Scripture: Mark 7:31-37; Matthew 20:24-28
This Sunday in our sermon series, Hidden Angels, we will be discussing how God expects Christians to treat those who have physical and intellectual disabilities. The man who Jesus heals is deaf, and although we are not told, I think it is safe to assume that this man was deaf from birth because he has a major speech impediment, which is consistent with people who are born with deafness. Now if this is the case, that this man was deaf from birth, you have to realize that the fact he made it into adulthood was exceedingly rare in the ancient world.
If a child was born with some kind of deformity or a genetic issue, society didn’t expect parents to raise that child into adulthood like we do today. In fact, if the child was not thriving or showed signs of having any type of handicap, it was common for the parents to abandon their child. They would leave the child in the wilderness to die from exposure. This is why in the ancient world there were so few people with physical and intellectual handicaps. They simply weren’t given the chance to make it into adulthood.
The Jews were considered to be quite odd in the ancient world because they were very open about their belief that allowing your child to die from exposure was morally wrong. This belief among the Jewish people was derived from the first two chapters of Genesis where God creates human beings. In Genesis chapter 2, when God is forming man from the clay of the Earth, in order to give life to his body, God breathes the breath of life into his nostrils.
This Sunday we are going to discuss how God’s breath makes every human unique and special. Furthermore, we are going to talk about how this perspective forces us to think differently than the rest of society when it comes to those who have disabilities. May you have a wonderful weekend filled with family, friends, and fun! See you on Sunday!