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February 9 | Mark 7:31-37


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


From God's Mouth to Our Ears

by Jennifer Jerrome


The first time I met a person with profound hearing loss, I was amazed by their ability to communicate using sign language. As a child I didn’t understand that people who can’t hear also have difficulty speaking. It’s not that they can’t, it’s that when you’ve never heard the sounds, it’s hard for your brain to tell your vocal cords what to do.


Babies who are not spoken to on a regular basis often have speech delays. Hearing is crucial to speaking, so how can we expect to speak if we’ve never heard the words? The two are uniquely intertwined.


The same it true for those hearing about Jesus. If they’d never heard His words, then how are they supposed to speak them? Hearing God’s message is crucial to speaking it.


Today’s scripture is about Jesus healing a man who was deaf and mute.


After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” which means “Be opened!” At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly. (v. 33-35)


I find it interesting that before Jesus did anything, he took him aside, away from the crowd. Jesus didn’t perform this miracle to show off in front of everyone. He chose a more intimate interaction. The greatest setting for any relationship is one-on-one.


"Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it." (v. 36)


It's ironic that Jesus gives a man who was mute the ability to speak but then tells him (and the others) not to say anything. No doubt it was hard to keep this man from shouting from the rooftops what had just happened, but Jesus wanted him and those around him to sit with this wonder for a while. Jesus didn’t only come to preach to large crowds, but to take each of us aside, heal us and make us whole so we could engage in a personal relationship with him and encourage others to do the same.



PRAYER

Father, thank you for your words and the ability to hear them and speak them to others. May we know when to get quiet and when to shout the Good News. When our ears can’t listen and our mouths won’t talk, you always have a way of speaking directly to our hearts. You give us the words we need. Amen






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1 Comment


robin.lorms
Feb 09

Good morning, Jennifer.

I especially appreciate your comments about how Jesus "took the man aside away from the crowd." I am reminded that I need to create that quiet space so Jesus can open my eyes, ears and mind to hear what He has to say in prayer or reading His Word.

Of course, I could not help but think of Helen Keller. What an amazing story of character under greatest adversity. I have tried to imagine being deaf, dumb and blind yet learning how to communicate. Helen had great teachers who demonstrated much patience given the difficulty transferring techniques of learning to Helen. Thank God for His long-suffering with me in bringing me to faith. I am eternally grateful.


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