When Jesus was in Jerusalem, a crowd of people gathered around to hear him teach. Scribes and Pharisees who were also there asked Jesus why some of the things his disciples did were against the religious laws. Jesus gave them a harsh answer.
“You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition. You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many such things.” Jesus walked to a high spot of ground so that everyone present could see and hear him. Then he said, “Hear me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that enters one from the outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.”
Jesus said nothing more after that, but he walked away through the crowd, followed by his disciples. He stopped when he came to the district of Tyre, where a woman asked him to rid her daughter of an evil spirit. Because of her faith, Jesus healed the woman’s daughter. He then left Tyre and traveled through Sidon until he reached the Sea of Galilee.
Another crowd of people had gathered to hear Jesus and to see him perform miracles. Jesus wanted only to be alone with his disciples, but he knew the people who came to him had so many needs. His compassion compelled him to help them.
One person who came to Jesus was a deaf man with a severe speech impediment. The man’s friends asked if Jesus would just lay his hands on him. Their faith told them that would be enough to heal their friend. Jesus brought the man to a place they would not be seen or heard by the crowd of people.
Jesus put his fingers in the man’s ears. Then he touched the man’s tongue and spit on the ground. Jesus looked up into heaven and said to the man, “Be opened!” Immediately the man could hear and he could speak as well as any of his friends.
When Jesus returned with the healed man who was rejoicing because Jesus had healed him, Jesus told them not to tell anyone what had happened. But the man and his friends were just too excited and grateful. They told everyone.
“He has done all things well,” they said. “He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
READ MORE ABOUT IT:<BR>
1. Why did so many people follow Jesus?
2. What did Jesus say to the deaf man’s friends?
Jesus performed many miracles while he lived on Earth. He healed sick and injured men, women, and children; he walked on water without sinking; and he freed people from evil spirits. He started his ministry by changing water into wine at a wedding in Cana at the request of his mother.
But there are also stories of miraculous events in the Old Testament. Moses heard the voice of one of God’s messengers speak to him from a burning bush. God sent manna from heaven to feed the hungry Israelites. The walls around the city of Jericho crumbled when Joshua and his men blew their trumpets. Elijah called down fire from heaven.
Critics of Jesus and the prophets always asked for signs of God’s power, and God gave them many examples. We can read about them in almost every book of the Bible.
Maximus was born in the late sixth century in Constantinople. He became the principal secretary of the Emperor Heraclius, then left to become a monk. He joined the other monks in Chrysopolis. A strong disagreement developed between some of the clergy and the emperor. Some religious leaders, including Pope Martin I, were abused and even killed for their opposition to the emperor’s beliefs.
Even Maximus was challenged. After spending time in Rome, he was brought back to Constantinople to stand trial. Maximus spoke eloquently in his own defense, and won sympathy from some of his accusers. However, he would not change his mind. He was tortured and thrown back into prison, where he died a few weeks later, at the age of 82. We remember him on Aug. 13.