Jesus is headed to their corner of the world.
Word spreads along the route: “Get there early; He draws a crowd. With any luck at all, you’ll see a healing.”
Folks are curious. It could turn out to be a very big day – a chance to see one of those fabled miracles on their own turf.
It all sounds a bit unbelievable, but who would want to miss it, just in case it’s true?
Who would want to miss the chance to crow, “I was there the day the miracle-worker came to town, right down front. I saw it all . . .”
It’s a do-not-miss opportunity.
“Come on, Jesus. Hurry up and get here. We’re ready to be wowed. Dazzle us with the supernatural. This is what we’ve come to see.”
There’s the crowd . . .
and then there’s a man who seems to have come alone . . .
a man who can neither hear at all nor speak clearly.
Jesus enters the scene.
In what feels almost like a side-show mentality, the crowd’s attention turns to this deaf man. They bring him to Jesus to beg, plead, and beseech Him for a healing.
“Here’s your chance to wow us and dazzle us, Jesus.”
“Do it! Do it! Do it!”
I stop and wonder what this whole sideshow episode has to do with you or me or the Valley, and it hits me.
In a world where this man cannot hear, he spends his days seeking to understand. In a world where he cannot speak clearly, he spends his days seeking to be understood.
Take a moment here. It might feel familiar.
Can your core struggles be boiled down to the need to understand and the need to be understood?
Back to the story . . .
All eyes are on Jesus. The commotion of the crowd fades away to white noise and heaven and earth stand still, holding their breath. What happens next will change the day and change a life.
Jesus leads the man aside, away from the crowd – an invitation to escape the hype and the hullabaloo, the pandemonium and the pandering, the ruckus and the rubberneckers.
Without a word, His actions communicate His heart, “I will not allow you to be their sideshow.”
He places His fingers in the man’s ears and touches his tongue, ministering to the fragile root and tender core of the man’s private suffering.
Jesus sighs deeply in a silent groan and looks to heaven. His compassion for this man who seeks understanding and seeks to be understood knows no bounds.
He commands the healing of the ears and tongue to take place.
“Be open and released!”
Instantly the man can hear perfectly and speak plainly.
How refreshing for him . . . and how refreshing for us because that invitation is not a one-time-good-deal.
Picture the invitation
with your name written across it
in huge letters of beautiful calligraphy . . .
Come aside with Me. Let Me help you understand the truth: You are understood. I feel your private suffering. I long to touch the fragile root and tender core of your struggle with healing. Receive My touch from heaven today and be refreshed.
See you next week.