Gospel: Mark 7:31-37
Again, Jesus set out: from the country of Tyre he passed through Sidon and, skirting the sea of Galilee, he came to the territory of Decapolis. There, a deaf man, who also had difficulty in speaking, was brought to him. They asked Jesus to lay his hand upon him.Jesus took him apart from the crowd, put his fingers into the man’s ears, and touched his tongue with spittle.
Then, looking up to heaven, he said with a deep sigh, “Ephphata!” that is, “Be opened!” And immediately, his ears were opened, his tongue was loosened, and he began to speak clearly. Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone about it; but the more he insisted, the more they proclaimed it. The people were completely astonished and said, “He has done all things well; he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.”
On one level there is a certain sameness to many of the healing miracles of Jesus. A blind man, a deaf man, a sick child, a woman with a flow of blood, a man possessed with demons: Jesus encounters them, they are restored to health, the people are astonished. Yet there are notable variations. Sometimes Jesus heals with a word; sometimes, as in this story, after performing a strange shamanic ritual. Sometimes there is an emphasis on the faith of the sick person, or of his friends, in eliciting the miracle; at other times, as in this case, it is more in the nature of a patient being brought in to see the physician. Yet for each of those who is healed, the encounter is unique, in fact the only truly significant event—the creation of a new world! Before and after! No wonder that the “patients” are warned to keep quiet, the more they need to talk about it! Something more than a deaf man’s ears have been “opened!” It will not be closed again.Jesus did not bring healing just for people in general, or for “the world” in some generic sense,” but for individual men and women. For you and me.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2019