Saturday, 24 December 2011
Mark 7:31-37 - Ephphatha!
Before we consider why Jesus did this miracle in the way that he did, we should make sure we don't forget that it's a miracle he's doing. Before this man met Jesus, he was completely deaf and could hardly talk and after his encounter with Jesus, his hearing and speech is completely restored. On one level, it doesn't even matter how Jesus did it. The fact is - he did! Jesus has the power to heal. He could have made the man eat a magic banana or pulled his beard off if he wanted to. It wouldn't have mattered. Jesus heals people! Let's not miss that! The people in verse 37 certainly didn't and we shouldn't either.
Having said that, it is interesting how Jesus chooses to heal this man. Some say that Jesus took the man away from the crowds to prevent embarrassment (or shock when he got his hearing back), that he stuck his fingers in the man's ears to sensitively communicate what he was about to do and used spit in the same way. The word 'Ephphatha' means 'be opened' and is very easy to lip read. Jesus was valuing this man as a person and communicating with him in the way that would have been best understood. Jesus' actions here are far from disgusting or weird but sensitive, natural, compassionate and effective.
We can draw great encouragement and confidence from the fact that Jesus has the power to heal and that he understands our personal situation completely.