Let Earth Receive…
Great God of love, may I discover anew today the great mystery of the Living Christ living in me.
Read Mark 7:31-37
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
The cure of this man is brought about by a succession of acts appropriate to someone hearing impaired and unable to speak. We need the same sensitivity of Jesus as we minister to others.
Bioscientific medicine has shaped Western culture since the Enlightenment but is now being re-evaluated in the light of valuable pre-modern understandings of wholeness and the relation of healing to morality, society and the whole of life. As medical education moves away from merely applying textbook cures to symptoms, the symbolic and psychosomatic connections between sickness and soul healing, and indeed the healing of society, is recognized again, as medicine was practiced in antiquity and is still practiced in traditional societies. This ancient synthesis has been revisited in modern writing by many Western Christians, like Søren Kierkegaard (Sickness Unto Death) and Larry Crabb (Connecting). Jesus’ healings in the foreign territories north of Israel have something to say to us about the healing of cultures which are terminally ill with materialism and bigotry, and also about a deeper healing, of creation!
Jesus’ route to Sidon, then to the Ten Towns, was likely to avoid Herod Antipas or the Galilean zealots who wanted to make Jesus king. Whereas Matthew describes several miracles here, Mark significantly details just this one (Matt. 15:29-31). Jesus chooses a quieter place so that his patient will not be overwhelmed at first hearing, but also for his symbolic actions and words of healing to be clearly seen and heard (33). Jesus’ intimate ministrations in the Decapolis are the stuff of broken taboo (36), but Mark invites us to see much more. Christ’s incarnate touch, spit, sigh and word as he looks to heaven (33,34) echo the pre-incarnate touch, mouth, breath and word at creation (c.f. Prov. 8:30,31; Gen 1:26; 2:7). Also, Jesus’ single Aramaic word anticipates the opening of all creation to God’s kingdom of reconciliation, healing and salvation (Isa. 35:5,6; 42:9; c.f. Psa. 104:30; 2 Cor. 5:17).
This week may present exacting challenges and astounding newness. Think of this in relation to the prayer, “Let Your Kingdom come!” How can you cooperate with that?
Living Lord Jesus, I want to be Your faithful disciple but I have seen again this week what faithfulness can involve. I ask for courage and power to follow in Your footsteps.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.