31 Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. 32 They brought a deaf man to him who had a speech impediment; and they pleaded for him to lay his hand on him. 33 He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. 34 Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” in other words, “Open up.” 35 And just then his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke clearly. 36 Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. 37 They were astounded beyond all measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.”
The Gospels relate numerous stories like this, where Jesus displays his power to heal or deliver, only to insist that news about the miracle not go public. In this event, Jesus even takes the deaf man aside to a private place, and heals him. There’s more to this than Jesus trying to protect his “messianic secret.” He’s also modelling the ministry of prayer for others. When Jesus prayed for others, he regularly went to a secluded secret place to do it. He had taught his disciples to go to private places to pray. This is to avoid prayer becoming a public show, and to enable the one praying to focus on the proper target of prayer – Almighty God.
LORD, show us how to get alone with you – so that we can access your power to help others.