September 10, 2012

Mark 7:34, 35- He took the man off by himself, put his fingers in the man’s ears and some spit on the man’s tongue. Then Jesus looked up in prayer, groaned mightily, and commanded, “Ephphatha!—Open up!” And it happened. The man’s hearing was clear and his speech plain—just like that. (The Message Bible)

This is the story of a man with a speech and hearing issue whom Jesus healed. It starts by stating that Jesus took the man off by himself so in the context here the account is most likely the healed man’s himself. I can just imagine friends and neighbors asking for details concerning what happened. We too want to know the details about the way God works. We live in a world of cause and effect and if we can get the right techniques down we can make things happen. If we just do things the right way we, too, can get the results we desire. In this account Jesus uses very specific actions and uses a very specific command. One commentary I read said he was imitating the common healing procedures of his day. If we follow these steps correctly could we be part of healing someone? Interestingly enough, in the passage just preceding this one Jesus heals a little girl without ever even meeting her. We may want to reduce life and faith to techniques that we can master. It makes for a much more orderly, understandable, and controllable world. But that isn’t what we often experience and it isn’t the picture of God we get in Jesus. We encounter God in this day, in this set of circumstances, in this situation and look for what God will do in them. It might be what we expect but it might not. That is the life of faith. How will you live it this week?

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