3.5.2015 Thursday of Lent 2 Mark 7:24-37 Jesus privately heals a deaf man
A man with deafness and a speech difficulty is brought to Jesus. The method of healing is touching. Jesus put His finger in the man’s ear and touched his tongue. Jesus looked to heaven in prayer for power to heal. He sighed – a sigh of compassion or weariness? The miracle was performed privately and He asked for silence about it. But the people were so impressed that they could not remain silent. They gave Jesus an evaluation: “He has done all things well.”
This man is brought to Jesus. This is what makes Jesus our Lord and Savior. John reminds us, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1) Jesus entered our world to combat and defeat those forces, which held you captive; the devil, world, and your sinful self. He came to forgive and set you free of all these deadly forces.
Then comes the word, Ephphatha, which means “be open” and the rest is history. Or is it? The rest of the story is gospel! There is something similar about this word Ephphatha – be open and the statement “It is finished!” which Jesus will speak from the cross. There, on Calvary’s holy hill, Jesus’ very lifeblood cries out Ephphatha for you! God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not counting our sin against us.
It is this proclamation of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which the Holy Spirit through Word and Sacrament continues to speak to the deaf and mute in spirit to those who are found to be dead in their trespasses and sins. There lies the power of God to open ears to the good News of the kingdom and to loosen tongues into a glorious confession that Jesus Christ is Lord.
O Lord, strong and mighty, Lord of Hosts and King of glory: Cleanse our hearts from sin, keep our hand pure, and turn our minds from what is passing away; so that at the last we may stand in your holy place and receive your blessing; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.