Scripture reading for February 25th: Mark 7:24-8:9, Psalms 41:1-13, Proverbs 10:15-16
Jesus came to preach the Good News and bring healing to people who were oppressed by the devil. Mark records some accounts of Jesus working with various people to bring healing to their bodies and family members. When we study this with a desire to find out how He did it, we find a variety of techniques being used.
The first woman mentioned in this passage was a Greek lady who was born in Syrian Phoenicia. She had a daughter who was under the control of an evil spirit and came to Jesus begging for help. Jesus responded to her in a way that could have brought offense. “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 their dogs.” (Mark 7:27) He was telling her that He came to bring healing to the Jews first, for the Gentiles were called “dogs” in that culture. This woman pressed through by telling Jesus that even the “dogs” under the table eat the children’s crumbs. Jesus was so impressed by her faith that He told her to go and her daughter would be healed!
Next, Jesus traveled to the Decapolis near the Sea of Galilee. Here a man who was deaf and could barely talk was brought to Jesus. Jesus took him away from the crowd and put His fingers into the man’s ears. He then spit and touched the man’s tongue. Jesus looked up to heaven and said one word of command, “Ephphatha!” (which means “be opened”.) (Mark 7:34) This man was healed and he could speak again!
We ponder these two incidents and try to learn how to bring healing to those we find. We see that Jesus responded to faith. The first woman came to Jesus begging for help for her daughter. She was not deterred by Jesus’ comment, but pressed Him for help. Jesus responded! In the second incident, the man was brought to Jesus by friends who begged Jesus for help. The man was deaf and could not speak plainly for himself. Jesus took him aside and privately ministered to him. He physically put his fingers in the man’s ears and spit and placed his finger on the tongue. The prayer was a simple command. Jesus always did things well in response to faith!