They brought to Him a man who was deaf . . .And taking him aside from the crowd privately, He put His fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue. And looking up to heaven, He sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And his ears were opened. Mark 7:33-35
One minute of commercial time on this year’s Super Bowl sold for 4.2 million dollars.
Yes, you heard that right—4.2 million dollars. When a company makes that big an investment, its commercial had better be watched. Apparently, there was one ad from Pepsi, which has managed to be seen.
Indeed, it has to be seen, because it can’t be heard. Pepsi has put out a commercial with 60 seconds of silence. In case you missed it, the commercial began with two men driving to their friend’s house to watch the game. Unfortunately, neither of the men have their friend’s exact address. Using American Sign Language, the two argue until one of them has an idea and lays on the car horn.
One after another, houses light up, and dogs start barking. Only one house stays unmoved by the incessant honking of the horn: the house of their friend—a friend, who, like them, is deaf.
It’s a great commercial, and made more interesting by the fact the Christian man who came up with the idea did so while attending worship at a congregation where services are conducted entirely in sign language.
If anyone thinks Pepsi is to be applauded for their commercial, I encourage them to look at the story of the Savior when He was asked to heal a deaf man. All too often people skip over the compassionate and caring way the Savior dealt with the man. First, to avoid embarrassment, Jesus took the man to a private place. Next, our Lord showed the man He understood his plight when He looked to heaven and sighed. Only after Jesus had put the man at ease did He say the single word, which restored the man’s hearing.
“Ephphatha, be opened.”
In a similar way the Lord comes to each of us and says to our hard hearts, “Ephphatha, be opened.” Truly, may the Holy Spirit keep opening our hearts to the wonderful work the Savior has done to save us. With His perfect life, His innocent suffering and death, and His glorious resurrection, He has restored us to the Father’s family; He has given all who believe eternal life.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, through the Holy Gospel we have had our hearts and minds opened to what Your great sacrifice has done. May we do all we can to witness to Your grace so others may also be “ephphathed.” In Your Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries