There some people brought to him 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. (vv. 32-35)
There are two prayers here. I want us to look at them both. The first prayer is the prayer of the friends of the man who was deaf. They came to Jesus, having exhausted all other methods for his healing. They had tried the physicians of the day, and their friend still could not hear and could barely talk. They came to Jesus as a last resort, having heard that he was a man of God and a powerful healer and might be able to help their friend. They prayed, begging Jesus to place his hand on him. I commend their faith. They prayed a simple prayer, “Lord, touch our friend.”
They didn’t know what to expect from Jesus. I would imagine what he did next was not remotely on their list. He put his fingers in the man’s ears, then he spit and touched his tongue. Do you think they might have said, “NO! Don’t do that!” It seems they were willing to trust Jesus to do what was needed, they stood by and watched.
Jesus prayed the next prayer. First, the prayer was uttered as a “deep sigh”. Jesus hated what sin had done to these people he came to save! Then, he spoke, “Be OPENED!” This was not a request, it was a command. The ears were closed and the tongue stuck no more! The man could hear and speak! I am thinking there was a third prayer, a prayer praising God!
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