“Ephphatha” – Sunday, September 9, 2018
This Aramaic word, ephphatha, appears in a section of the Gospel reading for this Sunday (Mark 7:31-37), and is one of those instances where Mark, who was actually writing in Greek, thought it important to preserve the word as it would have come from the lips of Jesus. Aramaic, not Hebrew, was the sole popular language of Palestine during the time of Christ, and when we hear ephphatha we hear the recollection of an eye witness account. The word means, “be opened”, and was spoken by Jesus as he healed a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech.
When the man’s encounter with Jesus was over, ‘his ears were opened, his tongue released, and he spoke plainly.’ A memorable episode, indeed. Ephphatha – to be opened by an encounter with Jesus Christ. We might not be deaf or lack the ability to speak, but we are in no less need of Jesus to loosen up or crack apart areas of our lives so to allow God’s grace, healing, or renewal to enter in.