31 And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. 32 And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him. 33 And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; 34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. 35 And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain. 36 And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it; 37 And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.
I am often astounded at how my Lord saves and helps us, at the similarity of our stories but also the variations of our experiences. I believe we can relate to some of the details in today’s reading but especially delight in the differences.
This is one of the most unusual of our Lord’s miracles. The methods he used here, well let’s just say they were a bit unorthodox. Let's take a look.
Mark 7:32 And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him.
The miracle begins in typical fashion, “they” bring a deaf man to Jesus for healing. I don’t know who the “they” are in the story, but I do know that the Lord likes to use men and women to bring hurting and lost souls to himself.
Mark 7:33 And he took him aside from the multitude...
Most of the time when Jesus heals, he does it on the spot. In this instance he takes the man aside.
I wonder why?
Perhaps he just wanted this miracle kept quiet. Later Jesus instructs the man and those that had brought him to “tell no man.” (Mk 7:36)
It could be that he led this man aside in order to spare him embarrassment from the gawking crowd.
Maybe he did it this way so when the healing was accomplished, the very first voice this fella heard was the voice of the Lord, not the noise from the crowd.
I believe this leading away is a teaching example of how we all must come to Christ. An individual can be introduced to Christ by another, but what happens next has nothing to with anyone else, Jesus must be personally received.
What happened next is where it got a little weird.
Here are those especially unusual methods we mentioned.
Mark 7:33 And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue;
Jesus put his fingers in the deaf man’s ears. Like I said, the methods here were not from a typical pattern. The deaf man’s hearing was not the only impairment he endured, his speech was also impeded so Jesus healed the man’s speech by spitting and then touching the man’s tongue.
Did he really spit on his finger and then touch the guys tongue with the spittle?
Ha, I told you that the Lord used unusual methods for this miracle!
I suppose by definition every miracle is unusual isn’t it?
34And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. 35And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.
The Lord then looked up to Heaven, sighed then said, “be opened”. Finally, for this fella the years of silence came to an abrupt end as he was given a newfound appreciation for the sweet symphony of creation.
The guy heard and spoke clearly in an instant!
No speech therapy required!
The crowd left talking about Jesus saying, “he hath done all things well”.
Jesus does great work!
I wonder, why the unusual methods? Why the theatrics?
What’s the deal with the fingers in the ears?
I believe that he might have been teaching a spiritual lesson, his touch is required for us to have ears to hear spiritual truth.
Why the spit on the tongue?
We need to know that there is power in what proceeds from the mouth of God.
I don't know that those are the reasons he did things so different that day, but one thing is certain, Jesus doesn’t follow the same pattern in his dealings with us.
His methods are as different as the men and women on whom he performs his miracles.
He tailors his touch to the individual’s needs. Aren't you glad? I know I am!
That is how he does all things well. The Great Physician gives customized care!
Be patient, let him take his time so he can do it well. Don't be disturbed that he is doing things differently for you. He does all things with customized care and that is how we know he does all things well!