We concentrated for 20-25 minutes on the healing of the deaf man with a speech impediment. Jesus takes 7 actions in this story and each action is visible - as they would have to be for a deaf man to hear them. So not Latin, not Hebrew, not Greek, not Aramaic, but sign language - seven significant actions
- taking him aside from the multitude privately, - personal, one to one
- he put his fingers into his ears, easy to see - pointing to the problem
- and he spat - easy to see
- and touched his tongue; - perhaps he spit into his own hand and touched the tongue with the spittle
- and looking up to heaven, - here is the source
- he sighed, - pray and listen to God's sigh also
- and said to him, "Eph'phatha," that is, "Be opened." - a visible language - say it EF-PHA-THA lip readable
We also discussed briefly the Messianic secret that is evident in the first half of the Gospel. Summary: personal prayer, real healing, and mystery. I told them we could from this first lesson spend much more time than 20 minutes examining the relationship of this short passage to the whole Scripture. I encouraged them to read the whole Gospel. Next week Ella will prepare chapter 1.
Reference: Synopsis of the Four Gospels, Greek-English Edition of the Synopsis Quattuor Evangelium, Edited by Kurt Aland (6th edition) - available in the UVIC library.