By Peggy Lively

Jesus performed two miracles in the book of Mark that have very similar circumstances. The more I looked at them the more interesting it became to me. In Mark 7, He heals a deaf and mute man, and in Mark 8 He heals a blind man. There are four common things that happen in both of these miracles.

1. Jesus gets the one who needs healing alone:

“Jesus took him aside, away from the crowd.” (Mark 7:33)

“He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village.” (Mark 8:23)

2. Jesus spits:

“Then He spit.” (Mark 7:33)

“He spit on the man’s eyes.” (Mark 8:23)

3. Jesus physically touches the men where they need healing:

“Jesus put His fingers into the man’s ears. Then He spit and touched the man’s tongue.” (Mark 7:33)

“When He had spit on the man’s eyes and put His hands on him, Jesus asked, ‘Do you see anything?'” (Mark 8:23) And again in Mark 8:25, “Once more Jesus put His hands on the man’s eyes.”

4. Things are opened and healing takes place:

“Jesus looked up to Heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, ‘Ephphatha!’ (which means ‘Be opened!’). The man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.” (Mark 7:34-35)

“Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.” (Mark 8:25)

Isn’t that fascinating? It’s so interesting to me to see the similarities in these miracles and see how Jesus chose to heal them. He pulls the individual aside, away from the crowd to give them His focus and personal attention. Why He chooses to spit, I’m really not sure. There are some studies that show human saliva has healing qualities, like speeding up wound healing. But that hardly seems to be the reason. I think it tends to be more along the lines of Jesus using the base things of this world to do the miraculous. He often chooses to use the weak and lowly things: “God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. (I Corinthians 1:27-29) Then He touches them, and there is healing as He places His hands on their eyes, ears and tongue. He could have just spoken their healing, but He made it more personal and compassionate by physically touching them. Then He speaks with authority and power when He says, “Ephphatha!.” Be opened! And they are.

I’m so thankful that Jesus still opens today. He opens blind eyes to see His grace; He opens deaf ears to hear His Truth, and opens prison doors to set sinners free. Seek Him and trust Him to open the areas in your life that need healing.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)


One Response to “Ephphatha!”

  1. Nikki Says:

    What an interesting connection of the similarities between these two miracles! I’m not sure I had ever seen the similarities that you laid out here before. Thank you!!!

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