Tuesday 20 November 2018

Bible Book:

And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. (v 35)

Mark 7:31-37 Tuesday 20 November 2018

Psalm: Psalm 37:12-29


Jesus was frequently suspicious of people who followed him round waiting for the next miracle and we often read that he understood what was in people’s hearts and called them out over it.

In this account there must be a question of why ‘they’ (v 32) brought him a deaf man to heal. Were they trying to engineer a spectacle to go home and recount? Was it simply another chance to test Jesus?

Whatever the reason was, Jesus ensures that the healing actually takes place in private.

Jesus and the deaf man go away from the crowd and the moment of release is accompanied by a sigh as Jesus looks up to heaven. What lay behind the sigh? More frustration at the way people were less than whole? A sense of identifying with those who suffered?

Mark records the very word that Jesus said: “Ephphatha”. Literally, this meant “be opened” and the man was healed. However, deafness and blindness were also ways of understanding the human condition – that we are in some way separated from God until we are released from what burdens us.

Another possible rendering of “Ephphatha” is the invitation to be unbound, freed for the life that God intends us to live. In a moment the man who has been healed has regained more than his hearing; he can speak without any impediment and is free to be a witness to God’s grace mediated through Jesus.

But …

Somehow the crowd has appeared again and are “astounded beyond measure” at what had happened, which seems a bit odd: they were the ones who brought to deaf man to Jesus specifically so that he would do what he did!

Jesus’ command that they should say nothing falls on deaf ears and this time it is the crowd that seems unable to hear.


To Ponder:

  • Jesus freed the deaf man from his silent prison. How committed are we to helping people with disabilities to come into the presence of God? Do our services exclude?
  • The healing took place in private, away from the inquisitive crowd. Do we prefer public signs of the kingdom breaking in so we can use them as evidence for God in action?
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