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GRACE
PRESBYTERIAN
CHURCH

Seeking to equip people to live as Christian disciples wherever God has placed them.

“Whoever is Not against Us is For Us”

Mark 7:31-37

Why does Jesus heal this man this way?  Jesus can heal by a simple touch of the hand (Mark 5:41-42).  He can heal from a distance (Matt. 8:5-13).  Yet this healing seems unnecessarily elaborate and drawn out.

Consider the following.  Jesus takes the deaf man aside in private.  He puts his fingers in the man’s ears.  Then Jesus spits and touches his tongue.  Finally Jesus looks up to heaven and speaking in Aramaic (the standard language in Israel at the time) he prays for the man’s healing.  The man is completely healed.  He can both hear and speak. Jesus again tries to keep this a secret.  However the astounded people can’t help but talk about it.

Why does Jesus go through these elaborate steps when he could just have easily pronounced the man healed or done little more than put his hand on the person?  What is the point of all this?  Frankly we are not told.

We need to remember that Jesus’ earthly ministry involved teaching not only verbally but also by his actions.  Jesus touches this deaf man in multiple ways.  Jesus puts his fingers in the man’s ears.  Jesus also spits and touches the man’s tongue with the saliva.  The ears and the tongue are the two areas of this man’s greatest vulnerability.

This is the teaching lesson for all of us.  Jesus touches us where we are most vulnerable.  We know Jesus loves us.  We know Jesus heals us.  However it is also important to know that Jesus touches us.  He touches us not in our areas of strength but in our areas of greatest need.

How does Jesus touch us?  He touches us through other members of the Body of Christ.  Even an indirect touch reminds us that Jesus puts his hands on our lives where we are weakest.  An encouraging word, or a note of music, a piece of writing, are also ways Jesus can touch us.

Jesus’ touch is the physical demonstration of his love and compassion for us.

Faithful and loving God may I be touched by Jesus’ gracious hands in those areas where I struggle the most.  Give me the grace to touch others with the touch Jesus has given to me.  I pray this in his name, Amen.