A deaf and mute man was brought to Jesus (Mark 7). Interestingly, Jesus takes him off to the side - away from the crowd. He could have healed him in front of the crowd, but he may have wanted his disciples to clearly see what he was going to do - to see this miracle as a sign of things to come.

He touched the man's ears and tongue. Then he said "Ephphatha," - "Be opened." And suddenly the man could both hear and speak.

Notice this: Jesus spoke to the man before he could hear. It was that spoken Word from the Lord Jesus that made it possible for him to hear.

And Jesus still makes people hear. He is fulfilling the prophecy in Isaiah, where it says: "And on that day the deaf shall hear the words of a book" (29:18). The prophecy says God will make people hear and he does.

The Word of God opens our ears and creates faith in us. We don't have to create faith inside ourselves. The Word of God does that.

Through the Word of God:

• We hear that Jesus took our sins to the cross and nailed them there in his body.

• We hear that he died for us - for the forgiveness of our sins!

• We hear his adoption of us in the wet Word of Baptism.

And Jesus doesn't wait for us to decide if his Word is true. Jesus did not wait for the deaf man to be able to hear him; instead, he created the ability for that man to hear the same Word that healed him.

Every one of us is spiritually deaf and in need of Jesus to heal us by his Word. So Jesus makes us hear. He comes to us with his Word and he changes us.

• He transforms us from the deaf to the hearing.

• He transforms us from the dead to the living.

• He transforms us from enemies of God into his own beloved children.

Through the Holy Spirit, God creates the faith we need by the preaching of the Gospel. And as faith is created in us we trust his Word - That we are loved, saved and forgiven.