Deaf man with speech impediment: Be opened


Jesus “said to him, ‘Ephphatha’, that is, ‘Be opened’“ (NRSV, Mark 7:34)

The healing of the deaf man who had a speech impediment is remarkable in that it showed that Jesus was concerned wholly with the deaf man as a person.  He took him aside from the crowd as an individual.  He indicated to him his purpose in so doing by putting his fingers into the man’s ears, and touching his tongue with saliva which was popularly supposed to have curative properties.  He looked up to heaven to show that the cure would be the work of God and not a piece of magic.  And then he addressed the man himself and said to him, “Be opened”, as though the man was in a locked room, shut off from the outside world.  Thus Jesus made it plain that he was interested in the whole man, not just his organs of hearing and speech.

Communication by hearing and speech is an important part of forming and maintaining a relationship with other people.  And that is true also of our relationship with God where such communication is not merely important but essential.

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