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Text: Mark 7:31-37
D: (A deaf and dumb man, sitting alone in the center of the stage/chancel)
1: (passing by) Pardon me, sir, can you tell me what time it is?
D: (no answer)
1: I say, do you have a watch? How late is it? (walks away frustrated)
2: Say, which way is it to the airport? I’m in a terrible rush.
D: (no response)
3: (passing by selling fruit) Come and get your red, luscious apples. Who wants a delicious apple? (stooping over deaf man) Hey fellow, you want to buy an apple?
D: (takes an apple and begins to eat it)
3: That’ll be ten cents. (waits) I said, they’re a dime apiece. Whats wrong with you fellow? Cant you hear?
1: (walking back towards 3) You know, I think that’s his problem; he can’t hear you.
3: (to D) Is that right, mister? You can’t hear us? Speak up!
2: Don’t be silly, He can’t hear you!
3: Well, he could have said as much.
1: Maybe he can’t talk, either.
3: Well, he can sure put away the apples!
2: Maybe he’s faking.
1: Think so?
2: You never can tell. Knew a guy in Pittsburgh once. Used to sit and beg on a corner. Pretended he was deaf and dumb. But he could hear a cop walking up the sidewalk two blocks off.
(All begin to gather around D.)
1: Well, let’s see. (loudly, behind D) Well, hello, Officer, top of the morning to you! (all look quickly to D for a reaction; there is none)
2: (makes a megaphone) All right, Rocky, this is it. We know what you’re up to. Come out with your hands up! (all look to D for reaction; there is none)
1: Nothing. Stone deaf.
3: Oh, yeah? We’ll see about that. (leans over behind D with a whistle and blows it) Yeah! Touchdown! Six points for our team!
1, 2, & 3: Yeah!
D: (no response)
3: Hey, I think he’s really deaf.
2: Yeah. He can’t talk, either.
Narrator: “Then Jesus returned from the regions of Tyre, and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, through the region of Decapolis. And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech; and they besought him to lay his hands upon him.”
Jesus: (enters whistling “When the Saints Go Marching In”)
3: (to Jesus) Hey buddy. Do you know anything about deaf people? This guy can’t talk or hear.
Jesus: Let me take a look.
2: Help him if you can, mister.
1: (to Jesus) You a doctor or something?
Jesus: “Or something.”
1: See what you can do, huh?
Jesus: Leave us alone for a moment, please. (1, 2, & 3 back off as a group.)
Narrator: “And taking him aside from the multitude privately, he put his fingers into his ears…”
Jesus: Now this may tickle just a big. (puts his fingers in D’s ears)
Narrator: “And he spat and touched his tongue…”
Jesus: Say “ah.” (touches D’s tongue)
3: (watching) Yuck! How crude!
2: Are you sure he’s a doctor?
Narrator: “And looking up to the heavens, he sighed (Jesus sighs audibly) and said to him…”
Jesus: Ephphatha!
2: It’s Hebrew, dummy.
Jesus: Ephphatha.
D: Ephpha-what? What does that mean?
Jesus: Be opened!
D: Oh.
(1, 2, & 3 turn to D in amazement)
3: He can talk. I told you he was faking! (to D) Hey mister, you owe me a dime!
1: Wait a minute. Not so fast.
3: (blows his whistle again) See, lookey there! (points to D’s response)
Narrator: “And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly…”
D: (to 3) Hey, you with the whistle, how about another apple?
Narrator: “And Jesus charged them to tell no one.”
Jesus: (gathers group in huddle and whispers)
3: (shouting) Oh, goody! I love secrets.
All: Shh!
Narrator: (while others whisper) “But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it.”
2: (to audience) Do you know what he did?
Jesus: Shh.
D: (to audience) Wow! How about that! He put his fingers in my ears–boy, did that ever tickle. Then he spit and told me to stick out my tongue. I’ve been to a lot of doctors in my day, but I never had one try that. (to Jesus) I don’t know what you’ve got, mister, but you ought to have it patented.
3: Yeah, you’d make a million.
1: Wait a minute. This ain’t no ordinary guy.
2 & 3: No?
2: (to Jesus) Hey, don’t I recognize you from somewhere?
Jesus: Ever been through Tyre, Sidon, or in the area of the Decapolis?
2: No. I’ve never been east of Akron, Ohio.
1: I’ve been to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
3: That’s it! You’re Jesus of Nazareth, aren’t you?
1: Its Jesus!
Narrator: “And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, He has done all things well; he even makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.”
D: Well, that takes the cake. I can hear and talk.
(Cast goes through the audience placing their hands on peoples ears and saying, “Ephphatha.”
The end.
Originally published in Resources for Youth Ministry 75:3.
Updated for thESource August 2012.