but going deeper – addressing the lack of communication.  Teaching the man speech.  Giving him the experiences he needed to have to talk.  Re-wiring the part of his brain that controls how we talk.  We don’t really know how it happened for sure, but Jesus’ healing for the man was not a mere unplugging of the ears and loosening of the tongue, but included everything the man needed to speak for the first time.

I think this is a good reminder as to what healing at God’s hands is like.  God doesn’t just make us feel better, but leave our deeper wounds unhealed.  He doesn’t just address one aspect of our brokeness and leave other parts broken.  God’s healing for us is complete.  His desire is to heal us through and through, physically, spiritually, and emotionally!  

But this may take time.  And I think the real problem for us personally is that we are so impatient in this process of healing, that once God heals one small part of us, we bolt off of the operating table and say, “Gee, thanks God!  I feel one hundred times better!”  And we leave before God’s work in our lives is completed.  Because we do this, because we leave before our wounds are completely healed, it of course breaks open again later.  We have to be more patient as God works on us, because he wants to heal us deeply and fully and finally.  And nowhere do we see this absolute and complete healing more clearly than the cross:

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!  My sin, not in part, but the whole

Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more – praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

Questions

1. Have you ever thought you had been healed or dealt with something in your life, only to see that issue come up again…and again?  

2. In order for that issue to be fully healed, what else do you think God needs to accomplish?

3. In what practical ways can you give God more time to work on your character and bring full healing?

3 thoughts on “1.12.09, Mark 7:31-37

  1. if the same issue comes back, does that mean that God didn’t fully heal the person? or can it be that God wants us to continue to rely on Him even though the same issues may exist?

  2. I’ve always believed in healing, but I never quite believed that I could have the power to heal. A lot of this doubt came from a lack of consistent prayer, but more than anything else, fervent prayer. I’m always looking for new breakthroughs in life, and God has provided them left and right. But the most memorable breakthrough thus far has been one that occurred in my prayer life and how it has healed my soul.

    It wasn’t until the past two years that I actually prayed consistently and passionately. In addition, I didn’t really understand the importance of prayer until I completely rededicated myself to Christ. But whenever times got a bit rough, I would get down on my hands and knees and pray that God would carry me through. Most often, I also prayed for healing not physically, but issues with the heart. For example, I struggled with certain habitual sins that I just couldn’t overcome. As much as I would sit down and pray (very sporadically), I could never shake off the demon that plagued my heart. In hindsight, those prayers were empty, as I was looking for God as therapy rather than redemption. I viewed Christ’s healing presence as more of a drive-thru pharmacy than anything else. Praying was more routine for me, with a set intro, body, and conclusion that was void of any passion. I prayed like I did in Sunday school as a kid, and I never quite grew out of that state of mind. In other words, never has anyone really taught me how to engage in earnest prayer. That was the reason why I was never delivered or healed from any of those sins that I struggled with all my life. In addition, I never leanred how to be transparent about my sins. We could pray behind closed doors all we want, but I never felt God’s healing presence until I confessed my sins amongst a group of fellow believers who corporately prayed for me. I remember standing amidst 20 other men who struggled with similiar sins and we raised our hands and voices together demanding that the demons in our hearts leave in the name of Christ. Immediately, I felt God’s overwhelming presence fill my heart. My flesh was too weak to handle it so I remember breaking down in tears. From that moment on, any generational curses I carried and sins that took a hold on my life were torn away from my heart. Deliverance from those sins happened when I decided to dwell at the mountaintop, rather than at the foot of the mountain.

    I often asked God why He doesn’t bring healing in every circumstance. Why is it that it’s so hard for me to fathom why suffering occurs? ALong the same lines as Jennyper’s question, Why does God continue to allow people to suffer through the same ailments throughout their lives? For myself, I’ve been married for a few months now but I still struggle with certain sins that every man does. How come God would allow those sins to remain in my heart?

    If Jesus were to instantly remove a sin or heal a disease at a moment’s notice, how would people respond? One, they could be so amazed that instantly they would follow Him without any second thought. But I don’t think that would happen too often. For example, the Israelites saw amazing miracles and breathtaking interventions from God during their exodus from Egypt. But they still rebelled and quickly forgot about Him. They received an unlimited supply of Mana from heaven, but they still rejected Him. Witnesses saw Jesus perform miracles, but they still rejected Him. Something tells me that God allows healing to happen at a pace in which people will work out their faith in a way that draws them closer.

    To share a little experience: I have a close friend whose mother recently overcame a critical illness in which doctors thought that she had no hope of recovering. Prior to his mom becominging ill, my friend engaged in some high risk behavior. His family members were very distant from each other and rarely had any gatherings. But when the mother became seriously ill, the dynamics of the family began to change as they drew closer to each other. Conflicts were healed; old grudges were put aside and the bitterness in that family began to subside. My friend was broken literally into tears, and he was searching for an understanding why this would happen. He looked towards God and found a peace in His heart that things would get better. God sent our small group to the hospital amidst this seeming tragedy to earnestly pray for healing for the mother and for the family. The healing was immediate as every pain-staking day allowed Ryan and his entire family to draw closer to each other. The mother was fully-healed and Ryan now attends our small group and is making tremendous strides in his faith.

    God made me realize through this experience and others that my prayers didn’t have a focus nor did I have complete faith they would be answered. I prayed something like this, “God, if you’re willing, can you heal his mom?” or “God, this person might die, so we ask for comfort…”

    NO! That’s exactly what God didn’t want me to do. I prayed, “Lord, we believe that you will heal her! In Jesus’s name!” I realized that God may not answer every prayer in the we would like, particularly in healing. But I needed to believe that He would in every prayer! That’s what faith was all about for me.

    How can I allow more time for God to work on healing my body and soul? God wants me to love Him and love others. In addition, Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians, “Pray without ceasing…” I found as I loved others through humbly serving them… God brought healing all the time.

  3. good question – what’s the deal when something re-occurs in our life?

    as related to this devotional, sometimes things crop up again in our lives because we rush the process of healing, not taking enough time or enough measures to make sure we are really whole. and when we rush this process, of course these problems come up in our lives again. but this is a consequence of our own action, not the inaction of God.

    but like you said, there are times where God will allow something in our lives in order that we might depend on him more, like paul’s thorn in 2nd corinthians. in this situation, he allows a smaller problem to exist for a greater good in our lives. this may seem cruel, but it’s akin to a doctor telling us that a thorn that has been bothering us for weeks is actually stopping cancer from killing us – the thorn is not that bad then.

    problem is, how can you tell the difference between the two? it’s important to be able to identify the issue clearly. if the recurring issue is related to sin, as in something that we do or when we have been sinned against, we can safely say that it is God’s heart to heal and to heal fully. in this situation, we just have to make sure we are patient in the healing process, and doing whatever it takes to be healed, which may include lifestyle change, confession, forgiveness, apology, accountability, and a lot of other stuff we naturally hate doing. but overcoming sin is part of God’s work on the cross, so we can claim that.

    but when the issue is not that clear, when it is an illness, or a personality trait, something of that nature, we need a combination of both mentalities. we should pray that God would heal, because he can, and he may. but if he doesn’t we need to be able to trust that he doesn’t for a greater good in our lives that we are not entirely aware of. this is not at all easy, and requires us not to have faith that God will answer us in the way he wants, but that God will always do what is better.

Comments are closed.