And He took him aside from the multitude, and put His fingers in his ears, and He spat and touched his tongue. (Mark 7:33)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Gross! Spitting. Touching tongues. Putting your fingers in somebody else’s ears! It doesn’t sound very pleasant. But Jesus doesn’t do squeamish. He takes this deaf man aside, spits, touches his tongue and sticks his fingers in His ears. What’s going on? What saves this man? He’s got the Word of God—literally, Jesus—in his ears and on his tongue!
His problem is our problem. Even if we can hear, we are deaf to God’s Word. Even if we can talk, we use our mouths to curse instead of bless, to say worthless things instead of speaking God’s Word. So how is this man saved? How are we saved? By the Word of God going into our ears and the Word of God going onto our tongues.
Jesus isn’t squeamish about coming amongst us sinners. In the beginning, the Lord Himself came down and made man out of mud. In the fullness of time, He sent His Son, who was not afraid to actually take on a human nature, become a man, be born, suffer, die, and rise for your sins. Jesus gets in the mud pit with us sinners to be like us, to carry our sins, and to suffer and die for them.
Now He does the same thing to you to rescue you from spiritual blindness and dumbness. He puts the Word in your ears in the preaching and teaching of the Gospel and puts the Word on your tongue, His own true Body and Blood, given for you to eat and drink. And not with spit now, but with baptismal water, the Lord gives you Himself and rescues you from sin and death.
We suffer the very same problem as this poor man: We are deaf and dumb, unable to hear God’s Word and speak and sing His praises. But the Lord has opened your ears and loosed your tongue by His saving gifts so that now you can rejoice to hear Christ and confess Him, to hear the Good News that your sins are forgiven and to praise Him with your tongue. He has done all things well for you! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty and merciful God, whose gift it is that Your faithful possess all things pertaining to faith and life, we implore You that we may so faithfully cling to Your promises in this life that we fail not finally to attain to Your heavenly glory; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for Trinity 12)