Year 2 Day 331
Read - Mark 7:33-35
Message - Alan Burke
Today we communicate in many different ways. Like the way in which you are engaging with this devotion and I am communicating with you is by a means that was science fiction to all of us not so long ago. Before there were smartphones, email, text messages, social media and the like, we communicated in very different ways. Do you remember using something call the post and the telephone? How about doing things like meeting to have a conversation or setting a day and a time that we would rendezvous some day in the future and put it in a paper diary that we carried about with us. Ok we still do some of those things some times, we still write the odd letter, send a card for special occasions, but most of the communication that takes place when we are together is through speech.
This man that was brought to Jesus could barely speak, nor could he hear so Jesus communicated with him in way that he could be in no doubt who it was that brought this healing. Firstly Jesus takes him to one side as to not make a spectacle of him and also to avoid the self promotion that would have brought more and more people out to him to be healed and witness these healings instead of coming to hear the message he proclaimed and the good news, the need to repent and believe.
Taking this man aside away from the crowd, Jesus does something unlike any of the miraculous healings in Mark’s gospel, He begins by putting his fingers into the mans ears, then He spat and touched the mans tongues. There has been nothing like this before and if you think back and contrast this to what happened with the daughter of the Syro-Phoenican where Jesus didn’t even need to be present to work miraculously it is altogether different. This seems invasive and disgusting, sticking your fingers in someone else’s ears, spitting and touching their tongue, these details need hardly be recorded and the fact that they are recorded and they are so unlike anything that has come before should make us take note.
Firstly touching this man in this way would have left Jesus ritually unclean, but Jesus had dealt with how we are unclean because not of what is on the outside but because of our heart so that’s not what should jump out to us. Also when he had healed many others he had simply touched them and were healed. Also Jesus might have accomplished this mans healing with a single act of his will from a distance but instead he sticks his fingers in his ears, spits and touches his tongue all so that by these outwards sings would communicate to this man that would leave him in no doubt that it was Jesus himself that caused him to be healed. Jesus deals with this man on a personal level, in an intimate way that meant the focus was not on Jesus being watched by the crowd by on this man and his needs by the saviour. Not only were the mans ears opened but also his tongue was loosened and he bang to speak plainly. The fact that he could speak plainly in itself was miraculous never mind that he could hear again and that his tongue was loosened.
This miracle is here to help us to understand not only Jesus power, but who he indeed is. The word that is used here for ‘deaf’ (v32) is only used twice in the whole of scripture, here and in Isaiah 35:5. If you read the context it tells us of God would come, and although it was with vengeance, with divine retribution the purpose of his coming is that he had come to save and we read this… “Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer and the mute tongue shout for joy…”. Here Jesus by healing the deaf and mute man was showing that he was indeed God among them, he had come, although with vengeance and divine retribution he had come to save, salvation is at hand in him for the Lord God was at work through God the Son. The saviour has come that we might have our eyes opened and our ears unstopped to the wonder of the Gospel.
Q86 What is faith in Jesus Christ?
Faith in Jesus Christ is a saving grace, (Heb. 10:39) whereby we receive and rest upon him alone for salvation as he is offered to us in the gospel. (John 1:12, Isa. 26:3–4, Phil. 3:9, Gal. 2:16)