Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

God who opens the closed
St. Mark 7:31-37

Kavitha M. Koshy
St.  Mathews  MTC, Canada, ON


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!”).

Hearing is considered one of the most important and valuable human senses.  It gives us the ability to know and understand the messages that the people around us are trying to convey to us and also helps us understand our surroundings.  Also, only by hearing are we able to learn how to communicate; if we can’t hear, then we won’t be able to know what words or sounds we’re supposed to make in order to speak.  So the only way Jesus was able to communicate to the deaf man, was through sign language and certain gestures and actions.

In verses 33-34 we read about how Jesus healed this man. He first put his fingers in the man's ears to show him that He was going to remove whatever was blocking his ears.  He then spits and touches the man’s tongue.  Back in Jesus’s time, spit was believed to be a symbol of healing, so Jesus did so to send that message to him.  Jesus touching the man's tongue was to make him understand that He was also opening his mouth so that he would be able to speak.  Jesus then looked to the sky to demonstrate that the healing was coming from God and not from Himself; to make him understand that all glory and praise goes to God, our Father, only. Jesus finishes the healing process by saying ‘Ephphatha!’, which is an Aramaic word that means ‘to be open’.  By looking to the sky and saying this, Jesus is ultimately asking God to open what is closed for the man so that he would finally be able to hear and speak. The man was now healed; he was able to hear and speak!

Jesus asked not to tell anyone about this, but being so overwhelmed with what they had just seen and experienced, they could not hear what Jesus said; they were ready to tell everyone! Jesus did the miracle away from the crowd to have privacy with the man and for him to experience a moment between himself and God.  He also stayed away from the crowd, because the last thing Jesus wanted was attention and praise for the miracle He was about to perform, for the wrong reasons.  He didn’t want the people to see him just as some miracle worker and a ‘king on earth’, but rather as the Son of God! The theme touches on the idea that at times when we, as humans, are overwhelmed by the many wonders of this world, we become spiritually deaf and closed off from the messages that God laid down for us.  Our desires become a priority when we are overwhelmed and thus we lose our sight of God.  When God and the ambiance of Jesus Christ is before us, we must learn to humble ourselves and open our hearts and life to our Savior.


Lord, our Heavenly Father, open our closed hearts, ears, eyes and minds so that we may know you more and have you live in us.  Forgive us for being so closed off from you even though we hear the message of you, God in Christ, so often.  Heal us from our spiritual deafness that we may be opened and forever live with you and in you. Amen.


“Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world”
– C.S. Lewis


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