Gospel – February 14, 2020 – Mark 7:31-37
Jesus left the district of Tyre
and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee,
into the district of the Decapolis.
And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment
and begged him to lay his hand on him.
He took him off by himself away from the crowd.
He put his finger into the man’s ears
and, spitting, touched his tongue;
then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him,
“Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”)
And immediately the man’s ears were opened,
his speech impediment was removed,
and he spoke plainly.
He ordered them not to tell anyone.
But the more he ordered them not to,
the more they proclaimed it.
They were exceedingly astonished and they said,
“He has done all things well.
He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
Jesus loves us enough that he was willing to go into areas that might be openly hostile to Jews. Why? Because he loves us and wants us to be healed – from whatever might be ailing us. Today it’s driven home by him healing – a foreigner, deaf and with a speech impediment.
How difficult must this man’s life have been? No real communication – he couldn’t hear and others couldn’t understand what speech he had – and he was probably feeling completely isolated from the world we know.
And yet the man who is Love took him aside – looked up to Heaven and commanded his ears be opened and touched his tongue – and healed him.
The people knew scripture and they knew Jesus was special. They knew the scroll of Isaiah, “He will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped”. (Isaiah 35:4-5).
That’s why they couldn’t be silenced about him – even though it might endanger him with the Romans if they heard them.
Just as he couldn’t keep them quiet he couldn’t not heal the afflicted. Why? LOVE.
At least that’s what I heard Him say…