Some people brought to Jesus a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man. 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 7:32-35
Email. Cell phone. Skype. We have many ways to communicate. How isolated we feel if the power’s out, the server’s down, or the cell tower is out of range.
Did this man they brought to Jesus feel cut off? How could he communicate? He couldn’t hear. He could barely talk.
None of this deterred Jesus. He broke through the communication barrier. He took the man away from the crowd. He wanted no distractions drowning out his message. He put his fingers into the man’s ears to communicate: I’m going to open your ears to hear. He spit and touched the man’s tongue to indicate: I’m going to enable your tongue to speak. Jesus conveyed his great concern and then accomplished what he had promised.
Jesus breaks through our communication barrier. The natural heart is deaf to God’s message. The inclination that you and I can help make things right with God blocks up the heart. With the attitude that God doesn’t care or isn’t fair with us, we turn deaf ears to him. But just as he did for that deaf man, Jesus does for you and me. He opens our ears and loosens our tongues.
How does he communicate? Jesus, our God, came in the flesh, born as a lowly baby. See how much he cares for us! And he is much more than fair—he suffered the death for sin that we deserved, and rose from the grave to proclaim victory over death and hell.
He has had all this written down for us. The Bible exposes our great need for a Savior and reveals God’s great love, which freely gives eternal life through Jesus alone. Jesus even touches us with water and the power of his word in Baptism, as he washes away our sins. What Good News he communicates, Good News for our ears to hear and our tongues to tell!