I remember a time in my life that I felt lost. I didn’t know what I didn’t know but I knew there was something I didn’t know and I desperately wanted to know! So……I prayed for a miracle! I needed a miracle then just too simply understand this life I was living in. I believe that many, many people today need that same miracle! The world we live in is often confusing, can be very cold and hard, grey area abounds, and we are subject to the will of all these people that also live in this confusion. Oh how great it would be to have this world “open up” for us in understanding, joy and a warm sense of being each day….purpose.
Mark 7:31-37 (TNIV)
31 Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. 32 There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk [mogilalon], and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him. 33 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. 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). 35 At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly. 36 Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. 37 People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
This man was unable to speak or hear. Oh, my gosh, how life must have been tough and confusing for Him! As I looked close at this miracle, I discovered what I believe, is a key to a fuller understanding. That key is found in the Greek word, “mogilalon” [mog-il-al-on]. This word, meaning “speech impediment or speaking with great difficulty, unable to articulate”, is found nowhere else in the New Testament. However, if you search the Septuagint (The Greek translation of the Old Testament from 600 years BC, the Bible that Jesus and His disciples read quoted from), this word is found in the book of Isaiah.
Isaiah 35:3-6 (The Message Version)
Energize the limp hands, strengthen the rubbery knees. Tell fearful souls, “Courage! Take heart! GOD is here, right here, on his way to put things right and redress all wrongs. He’s on his way! He’ll save you!” Blind eyes will be opened, deaf ears unstopped, lame men and women will leap like deer, the voiceless [mogilalon] break into song.
Mark 7:34-35 tells us that when Jesus performed this miracle, “He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). 35 At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.” I believe that for this man, as well as can be for US today…..what a miracle it is when our eyes are opened up and when we can see and speak plainly!
We need this spiritual opening up in our lives! Do you remember when this spiritual opening occurred in your life? Or, if you didn’t experience this spiritual opening, pray unceasingly for it……….it is probably the greatest miracle you will ever experience!
For me, this spiritual opening, this miracle, and if you knew me when I was young, you would agree that it was a miracle!) started to happen in 1983. But in 2003, 20 years later, there was an even greater miracle that occurred, one that I had continued to search for even after 1983. Let me explain. In 1983, after much confusion and prayer, my life changed. I recognized and affirmed in my heart who Jesus was and made a life changing decision to follow Him in my life. Jesus became #1 in my life. From there my life has never been the same! The world opened up to me. I became comfortable in my skin; I found fulfillment, joy and purpose. I still prayed that my relationship with Jesus would get even deeper (just like in any relationship, we long for a deeper, intimate and fulfilling sense of being), and in 2003…..Jesus answered. And yes, I can only describe these two things as miracles…they were life changing…. “Ephphatha!” ….my life was opened!
The Aramaic word that Jesus used here, “Ephphatha” [eph-fa-tha] is only used here in the Bible….. indeed, do you want your life to “be opened”?
We need to “be opened” to a wholeness in life! We need our salvation, our redemption, our healing to affect every area of our lives!
We need to “be opened” and to be able to speak our witness to this miracle in our lives and the lives of others! Just as this man that Jesus healed was now able to speak. We need to be able to hear and to speak clearly to those around us about what happened when Jesus saved us!
We need to “be opened” so that we can ACT in response to our healing by healing others! You know, speaking and sharing our testimony is one thing, and is certainly important……but there is an even stronger way to share in this healing in our lives…..by sharing the touch of Jesus through our everyday actions and responses to life! Our actions are a “conceptual conversation” that stretches much farther than simple words! When we share our healing….others are healed!
Pray daily that Jesus continues to “open up” your life! Ask him to provide “Ephphatha”! Hunger daily for His understanding. Jesus WILL provide! Jesus WILL answer this prayer! As the prophet Isaiah shared in Isaiah 35, your eyes will be opened, your ears unstopped, you will leap in life like a deer and daily……you will break into song! Yes, my friends…..pray unceasingly for “Ephphatha”!