Healing Ears and Tongues
It’s tough when we lose the ability to talk clearly, even tougher if we can’t hear either. Have you noticed that when someone can’t speak clearly, folks tend to move right by them? It’s too big a challenge to slow down, listen, and ask the person to repeat so that you can connect. If you compound the speech impediment with no hearing, this special needs person can live in a world of isolation. How did Jesus respond when he was visiting the area on the east side of the Sea of Galilee, an area called the Decapolis?
“Then Jesus left the region of Tyre, came through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee into the midst of the area of the Decapolis. They brought to him a person who was deaf and had difficulty speaking, urging Jesus to place his hand upon him. And taking him away from the crowd he put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue.
Looking up to the heaven, he groaned with sorrow over the man’s condition and then said to him, ‘Ephphatha!’ which translated means, ‘Be opened!’ Right away his ears were opened and the fetters on his tongue untied and he began to speak clearly.
Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone, but the more he told them, the more they kept talking about it. People were blown away in amazement saying, ‘He has done everything perfectly! He makes even the deaf to hear and the mute able to speak’” Mark 7:31-37
Those close to me with special needs, who can’t speak, communicate in a host of other ways: a twinkle or tear in their eye, a smile or a frown, a gentle touch with their hand, or making fists and bowing their shoulders. It’s amazing how much communication can take place with no words, but I still can’t wait for the day when Jesus heals these tongues so that we can talk and clarify all that I missed in the communication.
My niece works with children who are given ocular implants that enable them to hear and need help with their speech. When Jesus healed this man with both hearing and speech disabilities, he was proving that as God he has the power to heal and that ultimately in his eternal kingdom there will be no one who can’t hear or speak. Until then, we need to have the same passion to help the disabled as Jesus did when he took the time, away from the crowd, and helped this person one on one.
LORD, thanks for the programs in place that pour resources into meeting the needs of those with all kinds of disabilities. Thanks for the opportunities for them to go to school, connect with others, and enjoy all kinds of enriching experiences. Block those who are trying and in some cases succeeding in removing the funding that make these special programs possible. Thanks for making it absolutely clear that Jesus is totally on the side of those who are in need.
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