The man could not hear, and his speaking was unintelligible. He could only make sounds in an attempt to communicate. Many people would have discarded this man or avoided him – but not all people. Concerned people brought the man to Jesus. The crown wanted to see what Jesus could do with this man. With compassion and personal privacy, Jesus takes the man away from the crowd. Jesus proceeds to put his fingers into the ears of the deaf man and then He spits His own saliva and touches the man’s tongue with his fingers. Jesus looks to God the Father and utters a one-word Aramaic prayer, “Ephphath” – to us in English, “Be Opened.”
Jesus demonstrates care for others. He shows us about compassion in this story. As one person wrote, “Jesus then gave a deep sigh. This showed the incredible empathy of Jesus. This was an inward groan indicating Christ’s compassionate response to the needs of this man. He not only felt for him—he felt with him.” Jesus does not look for fame. In fact, he tells the man and the people not to tell others, but the word spreads fast.
Jesus knows your pain and your struggles today. Some need physical healing. Others need spiritual healing. All of us need a touch of Jesus in our lives.
Read the narrative for yourself and be amazed:
“And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him. And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain. And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it; And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.” (Mark 7:31–37)
When the of the Decapolis region see this miracle, they are astonished. They testify to the excellent character of Jesus and the tremendous quality of His work and ministry by saying “He had done all things well.”
“Well” is a beautiful Greek word καλός, which means “beautifully, finely, excellently, well.” Jesus does everything well. Just look at this Creation though marred by sin demonstrates excellence. A beautiful flower, a majestic sunset, the movement of the human hand all are examples of he excellence work of God in Creation. Everything Jesus did was done with excellence and beauty.
Have you ever heard the phrase: “Quality attracts?” Excellence is attractive to us and others. When we live with excellence it attracts others to the business, the church, or the homelife we are having. When living with poor quality, people are generally repelled, or a collection of similar type people may gather with the mindset of “not expecting much.” It would be better to work, serve, and live by doing things well, with our best effort.
Since Jesus does everything well, here are some encouragements for us:
- There is nothing God has done in your life that is second best. Many times, we personally settle for second best, but God does not do this! You are not second rate. You may have a health or mind condition that you do not understand, but God loves you and He can do wonderful things in your life. There are no second-class Christians. God may choose to give healing and sometimes He uses medicine and doctors and sometimes it is the will of God not to heal – while the person is on earth. Please know that you are not second best.
- The work God accomplishes is done with excellence and quality. Sometimes Christians just “get by” or “survive” life and ministry, just doing enough to “keep the train on the tracks!” But God does better than this. We do not want to merely “coast” through life barely getting by. While I am not advocating a perfectionist, performance-oriented mindset, the work that we do and the effort for which we put into planning, serving, and living should result in some good things. Would people say of your work, service, or ministry: “he/she does things well?” Are you giving God your best effort at work? Are you investing your heart and soul into your service to the Lord? Are you being all God wants you to be in your home? Personal discipline, Godly Priorities, and planning ahead can contribute to advancing personal excellence.
- The excellence of God is worth the wait. Imagine eating a stale apple pie or waking the time and waiting for a warm and fresh apple pie. Stale pie is not going to kill you, and it is “ok.” But warm and fresh pie is so much better. Many Christians settle for second best in the choices and direction of their life. They may not have faith to wait on God’s timing. They may not believe God has a better plan for their life. It is possible, they are rejecting God’s plan as outlined in the Bible. Determine to wait for the excellent things God has for you. Here are some examples where some may skip over excellence:
- Relationships: If God has called you to have a partner in life, He will bring a spouse to you. Wait for His timing. Trust Him to the wedding day, and then move in together. Wait for sex until you belong to each other in marriage. It may be tough spiritually and emotionally when “that’s the way all my friends are doing it.” I would encourage you to find better friends who will challenge you to Godly living. Be like “iron sharpening iron” for others to be more like Jesus. If you take short cuts in relationships now – you may end up taking short cuts later. Don’t settle for second best in relationships.
- Work: Why settle for second best in work? Paygrade and position is not our determining factor for our work. Our work is more about our effort and desire for honoring the Lord with the opportunity He has given us. Work is about giving God the credit. If God has given you special gifts (and He has) then use those gifts for His glory. You are just as valuable as another employee – even if your skill sets are different. God made no mistake in how He equipped you. Take some time to see the excellence of Jesus in how you are working.
- Education: Each Christian must consistently read, pray, and fellowship with God and other believers to ensure Spiritual growth. While some may not seek excellence in Bible study and Christian development or education, you can. Shoddy or shallow Bible study should not be normal in the Christian life. Let’s study well with beautiful excellence.
Would people testify about you “He/She does all things well?” While we cannot heal people of infirmities, we can direct people to Jesus. Let us follow the good example of Jesus and do the best we can in all we do.
 Thayer, J. H. (1889). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: being Grimm’s Wilke’s Clavis Novi Testamenti (p. 323). New York: Harper & Brothers.