… some 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 they took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put His fingers in 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 plainly” (Mark 7:31-35).
I wonder how many people watching Jesus heal this man grossed out when he put his fingers in the man’s ears (ooh! ear wax), spit, then touched the man’s tongue!
One thing is for sure. Jesus never healed people the same way every time.
The whole scene is interesting. How I wish I could’ve been there, especially when Jesus sighed.
The ancient word translated as deep sigh doesn’t mean that Jesus was tired, out of breath, or frustrated. The word is Stanazo (Sten-ad’-zo). The Vine words associated with this type of sigh are: grief and groan. (Vine is a dictionary that gives expanded definitions of the ancient words)
What caused this groan? Did Jesus grieve the pain of the people he healed? Did all of the suffering of the people around him begging His touch cause deep emotions of sorrow within our Savior? Did it grieve Him that His once perfect creation now held such pain and disease?
Randy Alcorn writes in his book, Heaven:
“The New Earth will be a place of healing (Revelations 22:2) Christ’s healing ministry was thus a foretaste of Heaven, the place where all hurts are healed, all suffering forever eclipsed by joy. Whenever Jesus healed people, the act spoke of wholeness and health, the original perfection of resurrected bodies and spirits. Every healing was a memorial to the Eden that was and a signpost to the New Earth that will be” (p. 248).
Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds, we are healed. Isaiah 53:4,5
What if Jesus’ death brought us the hope of salvation but not healing to our bodies? Can we imagine a heaven where multitudes of broken bodies kneel before God? NO WAY!
We want to experience the healing in this life, but may we not forget the sacrifice that 100% physically restores us for eternity.
Learn from Jesus that He never heals people the same way. He’s not a cookie-cutter God. And our suffering on this earth grieves Him too.
Share this post on one of the social media tabs, like my Facebook page, and leave a comment with your thoughts on suffering and heaven. I’ll enter your name in a drawing for Randy Alcorn’s book. It’s another one of my favorites! Gotta share good stuff! Last day to enter the give-away 1/27. I’ll announce the winner next Word Wednesday. 🙂
With lots of love,