Mark 7:31-37 – Jesus Cures a Deaf Man
Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”
What do you do to cure hiccups in your house? Growing up, my mom would give me a teaspoon of sugar to eat and then quickly drink a glass of water. After that got me a bit too hyper (I seemed to get the hiccups a lot), we went to just chugging a lot of water or holding my breath for 10 seconds. I’m not sure where it came from, but in our house, we “cure” hiccups by drinking water while someone holds your ears shut. Strangely, it seems to work more often than not (maybe its a psychosomatic thing). Hard for me though to not think of the hiccups when I read about Jesus putting his fingers in the man’s ears to bring healing. Obviously we are talking about something far different than the hiccups here, but there is a common thread…you can’t do it alone. With our hiccup cure, its pretty hard to chug a glass of water while holding your ears shut. Try it sometime…(and preferably post a video of it). But it probably won’t work very well.
Same here – this man needed another to come and help him – specifically Jesus. He needed the touch of the savior to bring him healing and restoration. Moving beyond the miracle to a lesson underneath – how often do we try to go it alone to deal with the circumstances of life? We can do it – we can gut it out – we will pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and make it on our own. How often does that actually work? In my experience, not very. Sometimes when we serve others, we may be called to do something that feels or looks strange (yes, we are the weird family sticking our fingers in our kids’ ears while they drink from a public water fountain), but if it is serving and meeting the need of another, I am pretty sure Jesus would have done it. After all, he stuck his fingers in the ears of this man and he spat and touched the man’s tongue…and restoration and healing took place.