By Rev. Eric Brown
“And taking him aside from the crowd privately, He put His fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue.” - Mark 7:33
The deaf man was probably utterly confused. He couldn't hear; couldn't talk either because he was mute. But the people had seen Jesus of Nazareth coming, so they bundled the deaf man up and brought him to Jesus. Think about how confusing and bizarre this could have been for that poor fellow!
But then Jesus pauses and pulls the fellow away from the crowd, away from all that hustle and bustle. Then, privately, directly, Jesus deals with the deaf man. Remember, there's no sign language. The guy is mute, so he probably doesn't read lips either. So Jesus deals with him directly – puts His fingers in the ears and pops them out. I'm going to pop open these ears. Jesus grabs the guys tongue – I'm going to fix this thing.
Do you see what Jesus does here, how gentle He is? He not only is going to do a great and wonderful good for this deaf man, but He takes the time to make sure the guy knows what is going on. Jesus takes the time to explain, come to the deaf man in a way that He can handle so that he is ready to receive Christ's love.
This is how Jesus deals with you. Jesus has and does and will continually pour His love and mercy and forgiveness upon you, even until He raises you from the dead. But Jesus also knows that life in this world is harsh and cruel and confusing, so He pulls you out and away from the crowd and He deals with you privately, and directly. Of course He does! He's already baptized you, marking you as His own. So He calls you to His Church, where He has a pastor stick not his finger but the Gospel of Christ Jesus into your ears. Jesus even touches your tongue with His own Body and Blood in the Supper. And why? Not only to give you forgiveness and life, but to do so in a way so that you understand His love for you, so that you aren't terrified by what's going on around you in the world.
This week, there will be plenty of strange, hard, and difficult things in your life. They might bug you, but they won't throw Jesus off-stride. Jesus will still call you aside to come to His house, and there He will place Himself into your ears and upon your tongue, so that you know you have life everlasting in Him.
Rev. Eric Brown is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Herscher, Illinois and the co-host of the HT Gospeled Boldly Podcast.
Created: August 31st, 2017