By Pat Russell
Considering the sermon by Pastor Bruce Spear on August 2, 2020
Scripture Reading: Mark 7:31-37
Jesus Heals a Man Who Could Not Hear or Speak
Then Jesus left the area of Tyre and went through Sidon. He went down to the Sea of Galilee and into the area known as the Ten Cities. There some people brought a man to Jesus. The man was deaf and could hardly speak. They begged Jesus to place his hand on the man.
Jesus took the man to one side, away from the crowd. He put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. Jesus looked up to heaven. With a deep sigh, he said to the man, “Ephphatha!” That means “Be opened!” The man’s ears were opened. His tongue was freed up, and he began to speak clearly.
Jesus ordered the people not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. People were really amazed. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes deaf people able to hear. And he makes those who can’t speak able to talk.”
I invite you to sit quietly with each of the questions below. Ask Jesus to give you ears to hear what he has for you today in our Scripture lesson from Pastor Bruce.
I was moved today by the thoughtful tenderness of Jesus in this account. First of all, he responded to the requests of a group of people who were not the “chosen ones” of that day. He does not seem to be partial. How might you as a follower of Jesus be challenged to reach out to those who don’t belong to “your group?”
Secondly, Jesus “took the man to one side.” He did not make a show of this man’s inadequacies nor did Jesus make a show of his own power. How might you as a follower of Jesus be challenged to quietly and privately show love to another without making a big deal of it?
Thirdly, Jesus communicated to the deaf and speech-impaired man by meeting him in ways HE could understand – touching the places where HE suffered. How might you as a follower of Jesus be challenged to reach out to another person in the way she or he might need and understand, not according to what YOU think that person needs or what that person should understand?
Amen means, “may it come to pass.” Speak an “Amen” over your thoughts today.