"After 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. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, 'Ephphatha!' (which means, 'Be opened!' ). At this, the man's ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly." - Mark 7:33-35
Mark 6 largely just repeats the stories from the book of Matthew. This includes Jesus sending out the disciples, John the Baptist being beheaded, Jesus feeding 5000, and Jesus walking on water. We are still only given a vague description of how Jesus actually feeds the 5000 people with a few loaves of bread. You'd think witnesses to this miraculous event could give a more vivid description of how Jesus accomplished this multiplication of bread.
Mark 7 also repeats stories from Matthew (with some new strangeness added). This includes, Jesus's disciples not washing their hands, calling a woman a dog, and healing a deaf man. The new strangeness comes in when Mark describes exactly how Jesus heals the deaf man.
First, Jesus pulls the man away from the crowd. Then he plugs his ears with his fingers. Ok, getting a little creepy. The bible then says Jesus "spit and touched the man's tongue". He spit where? Did he spit on the ground? Did he spit in his hands (this is what some Christian websites claim, for some reason)? Did he spit in the guy's mouth? In any case, Jesus's creep factor just multiplied. Then Jesus touches the man's tongue (with his spit covered hands, if you believe the Christians). Not only is this creepy/unsanitary by itself, but Jesus has already told us that he doesn't wash his hands. No toilet paper, hands in mouth... Yeah, don't think that one over much.
Finally, Jesus shouts "Ephphatha" to the sky, and the man is healed. What happened to just touching the edge of Jesus's cloak and being healed? Now he has to plug your ears, spit in your mouth, and shout incantations for his power to work? This seems like bullshit more and more every day.
Many of you have probably heard about "touchdown Jesus" being struck by lightning, and being subsequently burnt down. There are some interesting new developments in this story.
Before I talk about the new developments, I want to just say a few things about the original story. This event seems to have revealed the Christian hypocrisy with respect to divine involvement. Most Christians I know tend to attribute almost everything to God. Accidental deaths ("God was calling them to heaven"), loss of property ("God is testing my faith", "God wouldn't give me more than I can handle"), even everyday things like winning sports events, or the answering of arbitrary small prayers. However, when a Jesus statue gets struck by lightning, it's all a big coincidence (which I would, of course, agree with). Why does coincidence suddenly exist?
From a biblical perspective (more specifically, an Old Testament biblical perspective) God striking down an "idol" isn't that ridiculous. These people have erected a giant image of the thing they worship. Why wouldn't the Old Testament God strike it down with a lightning bolt?
Surely these people will accept this divine message and not seek to rebuild this gaudy Jesus statue. Such naivety. Of course they're going to rebuild it. Here's the part you probably haven't heard: PETA will be funding the rebuilding. The new inscription will reportedly read "Blessed are the Merciful... Go Vegan". I guess a few more verses from Genesis are going on the "metaphor" list. Namely Genesis 9:2-3:
The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.
This seems like a decidedly non-vegan message. But I guess the church listens to whoever's paying the bills.
(via USA Today)