Mark 7

Scripture  

Mark 7:32-35 

They brought to Him one who was deaf and spoke with difficulty, and they implored Him to lay His hand on him.  Jesus took him aside from the crowd, by himself, and put His fingers into his ears, and after spitting, He touched his tongue with the saliva; and looking up to heaven with a deep sigh, He said to him, “Ephphatha!” that is, “Be opened!”  And his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was removed, and he began speaking plainly.

 

Observation-What does it say?

In this chapter of Mark, he discusses tradition of religion and the idea of uncleanliness of the heart, as well as accepting “unclean” people.  He wraps up the chapter with the miraculous healing of a mute and deaf man.  Throughout the gospels, there are more than 30 miracles recorded, many of which were healing of people afflicted with chronic or debilitating pains, some were even brought back from death.  Each healing or miracle was done in somewhat of a special way.  In this particular healing Jesus gives the deaf man a wet willy and spits in his mouth.  Once, while healing a blind man, Jesus spits on the ground to make mud, then he puts the mud on the eyes of the blind man and tells him to wash it off (John 9).  He healed another blind man by spitting directly in his eyes (Mark 8).  And yet, two other blind men he healed by simply touching their eyes (Matthew 9).  Through his healings and miracles, Jesus fulfilled prophecies about him.  “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.  Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert” (Isaiah 35:5-6).  Not only did he heal physically, but he also heals us in the same ways spiritually.

 

Understanding-What does it mean? 

I remember being in the hospital after my first bad car accident when I was 18 year old.  After almost killing myself, I have a handful of very vague and fuzzy memories from the next week.  The first one being in my car, upside down, and realizing that I was hurt pretty badly.  The next one, I was trying to spell out someone’s name using my hands because I couldn’t talk.  There were a few others, but none of them really important enough to hold onto.  However, one memory that I will never forget, no matter how drugged I was, is the moment when they removed the tubes that had been feeding me and helping me breathe.  From a week of nearly all darkness, I remember coming out of the fog to someone telling me to try to swallow.  The next thing I know, it felt as if someone were ripping my stomach through my mouth, while punching me in the throat and cleaning my sinuses with acid all at the same time.  But, once the tubes were removed, it felt as if I were breathing for the first time.  It was both freeing and painful at the same time, like when you jump into an icy stream in the mountains.  

This feeling is what I would imagine it was like to be miraculously healed.  After having spent their whole lives on mats, without sight or hearing, or with disfigured limbs, the people who were healed by Jesus were thrown into a life of full mobility in an instant, using muscles they had never used.  A feeling I imagine to be both freeing and painful, at the same time.  When God sets us on the path of healing, he can do it in many ways, whether it be spiritually or physically.  Either way, as we experience his power of healing, we will come to realize the power of his greatness in comparison to our weakness and brokenness.  A difference that can at times cause us to grieve.  But, when we are made complete in heaven, we will no longer experience the pain of this life (Revelation 21:3-5).  Our experience on earth will be seen from the perspective that it was the path that led us to a relationship with God.


Life Application 

Jesus, heal the blindness in my heart and allow me to see every day as important in my journey to you.  Heal my deaf spirit and allow me to shout your great name to those around me.  Forgive me for the times I have been ashamed of your name.  Help me to share your story of healing.
 
-Tyler Galloway