Again Jesus set out: from the country of Tyre he passed through Sidon and skirting the sea of Galilee he came to the territory of Decapolis. There a deaf man who also had difficulty in speaking was brought to him. They asked Jesus to lay his hand upon him.
Jesus took him apart from the crowd, put his fingers into the man’s ears and touched his tongue with spittle. Then, looking up to heaven, he said with a deep sigh, “Ephphata!” that is, “Be opened!”
And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was loosened, and he began to speak clearly. Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone, but the more he insisted, the more they proclaimed it. The people were completely astonished and said, “He has done all things well; he makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.”
READ: Jesus went to Tyre, Sidon and the Decapolis continuing His mission. In the territory of the Ten Cities a deaf and dumb man was brought before Him for healing. Setting him apart and using traditional healing techniques of His time Jesus opened the man’s ears and mouth much to the astonishment and wonder of His audience.
REFLECT: Jesus was on a mission to proclaim the Good News but people with infirmities wanted a bit of His time. The deaf and the dumb sought redemption from his illness. He could not hear and had difficulty speaking. Jesus’ words though wonderful and uplifting could not have wrought its transformative power on this man. That is why Jesus had to heal him. And so he did, together with his friends who brought him to Jesus. No matter how much Jesus told them to keep all in secret, tongues were loosened. They were unstoppable in giving witness to the good things Jesus had done for them. If we but only allow Jesus to loosen our tongue, perhaps we too would joyfully proclaim His Good News to others.
RESPOND: Many people today are robbed of their capacity for self-expression. It could be an oppression coming from within or without. We can help liberate them by taking up their plight and presenting it in forums that might awaken a positive response from others. I could use my social network sites where I am enrolled to advance this cause. I can join discussion or cause oriented groups. There are many ways to loosen the tongues of others if I but only try.
PRAY: Lord, make me a voice of the voiceless, and encourage others to speak up for those whose tongues are tied. Give me the courage to mouth the truth that sets others free, in the mighty name of Jesus our Lord. Amen.
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