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Summary: Ever feel like you are trapped in a box? We all have something that traps us, we need to be freed, we need the door to be opened.

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BE OPENED!

Mark 7:31-7:37

31 Again He went out from the region of Tyre, and came through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, within the region of Decapolis.

32 They brought to Him one who was deaf and spoke with difficulty, and they implored Him to lay His hand on him.

33 Jesus took him aside from the crowd, by himself, and put His fingers into his ears, and after spitting, He touched his tongue with the saliva;

34 and looking up to heaven with a deep sigh, He said to him, “Ephphatha!” that is, “Be opened!”

35 And his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was removed, and he began speaking plainly.

36 And He gave them orders not to tell anyone; but the more He ordered them, the more widely they continued to proclaim it.

37 They were utterly astonished, saying, “He has done all things well; He makes even the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”

This actually happened to a man in NYC one day. He got trapped between the 52nd and 53rd floor of the Empire State Building!! That’s over 525 feet straight up in the air. Trapped in a metal box with no lights, no cell phone, and being held up by just a cable, maybe two.

When the news interviewed this man after his rescue, they asked him what it was like. The following is his quote, “I have never been so terrified or so alone in my life. Those 5 hours were a living hell. I was trapped and I couldn’t get out. That’s a horrible feeling, you know? I was trying to open the doors with my hands and they wouldn’t budge, so I tried yelling but nobody could hear me. I couldn’t see anything. It was like death in there. I knew I was never gonna get out. But when Detective Moran repelled down from the 57th floor and opened the hatch on the roof of the elevator, I felt freedom like never before. All I wanted was that door to BE OPENED (remember that, be opened) When officer Moran pulled me up in the harness to the solid ground of the 57th floor I looked at my watch. It said 9:15pm, I will never forget what time it was, I felt alive again.” The man in this story was set free from his elevator prison. The only thing that could set him free was a dramatic rescue, that door had to BE OPENED. And when it finally was, this man was free indeed.

There was another man similar to this guy in NYC who lived about 2000 years ago. No there weren’t blackouts, elevators or electricity back then. But even so, this man was trapped. He was shut-in a place where he couldn’t hear anybody. No one could hear his cries for help. And he too just needed to BE OPENED. We see this man in our Gospel lesson today. He had been born deaf, or at least had been deaf, from early childhood. His deafness had led to an inability to speak. We learn to talk through a process called mimicry. We mimic the sounds we hear, and through that process we learn how to speak. Any of you that had ever had children, or been around them, know that this is true. That’s why toddlers talk the way they do, they are trying to mimic our words and learn to talk. This man was unable to hear the sounds of others. He never went through the process of mimicry because in his ears there were no sounds to copycat. He lived shut-off from the world of sound-he couldn’t hear sound and he couldn’t make meaningful sound.


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