( [email protected] ) Feb 21, 2004 11:17 PM EST

Mark 7:31-37 Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man. 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. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, "Ephphatha!" (which means, "Be opened!"). At this, the man's ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly. Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. People were overwhelmed with amazement. "He has done everything well," they said. "He even makes the deaf hear and mute speak."

"Ephphatha!" These were the words of Jesus spoken to a man who was deaf and nearly mute. Ephphatha means, "Be opened" as referred in the scriptures.

When I read the scriptures, I was stunned. I was not a deaf, nor a mute; however, I was unable to speak, nor hear freely. Conversation is one of the essentials in our daily lives. We should listen and speak well at a right time.

If the conversations stop, we will face many problems. We will feel our spirit confiscated. When I was young, I lived in an imaginary world called, ¡®my world.¡¯ I thought and laughed. Instead of expressing what I felt or what I thought, I would keep many things to myself. I was unable to express, unable to communicate. I was confined; I only expressed my love toward myself.

However, after I accepted Christ as myself and as I saw the lives of other Christians who does not condemn but forgive, I slowly reveal more of my true characters, the innate nature of God¡¯s beauty embedded deep inside of me. I was able to finally open my mouth and also my ears.

I am sure many of you come across times when you feel so confined, as the world is just you as though no one was around you. Rather than seeing our problems, we dwell in our presence. Rather than asking the Lord to liberate us from this sickness we have, we are rather content with how we are now.

When the Lord comes to us, he opens our mouth and our ears. We are able to hear well and speak freely. This is the kingdom of heaven the Prophet Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 35:5, ¡°Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.¡± Where is the starting point of this kingdom? As referred in Acts 2, it starts from the work of the Holy Spirit that loosens the mouth of everyone gathered for the day of Pentecost.

Satan disables us from speaking. They startle people to condemn others and oppress others from speaking. From this repression, the Lord redeems us embracing even our insufficiencies. This path of redemption is the love shown through the love of Christ. When we follow this way of the love of Christ, we are able to live in freedom. When we start spreading this love following the way Christ lived, we will be able to make the miracle of healing. So, from this day, let us open our mouth and be the ones who proclaim the gospel of Christ, the love of God shown through Christ through His way of redemption.