B.C.P. Trinity 12 : Mark 7:31-37.
7:31: And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. 32: And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him. 33: And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; 34: And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. 35: And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain. 36: And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it; 37: And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.
Sometimes when I visit people in hospital they tell me what their Consultant is like. A familiar story is that they are a good Doctor or Surgeon, but have a terrible bedside manner, virtually ignoring the patient, or treating them like an idiot.
Jesus is in a Gentile, non-Jewish area and is begged by people to lay hands on this deaf man with a speech impediment. It was common for faith healers at this time to heal by laying hands on people. Of course, Jesus could heal in any way. He wasn't restricted by the conventions of the day. Sometimes he healed with a word. But Jesus wasn't just in the business of healing, he wanted to make people whole, to increase their faith.
So he takes the man away from the crowd and communicates with the man in a way he can understand. He puts his finger in his ears to show he will unblock them. Jesus spits and touched his tongue to show he will give him unhindered speech.
Jesus looks up to heaven in a prayer-like attitude to show his power comes from God. he says, 'Be opened' and straightaway the man can hear and speak properly.
Have you ever been asked to keep a secret, but what you have been told is so good you have shared it with anyone ?
Jesus tells the crowd not to tell anyone about this. The reason for this is that he didn't want to be known as just a miracle worker. His mission was much wider than this. He had come to save the world through his death on the cross. Death and sickness is in the world because of sin. When Adam sinned he let sin loose and we are suffering the consequences of this. This is not saying that every sick person is in this condition because they have committed a certain sin, although sometimes sin can lead directly to sickness or even death. The healings of Jesus point to his mission. That he had come to earth to undo the effects of sin and death, restoring people to a right relationship with God.
The fact that Jesus carried this healing out in Gentile territory is also symbolic. It shows that Jesus has come to save anybody. Jew, non-Jew, male, female, black, white, brown, yellow, young and old, etc.
The crowd cannot contain themselves. 'They were beyond measure', meaning they were overwhelmed, they couldn't believe it! They said 'He hath done all things well;' This is an echo of the words in genesis when God created something and looked on it and decided it was good.
Jesus came to re-create things. To restore them to what they were originally intended to be. The man was originally intended by God to listen and speak clearly. Jesus restored him to this condition. People were originally intended to have a right relationship with God. Unaffected by sin. Jesus took the punishment for the sin of the world so that people may be restored to a right relationship with God. To know him as their best friend and Lord. To look forward to being with him forever.