Then, looking up to heaven, He sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, ‘Be opened’
By Derek Lane, Outreach Ministries director
God wants to surprise us. He delights in pouring our blessings for His children.
When our children were young, we had a family tradition on New Year’s Day. We reviewed God’s blessings from the previous year and shared what we anticipated in the year ahead.
One year had been particularly difficult for us. We prayed for God to open windows and work things out on our behalf. That was a year we will never forget. He went beyond our wildest imaginations and poured out unseen blessings on our behalf!
God did the same thing in the story of the healing of the man who could not hear or speak.
His friends brought him to Jesus in hopes that Jesus would extend compassion and pronounce upon him a blessing, or simply share an expression of encouragement. They did not expect Jesus to heal him, as evidenced by their response.
Before the healing took place, the Bible says He “took him aside from the multitude.”
Often God does His work for us, and in us, away from the crowd. Sometimes our most intimate spiritual seasons are experienced when we are away from human interaction.
The narrative then describes the healing process. Jesus “put his fingers in his ears” and “spat and touched his tongue” (Mark 7:33 NKJV).
Jesus touched the man in the areas that needed healing. When God steps in and brings to heal the broken places in our lives, it is more than an intellectual experience; it is also an experience we can feel.
Finally, in Verse 37 the Scriptures tell us that when Jesus “looked up to heaven, He sighed.” It is only one of a few prayers in Scripture where a prayer was uttered without words.
The sigh was an inward groan and a compassionate response to the pain and sorrow sin has brought into this world. It was also a prayer to the Father for healing. Romans 8:28 also describes how the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf with groanings “which cannot be uttered.”
Isn’t it wonderful to know that God sighs over us? He pities our condition, and desires that we experience life, and life more abundantly. Often He moves in our lives in ways that allow us to experience blessings we didn’t ask for, favors we didn’t anticipate, and a touch we didn’t expect.
May our relationships with God grow as we seek to know Him more, and as He continues to open the windows of heaven!
Plan a Bible Scavenger Hunt around your home! There's no one right way to play this game, so you can come up with lots of creative ideas - or glean ideas like this! Use your imagination! Have fun learning about the Bible in a fun and creative way!
Lord, Interpret the sighs of our hearts in those moments when we just don't have words. Bring Your healing presence to the relationships and life situations we encounter. Help us open our eyes, ears, heart and hands to how You are at work in our lives whether in expected or unexpected ways. Keep showing us in Your way. Amen.