"Then He commanded them that they should tell no one;
but the more He commanded them, the more widely they proclaimed it."
The ridicule and scorn must have been as difficult as the disability. Not only was this man deaf, but in a society that rejected people because of disabilities his was obvious every time he opened his mouth to speak. He was left like others to a life of groveling for the most meager of wages, but how difficult it was to even do that. Sure, he couldn't hear what they were saying, but we all know that feeling of shame and scorn without a word being spoken. He could see it in their eyes.
Thankfully, there were some that cared about him enough to go to Jesus on his behalf. They had heard of Jesus' power to heal even the most difficult of calamities, and they thought of their friend. They loved him in spite of his affliction, and they desired greatly to see their friend made whole. How many people do you know around you that are suffering from illness or even greater the disease of unbelief? Do you love them enough to bring them to Jesus at whatever the cost? These individuals brought their friend to Jesus and begged Him to do something for him. Oh, how much we need to come to Jesus on behalf of our friends and loved ones and call on Him to do what only He can do!
Imagine this deaf man watching the commotion all around him, completely unsure of what was taking place. This Teacher that they brought him to then started doing something highly unusual. Jesus pulled him aside and put His fingers in his ears. What was this all about? Then Jesus took saliva from His own mouth and touched his tongue. The deaf man must have been thinking this is getting more and more odd. As he looked into the face of Jesus, he read His lips as He said, "Ephphatha, be opened!" Suddenly in his ears he heard a crescendo of noise like no orchestra had ever played. Every sound was crystal clear. He tried to speak and tell those that brought him to Jesus that he could hear, but when he did someone else's voice spoke. It was a resonant and clear voice that seemed to come from his own vocal cords. He experienced the miracle of God personally at first, and then he was able to show others by speaking what had been done in his life. Isn't that exactly what Christ does in the life of the believer? You know first and foremost the change that God has made in your life, and then you spend the rest of your life declaring what great things He has done.
Here is where the story gets interesting. Jesus, because of all of the scrutiny and because of the Father's time table for His death, tells this man and those around him to not tell any one. When I read that, a smile goes across my face. Why? Jesus just told a man that can now hear Him and speak with a perfectly resonant voice to not tell any one. I can see this man's first words to Jesus as being, "Are you serious?" How do you keep something like this quiet? Obviously from the text he couldn't. By the end of the day this man had told every one under the sound of his new and transformed vocal cords of the power of God through Jesus. For the record, we are under no restrictions to be quiet. We are instead commanded to boast of what Christ has done in our lives. He has changed our lives from deaf and silent souls to transformed and speaking hearts.
May you tell everyone what Christ has done for you!