Close Encounter

Originally published Wednesday, 30 January 2013.


I want a close encounter with Jesus, don’t you? The concept sounds amazing, but it is a bit allusive. I mean, we can’t touch Jesus or see Him face to face, so how exactly do we encounter Him? All I know is that if I need a revival in my faith, more of His presence will do the trick. Maybe this passage in Mark will give us some perspective.

Mark 7:32-35

32There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man.

33After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man's ears. Then he spit and touched the man's tongue. 34He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, "Ephphatha!" (which means, "Be opened!" ). 35At this, the man's ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.

I had to stop to ponder this situation. {Sidebar: to get more out of the scripture, don’t just read it, ponder it. Break it down and put yourself in the scene} Just several passages before, Jesus simply touched the sick and lame or spoke healing over them. Why would Jesus pull the deaf man aside and put spit in his ears? Here are some possibilities that I came up with. I actually put myself in the place of the deaf man-take a look:

*Jesus knows this man’s heart and maybe this man doubted His ability to heal
--Jesus knows my heart and knows when I doubt Him, too!

*Jesus wanted a private moment with the man away from the noisy crowd
--Jesus wants a private moment with me away from the TV, internet and blackberry {distractions}

*Jesus knew the power of His touch when He stuck his finger in this man’s ear. He not only touched the deaf man’s ear, Jesus touched the depth of this man’s heart-whatever condition it might be in.
--The Lord doesn’t just go through the motions in my life. He knows when and how to get my attention. Sometimes I need His touch more than anything else.

Can you imagine how sweet a sound the man heard when Jesus said, “Be opened?” This man probably lived the majority of his life, if not all, in silence. What a wonder to experience to tune into Jesus’s gentle, yet powerful voice as the first sound he heard in ages. A voice that was not preaching to a large crowd, but speaking straight to this man’s heart in the most intimate way. He had a close encounter with Jesus.

We don’t know what followed this scene. We don’t know how the man lived out his close encounter. But, we do know how we will react when Jesus pulls us aside from our distractions, touches our hearts and speaks into our life. I don’t know about you, but I want to have a close encounter with Jesus EVERY day. This only happens when I come to Him ready, willing and vulnerable. Jesus knows the depths of your heart and just what kind of encounter with Him you need. Are you willing, ready and vulnerable?

Jesus! Touch our hearts and speak to our soul, “Be open!”

Read more from Sarah at LIVE IT OUT! blog