May 27, 2009

Healing by Wet Willie

It’s hard to visualize Jesus’ unique approach to healing the deaf man without thinking of that childhood prank of wetting our forefinger and sticking it into some unsuspecting person’s ear! You can be sure that their intent was not to heal the deaf. Though that’s not exactly what happened (after placing His fingers in the man’s ears, He spit and touched the man’s tongue), thinking of it this way makes it more memorable.

But Jesus was serious. It wasn’t that his saliva had special magical powers, and Jesus was certainly not putting on some kind of magic show. The point here is that Jesus “looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh” and said “be opened” (Mark 7:34Mark 7:34
English: World English Bible - WEB

34 Looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha!” that is, “Be opened!”

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). Jesus did nothing on His own, but only what the Father taught Him (John 8:28John 8:28
English: World English Bible - WEB

28 Jesus therefore said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and I do nothing of myself, but as my Father taught me, I say these things.

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Maybe God has a sense of humor; maybe the point was to be obedient in all things, no matter how strange; maybe there are elements of our world we don’t understand. But whatever the reason, Jesus did what the Father told Him, and a deaf man who could barely talk was healed.

Will our obedience allow us to heal people like that? I’m not sure – I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who was as obedient as Jesus Christ, and I doubt that I ever will. But we can draw some lessons from this passage:

I wouldn’t recommend the wet willie approach to healing the deaf – unless, of course, you’re as obedient as Jesus and and God commanded you to do it. But I can wholeheartedly recommend looking up to heaven and praying to God for all your needs – and don’t forget to thank Him for sparing you of  “wet willie” therapy.