In today's reading Mark 7 says,

He took him off by himself away from the crowd. He put his finger into the man's ears and, spitting, touched his tongue; then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him, "Ephphatha!" (that is, "Be opened!")

What's the significance of all this? In particular, if for God all things are equally easy, why the groan?

  • 2
    For reference, the KJV replaces "groaned" with "sighed". Also, Elder Bruce R. McConkie said “The Lord is dealing with a believing soul who cannot hear his words or give fluent answer to them. And so what is more natural than to make use of common signs, known to and understood by the deaf and speech inhibited man, to indicate what the Master could and would do in accordance with the law of faith?” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 1:373) – PyRulez Feb 9 '18 at 1:56
  • @PyRulez good point that Jesus may have been communicating with or testing the faith of the deaf man, but I don't see any reason why we should care about the KJV since it isn't an approved translation and is known to be flawed. (The Douay-Rheims translation is superior, as I understand it.) – Internet User Feb 9 '18 at 23:50

In the book “Draw Close to Jehovah” chapter nine entitled “Christ the Power of God” this particular miracle is discussed it makes the point that this was an example of how empathetic Jesus was toward this man who had been brought by others to be healed. Being deaf he may have known little of the talk surrounding the man Jesus who was performing miraculous powerful works. The spitting and sighing or groaning as he looked heavenward are explained as being for the benefit of the man who likely had to use some form of sign language to communicate.

Below is an excerpt from that discussion :

On this occasion, great crowds found Jesus and brought to him many who were sick, and he cured them all. (Matthew 15:29, 30) But Jesus singled out one man for special consideration. The man was deaf and hardly able to talk. Jesus may have sensed this man’s particular nervousness or embarrassment. Thoughtfully, Jesus took the man aside​—away from the crowd—​to a private place. Then Jesus used some signs to convey to the man what he was about to do. He “put his fingers into the man’s ears and, after spitting, he touched his tongue.”(Mark 7:33 2) {Spitting was a means or sign of healing accepted by both Jews and Gentiles, and the use of saliva in cures is reported in rabbinic writings. Jesus may have spit simply to convey to the man that he was about to be healed. Whatever the case, Jesus was not using his saliva as a natural healing.}

Next, Jesus looked up to heaven and uttered a prayerful sigh. These actions would say to the man, ‘What I am about to do for you is due to power from God.’

Finally, Jesus said: “Be opened.” (Mark 7:34) At that, the man’s hearing was restored, and he was able to speak normally.

How touching to think that even when using his God-given power to heal the afflicted, Jesus showed a sympathetic regard for their feelings! Is it not reassuring to know that Jehovah has placed the Messianic Kingdom in the hands of such a caring, considerate Ruler?

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