Jan Johnson
Jan Johnson

WisBits Archive

August 2007

Jesus Taking You Aside

While Jesus often healed people in a crowd, he also had a habit of taking people away from the crowd to be healed. He seemed to know when someone needed such private attention. In fact, he healed each person differently, perhaps in the specific way that would develop their faith and pull out of them a trust in God they probably didn’t know they had. Here’s one of my favorite - and most different - examples.

You are a deaf person with a speech impediment. You live in such a way that no one talks to you and you talk to no one - except through hand motions. Some people take you to Jesus to be healed, who takes you “aside in private, away from the crowd.” Then Jesus does something with you that is not recorded in any other healing - a goofy sort of pantomime, an outward enactment of the movement of unseen power whizzing around you.

First, Jesus puts his fingers in your ears (try this on yourself). To do this, his muscular carpenter hands cradle your jaw. How does it feel to look into the eyes of Jesus as he cradles your jaw and face this way? Does he smile? Does he wink?

Then he takes his hands away, spits on his fingers, gently opens your mouth and touches your tongue with his saliva (a traditional method of healing in those days - only it has never worked for you!). Finally, he looks up to heaven and you see his shoulders and face heave a great sigh. This signals to you that he’s going to speak even though you can’t yet hear him. He says to you - or rather to your ears - “Be opened.” All of a sudden you now hear everything (which can be jarring!) and your tongue is “released” so you can speak plainly.

Everyone is astounded, of course. And you, what of this moment taken aside with Jesus? What was this like for you? What do you want to say to Jesus?

Jesus was not a one-size-fits-all Savior. He did different things when he healed people because part of his goal was to expand each person’s faith in the way he or she most needed it. You as the deaf stammerer needed to see it acted out. You needed to trust that this healer was more than an ordinary person.

If Jesus were to appear before you and take you away from the crowds and the chaos around you, what in you would he want to heal? What would he do or say to you? What do you need to hear from Jesus or how do you need Jesus to grab a hold of you to enlarge your faith today? Try it and see.

(Mark 7:31-37) For more information on how to do this kind of Scripture meditation see chapter 7 of Savoring God’s Word.

Grace and peace,
Jan Johnson




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