Mission completed -- Jesus and his crew of apprentices left the Tyre area. They headed back toward the Sea of Galilee, cutting deep into Gentile territory through Sidon and the Ten Cities region.
As he traveled, some people brought to Jesus a man who could neither hear nor speak. And they begged Jesus to use his healing touch to restore the man.
Then Jesus did a strange thing. He led the deaf man away from the crowd and put his fingers into the man's non-functioning ears. Then, if that were not strange enough, he put some of his own spit onto the man's tongue. Looking up to heaven, Jesus sighed with compassion, and then he commanded the clogged organs, "Ephphatha," which means "Open up" in Aramaic.
Instantly the congestion in the man's ears dissipated and his tongue broke loose.
Jesus instructed the bystanders to keep their own mouths shut. He didn't want the news of this spreading. But the more emphatic he was about silence on the matter, the more eagerly they talked -- to more people and in more places. And once again, the buzz was out of control. People were totally into the Jesus drama. "Wow! Is there anything this guy can't do? He fixes deafness and repairs the mouths of the speechless!"
THE COMMON ENGLISH BIBLE
After leaving the region of Tyre, Jesus went through Sidon toward the Galilee Sea through the region of the Ten Cities. 32 Some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly speak, and they begged him to place his hand on the man for healing. 33 Jesus took him away from the crowd by himself and put his fingers in the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. 34 Looking into heaven, Jesus sighed deeply and said, “Ephphatha,” which means, “Open up.” 35 At once, his ears opened, his twisted tongue was released, and he began to speak clearly.
36 Jesus gave the people strict orders not to tell anyone. But the more he tried to silence them, the more eagerly they shared the news. 37 People were overcome with wonder, saying, “He does everything well! He even makes the deaf to hear and gives speech to those who can’t speak.”