“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.” – Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
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Mark 7: 32-35
And people brought to Jesus a deaf man who had a speech impediment and begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, “Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”) And immediately the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly.
Scripture tells us that Jesus worked many miracles.
How else do you explain people being cured of ailments and diseases?
Even the first century historian Josephus stated that Jesus “did surprising deeds.”
While Jesus was reported to have cured many, those cures seemed to be linked to whether the person in need of healing had faith that it could happen, or even those with that person had faith that it could happen.
And, as in today’s scripture verses, it appeared that healing someone was not like waving a magic wand.
In today’s story, it seemed like a very exhausting ordeal!
Jesus “groaned” while appealing to God.
The whole ritual was far from anything other worldly or heavenly – but very down-to-earth, messy and human.
Jesus spat on his fingers before touching the man’s tongue.
He stuck his finger into the man’s ears.
A man who was ill or disabled during that time would have been seen as “unclean” in the eyes of the culture.
Touching him would have made Jesus unclean.
Jesus crosses all the boundaries again.
He nullifies them.
The rules are obliterated.
Love, mercy, grace, forgiveness and compassion reign!
The man’s worthiness or sinfulness are of no concern to Jesus!
And, lo and behold, the man is restored to wholeness.
Before Jesus’ death and resurrection, scripture tells us that he told his followers this: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these” (John 14:12).
Let those words sink into your soul.
What do you make of it?
How will you respond?
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Remember: God loves you!