people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged
him to place his hands on the man.
After he took him aside, away from the
crowd, Jesus out his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s
tongue. He looked up to heaven and with
a deep sigh said to him “Ephphatha!”
(which means, “Be opened!”). At
this the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak
Jesus commanded them not to tell
anyone. But the more he did so, the more
they kept talking about it. People were
overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done
everything well,” they said, “He even make the deaf hear and the mute to speak.”(Mark
There is so much I love
about this story! I love that there were
some people who cared enough to bring their friend to Jesus. I love that these people were so
certain that Jesus could do something to help, or to heal, their friend that
they begged him to place his hands on the man. I love that somehow they thought that if
Jesus just touched him, then something magical would happen. They were right.
And I love that Jesus took
him aside, away from the crowd. For
far too long, and in the worst possible way, this man had been the center of
attention everywhere he went—and not the kind of attention that is normally
seen as positive. He had been the object
of points and stares and whispers. The
target of shame and disgust and scorn.
He had been seen through the eyes of judgment, the eyes of disdain, and the
eyes of pity. And now Jesus simply
wanted him focused on the Eyes of Love, so he took him aside, away from the
crowd. There is a lesson to be learned
here: If you want to have an intimate and healing encounter with Jesus, it is
most likely to happen away from the crowd.
Our problem is that typically we play to the crowd far more than
we focus on Jesus.
I love that Jesus put his
fingers in the man’s ears, and then spit and touched the man’s tongue. Jesus identified the very areas that had
brought this dear man so much pain and brokenness and ridicule, and put his
hands right on those very places. That’s
how Jesus works. He gets his healing hands
of love and he places them directly on our most wounded, broken areas.
But it is what comes next
that I love the most: Jesus looked up to heaven and then he sighed. “Okay, so what’s the big deal?” you might
ask. “So he sighed, so what? What’s so significant about that?” Well, I’ll tell you what is so significant
about it, it wasn’t just any ordinary sigh.
This was not a bored sigh, or an indifferent sigh, or even a delighted
sigh. It was actually more of a groan, the
kind of groan that is talked about in Romans 8 and 2 Corinthians 5. A groan as in the pains of childbirth. This wasn’t any old sigh, it was a groan that
came up from the core of Jesus’ being. It
was a groan of sadness and pain and frustration; a groan that bemoaned the fact
that life was not intended to be this way.
It was a groan that recognized the deep brokenness and pain of God’s
once beautiful, completely whole creation.
It was the groan of a God who is heartbroken over our brokenness—a God
who groans right along with us, until the day when everything will be made
whole and new.
Now that’s a God I can get
excited about. No wonder the people
responded the way they did: They were overwhelmed with amazement and said, “He
has done everything well. He even makes
the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”
Thanks be to God!
I stand amazed, Lord Jesus, that you care
enough about my pain to groan. I stand
amazed that you care enough about my pain to reach out your healing hands of
love and touch the most broken places in my heart and life. Touch me with those hands today, that I might
offer your healing touch to others in my life and world who desperately need to
know you care. Amen.