MARK 7:24-37 (NIV – UK)
Jesus honours a Syro-Phoenician woman’s faith
24 Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. 25 In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an impure spirit came and fell at his feet. 26 The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.
27 ‘First let the children eat all they want,’ he told her, ‘for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.’
28 ‘Lord,’ she replied, ‘even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.’
29 Then he told her, ‘For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.’
30 She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
Jesus heals a deaf and mute man
31 Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. 32 There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him.
33 After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spat and touched the man’s tongue. 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, ‘Ephphatha!’ (which means ‘Be opened!’). 35 At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosed and he began to speak plainly.
36 Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. 37 People were overwhelmed with amazement. ‘He has done everything well,’ they said. ‘He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.’
Isaiah, speaking of the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh, says: ‘Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy’ (Isaiah 35:5-6). We see here these words become a reality – Jesus is the Great Physician.
Of course, this miracle was very physical – but we can also see a spiritual truth conveyed here. In our natural state we are in rebellion against God – we can neither hear his good word not speak of his grace and goodness. Jesus comes to open our ears to hear his word – to hear of the love of God and the salvation found in him. At the same time, he comes to loosen our tongue – so that we may praise him for his grace and goodness towards us and to speak of him far and wide.
If we want our ears to remain open and our tongue to remained loose, we must remain with Jesus – returning to him daily – the Great Physician.
Question: Do you feel as if your ears are open to Jesus, and your tongue loose to speak of him?