The prophets of old were called, among other things, to foretell the coming of the Messiah. The messages of the prophets provided a window into how days of the Messiah would like. They were sent to convict, strengthen and inspire. An important aspect of their message was to point out with all clarity the fallen state of humanity. This was, and still is crucial because, in order to be saved every man ought to acknowledge his fallen, sinful state, repent and be set free from possible condemnation. St. Paul hit the nail right when he declared: “All have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23).
If that is the case, then we have a fundamental problem. To be deprived of the glory of God means, in effect, to be in a state of darkness. It means to be “blind” to the splendor and majesty of God. It also means to be disconnected from the vital communication with God. Simply put, to be deprived of the glory of God means to be “blind”, to be “deaf” and to be “dumb.” Sin impedes our “vision of God.” In addition, sin impedes our ability to hear and perceive the things of God. Finally, sin impedes our ability to declare the goodness and glory of God, for which we were created.
We may, therefore, say that, in a certain sense, every person (as a result of original sin) is born with vision impediment. Every person is born with hearing and speaking impediments. Of course, we are talking here of spiritual realities in human analogy. Isaiah and other prophets foretold the coming of the Messiah, in whose days “the eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf will be cleared. Then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the dumb will sing” (Is 35:5-6). Should we be surprised that the Messiah will clear the ears of the deaf? No! Should we be surprised that the tongue of the dumb will sing to the Lord? No! No, because sin had literally blocked our ability to hear and speak of the glories of God. We needed the Messiah to set us free from the things that chain and impede us. That is precisely what the Son of God did, and is still doing today, and will do until the end of time.
The Bible says that one day some people brought to Jesus “a deaf man with a speech impediment.” As the Messiah who had come to restore, renew and re-create, he wasted no time in healing this man (Mk 7:31-37). He put his finger into the man’s ears, touched his tongue (literally “re-creating” the two faculties) and cried out “Ephphata! Be opened!” And the man was set free.
Dear friends, we have a problem. And we must be humble enough to acknowledge it. The truth is that I am that deaf man with a speech impediment. You too are that deaf man with a speech impediment. The point is, we do not always hear what God wants us to hear, and we do not always speak the things of God. In our world today, Satan has successfully put many people on “mute.” Sin is putting many people on “mute”, including so-called Christians.
But to the glory of God, Jesus is here to put Satan on “mute” and to set you free to shout the praises of God. Jesus is still in the business of opening our ears and loosening our tongues. Jesus still cries out to you: Ephphata! Be opened! We are children of God, and so we live to declare the glory of God. We are destined to sing the praises of the Most High God. To hear and to declare the goodness of God is our everlasting inheritance. It is our destiny to shout forth the glory of the Lord and to utter divine mysteries. Today, the finger of the Lord is reaching your ears and your tongue. Let your ears be opened now to the Word of God. Let your tongue be loosed now. May the Spirit of God empower you to speak divine mysteries. That is your destiny in Christ Jesus. Ephphata! Be opened! Amen.
My dear friend, Jesus loves you. He wants you to hear and speak the mysteries of God. I now wish to invite you to say the following prayer in faith:
Dear Jesus, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me a sinner. I confess you as Lord and Savior. Come into my life today. Command my ears to open to your Word. Command my tongue to sing your praises. Thank you. You alone are Lord now and forever. Amen.