31 Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis.[h] 32 There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him.
33 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. 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). 35 At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.
36 Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. 37 People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
Desperate Hearted Friends
Jesus stays in a non-Jewish context. He is probably still laying low after the decapitation of John the Baptist, but he is unable to stay hidden. His heart of compassion and his power as a bringer of life and health are impossible to hide. However, those who are singing his praises at this time are not Jewish. The disciples are hidden from the text and we now see Jesus’ response to some desperate hearted friends. A man is brought who can not speak for himself and who can not hear what Jesus might say to him. However, Jesus takes him to the side and graphically lays out what he will do.
Why does Jesus sigh? It could be that he is tired from the constant pursuit of those who want him to heal. However, I believe it is from a weight of sadness that touches his heart when he sees the ravages that sin has on a person as it infects our world. The passion of relief for the man and his friends is apparent as they can not keep quiet. This is an intentional contrast with the silent beginnings. Maybe it is a contrast with the disciples who are probably present, but who don’t see and who don’t speak because they do not have ears to hear clearly yet.
We should, like Jesus, have compassion on those who suffer. However, we must be aware that we are living with poor sight and poor words. Like the friends we must passionately bring each other to the only one who can heal, and like the afflicted man we must accept what Jesus is going to do to and through us. When you see the desperate condition of those around you, where do you take them? Do you offer them a cup of tea? Do you take them to the doctor? That would be a start. However, we need to see how the desperation of our plight should lead us to Jesus.
A lot of the time I just hope that I can keep myself positive. I wish to appear together and to remain shallow enough to believe it. However, when I talk to most people on an authentic level we have issues that go deeper than we know. Physical healing is something we all seek out. Emotional healing is becoming more acceptable. Your spiritual healing should under-gird everything. Help me to be healed and find joy and to bring that true joy to others.
- Where is Jesus?
- What word describes the way the deaf-mute’s friends asked Jesus?
- Why would Jesus want to keep this healing quiet?
- How are you like the man in the passage who needs healing?
- How are you like the friends of the man who needs healing?