A personal touch of healing

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In Mark 7, we encounter a strange story of Jesus healing a deaf man with a speech impediment.

You can read the full story in Mark 7:31-37, but here is a brief summary:

A deaf and mute man is brought to Jesus for healing. Jesus first takes this man aside in private, away from the crowd, and then proceeds to stick his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. Strange right? Jesus then looks up to heaven and with a big sigh, says to the man: “Ephphatha,” which means “be opened” and the man’s eyes were opened and he began to speak plainly.

One could argue that if Jesus indeed had the ability to heal the sick, surely he could have just clicked his fingers and it would have been done? So why then do we read countless stories in scripture of Jesus healing people in a variety of different ways?

Here are a couple of other examples where Jesus uniquely healed people:
In Mark 1, Jesus shouts at a man to drive out an impure spirit and heals a man with leprosy with a single touch; in Mark 2, Jesus heals a paraletic by telling him that his sins are forgiven; in Mark 3, Jesus heals a man’s hand on the Sabbath; in Mark 5, Jesus drives out a demon from a possessed man and sends the demon into a herd of pigs; in Mark 5, Jesus also heals a women unknowingly when she touches his cloak; in Mark 8 Jesus heals a blind man by rubbing spit on his eyes.

There are many, many of these unique healing encounters throughout the gospels. So why? Why did Jesus not have one uniform way of performing his healings?

I believe that God knows our needs and God's healing is personal in order to meet all of our needs. While Jesus acknowledged people's desire for physical healing, he also understood that each person had a greater need for spiritual healing, even though they might not have known it themselves.

When Jesus healed this deaf man with a speech impediment, I believe that as he touched the man’s ears and tongue, he was identifying the problem points in the man’s life. These ailments were causing him to be ridiculed and seen as an outcast by his neighbours. Without using words, Jesus touched the man’s problem areas to show the man that God loved him and would heal him - both physically and spiritually.

Perhaps we should consider what the problem areas in our lives are? What are the aspects of your life that are causing you to see yourself as an outcast or unworthy? I believe that Jesus meets us in our personal place of need and offers a personal touch of healing to each and every one of us.


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