We finish up the lectionary readings with the second healing recorded in the 7th chapter of Mark’s gospel.
Mark 7:31–37 (NRSV)
31 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. 32 They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. 33 He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. 34 Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” 35 And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. 36 Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. 37 They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”
Did you notice the difference in the healing from this passage to yesterday? Privately this time…Jesus places his fingers in the man’s ears before touching the man’s tongue with a finger wetted by saliva. While yesterday’s healing was challenging from a language perspective, this was physically off-putting. Jesus accomplished the same goal of healing in both circumstances but in dramatically different ways.
Makes me wonder if we need to rethink the comparison game. Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, is determined to deal with us as individuals. We receive what we need, when we need it, for the purpose intended. The minute we begin to compare our gifts, passions or even healings with another we lose the gratitude for the gift and the gift giver.
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, please forgive me for when I have compared myself to others and found myself lacking or judged another person that way. Allow me to be fully grateful for your grace in all shapes and forms.