Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity 9.9.12 Mark 7. 24-end

2 09 2012

Reluctant Healer

Jesus’ desire to be alone, to be hidden, is powerful. But one way or another he is drawn out of his shell and news of him is broadcast – despite his best efforts to keep things quite.

Mark 7.24-end

Jesus set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, 25but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. 26Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27He said to her, ‘Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.’ 28But she answered him, ‘Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.’ 29Then he said to her, ‘For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.’ 30So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

31 Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. 32They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. 33He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. 34Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, ‘Ephphatha’, that is, ‘Be opened.’ 35And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. 36Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. 37They were astounded beyond measure, saying, ‘He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.’

Reflections and Questions

‘little daughter’ v 25

We know how much parents care for their children. But there is emphasis here – this is a little daughter

What does the word ‘little’ add to the way you imagine both the way the woman approaches Jesus and the scene back home where the child is lying on the bed?

‘He said to her… but she answered him… then he answered her”  v26, 27, 28

This is quite an exchange; it’s verbal ping-pong. The tone of voice and the look of the face matters in exchanges like this – but they are not recorded.

So… how do you see the exchange? Does the woman push Jesus somewhere that he does not want to go or is it more teasing and ironic than that?

‘a deaf man who had an impediment of speech’ v32

This is a powerful combination which is potentially very isolating. A deep loneliness is being implied here. Jesus is not just healing but re-connecting.

Who are the most isolated, disconnected and lonely people today?

‘Ephphatha’ v34

As John Pridmore says in The Word is Very Near You, ‘this is a ‘wonderful tongue-twisting Aramaic imperative’ and he suggests trying to say it ten times in rapid succession.

What does ‘Ephphatha’ mean to you?




2 responses

24 09 2012
“Ephphatha!”– that is, “Be opened!” – « Walking with Benedict

[…] Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity 9.9.12 Mark 7. 24-end ( Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this. Follow Blog via Email […]

8 09 2012
9/9/2012 All Are Worthy | ForeWords

[…] Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity 9.9.12 Mark 7. 24-end ( […]

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