Jesus has come to do all things well. From the first promise of salvation in Genesis 3:15 to the first prophecy to Joseph in Matthew 1:21 which reminds us “You shall call His name Jesus for He shall save His people from their sins.” Our Lord has come to do all things well. From the wilderness wanderings with the hard hearted Israelites to the wanderings of modern day America in to the wilderness of flippant sin Jesus has come to do all things well. Our hymn today reminds us that He was Word of God come down to earth, the living rain from heaven descending. He is the Word that caused blind eyes to see, stopped ears to hear and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. He came to touch our hearts, our eyes, our ears, our tongues, to bring faith and hope and love unending.
What are we to do then? What is to be our response? We are to revere Him we are to long to hear Him. That is why you are here today; the Word of God that you have heard spoken and the Spirit of God, given to you in the waters of Holy Baptism have called you to your Father’s home. To the place where you are safe, to the place where your Lord is speaking the Word of forgiveness life and salvation. You are here to hear what your Lord has to say to you.
You are here to hear that your Lord does all things well. You are here to hear that it wasn’t the touching of the deaf and mute mans ears and tongue that healed Him. It was the simply the Word that came from the Lord’s mouth; Ephatha! Be opened!
And He who has the power to do this; the very One true God and true man, the one that God spoke to bring life to creation is the very one who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross for our Salvation. He came not to cure deafness, or muteness He came to eradicate the very source of those maladies, both physical and spiritual. He comes to you today, in the same way that He did for the man in our text for today, intimately, personally to speak His life giving word into our ears, that we might hear of His great deeds, hear His promises and believe. And in believing that very word we find that we have the full counsel of God to share with those we meet.
There are three amazing things that happen in our text for today all of which serve as a sign of something greater. The first covers two things; Jesus speaks to the man… but not with spoken words… He uses sign language of sorts using his fingers to indicate to the man just what He was going to do. First, Jesus touched the man’s ears, indicating that the first thing that must be done is for the man’s ears to be opened. The second thing is that Jesus touches the man’s tongue that the man might know that he will be able to speak. But the touching of the man’s ears and tongue are not where the healing happens which brings us to the third amazing thing. For the touching was but a sign of what was to come, an indication of how the Lord was going to work the true healing came when? If not when the man was touched, then the healing came when the Lord looked up to heaven and spoke the word Ephatha! Be opened! And they were. The man hears, the man speaks and then the crowds disperse with everyone yammering on about how awesome it was that Jesus did what He did. And it was awesome! It was miraculous, for to you and me and the crowd we do not have the ability to make a deaf man hear, nor can we make the mute to speak. We see Jesus doing something that we cannot do and we rightly call it a miracle.
But there are times that our sin, our fallen and frail flesh cloud our understandings, get in the way of the faith that has been given to us in baptism, and can really start to muck things up. The workings of God are miraculous, but the healing of the deaf and the mute is but a sign to the hearers of the Lord of what He’s actually come to do.
I once watched a street magician, who performed the shell trick wonderfully. He hid a red ball under one of three shells and then proceeded to tell me to keep my eye on the ball. He told me, He spoke to me, reminding me of what I was supposed to be doing, so much so that I got distracted, looked at the magician and thus violated the one rule that I was supposed to be following. He got me every time! All this is to say that we as fallen creatures get distracted. We are like the witnesses of the miracle today, who having seen with our eyes the deaf and mute man healed, begin to focus all our attention on the sign rather than on what the sign is pointing to.
Jesus does all things well, it is true for He has come and unstopped the ears of the deaf, He has come to make the tongues of the mute to sing for joy. But He has come to do this perfectly; He has come to do this well. The people that day focused on the signs, and lost track of the Word that had been spoken and was being spoken of their Messiah that walked among them. They spoke partially of who this Jesus was; to them, He was an awesome miracle worker… and so it was and so it is. Their eyes tricked them, their flesh swooned; and to them it was clear that Jesus does all things well. But there was a catch… to them all things only meant the things of this world, the things that gave health, wellness and happiness. Jesus was and is a miracle worker, but there is a reason our Lord charged them to tell no one. He hadn’t come to this world to be typecast as only a miracle worker who could do things to make the physically blind to see, the physically deaf to hear and the physically mute to speak. He came for sinners like you and me who are spiritually blind. Blinded by the harshness of this life, blinded by the riches and splendor of this life, blinded by suffereing, blinded by sin unable to see the fullness what He has come to do for us. He came for you and me who although we can hear with our ears have failed to really hear what our Lord has said. For our Lord, who has done all things well, who can only do that which is perfect, is the very Lord who allows temptations to befall us, the very Lord who allows Satan to speak to us, to lie to us, who allows for suffering and yet it is in the midst of these things that the Lord your God continues to do all things well. This is the common cry of so many in our day: If God exists, then why does He allow such and such to happen? Why do bad things happen to people? This was the mentality of those who witnessed the miracle of the deaf and mute man that day. For Christ our Lord knew their hearts, knew that they wanted glory, success, wealth and happiness. He knew that they, like so many of us would have their theology of glory dashed to pieces when the reality of the cross came crashing down on them. He charged them NOT to speak of what they saw that day because He knew they would be tempted to cast away the cross of calvary. The Lord of Life, the very God man who does all things well, allowed suffering, indeed He allowed Himself to be crucified, to suffer, to be forsaken for you. He, the very word of God, the Alpha and the Omega willingly went to death, to become the propitiation of sin for you! Your Lord and your God allows suffering but He has borne your grief and carried your sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. We, like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:4-6)
He has not left you alone in this world, He has not left you to be the one to bolster your faith, He hasn’t left you in charge of the dealings of this world and best yet He hasn’t even left you in control of your own life. The man in our text could neither hear nor speak and it was his friends that brought him to Jesus. Perhaps it has been a friend that has brought you to the foot of our Lord’s cross? Perhaps it is a friend that has invited you to hear the word of your Lord. Jesus does all things well, so well in fact that He has come to you this very day in the preaching of the Word, He has unstopped your ears that you might hear that God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
Jesus does all things well; we rejoice in the Word made flesh that sends the Holy Spirit from above. The very Holy Spirit that has been given to us in the waters of Holy Baptism which caused your Father in heaven to say of you “this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.” He is pleased with you because of Jesus and it is the word of truth that to all truth leads us. The Word of Life with bread to feed us. Dearly beloved; Christ your Lord does all things well, He provides for your well-being in this life and the next. No matter what may befall you or what may bestowed to you Your Almighty and loving Lord Who does all things well, does these things for you. Amen.