Mk.7:35-37 – At once the man’s ears opened and he could hear perfectly, and his tongue was untied and he began to speak normally. Jesus ordered everyone to keep this miracle a secret, but the more he told them not to, the more the news spread! The people were absolutely beside themselves and astonished beyond measure. And they began to declare, “Everything he does is wonderful! He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak!”
I love it when the Lord uses His “shock treatment”. Just when everyone is comfortable in their safe, predictable church services the Lord shows up and utterly freaks people out. We are so used to the predictability of church that if anything unusual happens it causes quite a stir. That’s what I love about this story. Not only is a man who is deaf and mute healed, its how he was healed that demands attention. Jesus took Him aside and applied saliva to his ears and his tongue. “They don’t do it like that in my church!” Things are so predictable in church today that you could show up late and not feel like you missed anything. After all, it was probably just like last week. After they got over the spit, then they had to deal with the fact that the deaf guy could actually hear. Here are some thoughts from the Passion Translation Notes.
“The Greek text uses an unusual construction, found nowhere else in the New Testament, to describe the utter astonishment of the people over this miracle. Jesus led the man away from the unbelief of others to work his miracle and healed him with his saliva. (Later, wicked men would spit upon him in public.)”
The people were utterly astonished at this miracle and came to a powerful conclusion, “everything He does is wonderful”. Here is a description of their response.
“beautiful,” “perfect,” “admirable,” or “marvelous.” This verse can also be translated “He has made everything beautiful” or “He has made everything ideally.”
So is it possible that we have become too rigid in our vision of what church looks like? Is it possible that we have become so professional in our presentation that there is little room left for the supernatural? I think the answer to both questions is an emphatic yes.
The last time Jesus had been in these parts (Decapolis) a herd of pigs ended up being drowned. This time He conducted some kind of spitting service. Maybe predictable is way over rated.