Sunday, May 6, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Compassionate love & healing by Jesus. 

Mark 7:31-37

Vs,37 “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak” 
              This is one of the miracles that Jesus did in Decapolis, a Gentile part of the area outside Galilee on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee. Mark records this right after healing of Syro-Phoenician woman’s daughter. These miracles show that Jesus came to save the whole world and salvation is for all who have faith in Jesus.
              Note that it was his friends who had brought this deaf and mute man to Jesus. Jesus pulled him aside away from the crowd, to attend to his personal needs and to avoid public attraction.  Jesus put his fingers into that man’s ears and spit and touched his tongue to make him feel his touch as a sign to enlist his trust. Jesus had a deep sigh meaning he was moved with love and compassion for his suffering.  He said to him “Ephphatha” which means “be opened, be released”. The man could not hear it, but the creation heard his command and he was then able to hear and speak. Jesus made him to hear right, talk right so that he could walk right and live right..
              You are the man in this story. Your ears are deaf. You turn a deaf ear to God’s calling to do his will. You tune him out sometimes due to the deceitfulness of wealth and the worries and pleasures of this world.  We fail to tell others about our wonderful savior. We fail to invite others to church. We choose to be deaf and mute. Your friends may bring you to hear the good news of Salvation. “Faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word of Christ” (Rom.10:17). He can pierce our calloused and deaf ears and give us a spiritual healing that we need today.  Then he wants us to speak as a witness for him.
              Jesus also calls us to show compassion and open our hearts to the needs of the people around us, irrespective of their race or status.  They may be poor, in need and suffering. Like Jesus, we can also reach out to those who are spiritually deaf and speechless. We need to pray for them, visit them, offer help if needed and say “Ephphatha” so that they can hear the message of salvation and be witnesses to his saving grace.
Prophet Isaiah proclaims:
              “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come… with divine retribution he will come to save you. Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped… and the mute tongue shout for joy” (Isaiah 35:3-6). 
              PRAYER
Open my ears to listen and heed the word of God, open our eyes to see you, open our hearts to receive you, open our minds to understand and obey you and loosen our tongues to witness for you. Amen.


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
He is still telling us “Ephphatha” (Be opened).
                Alex T. Thomas M.D
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church