The Silence is Broken
At young man named Esdras lived in Decapolis, a district of Palestine near the Jordan River. Though he loved other young people dearly, he was cut off form the in a very tragic way. For Esdras could neither hear nor speak. Often in the evenings he would stand and watch youths and maidens gathered for their games and dances. He longed to be able to hear their songs and laughter and join in their sport. And how he yearned to talk to his own family! He was very lonely
It happened one day that Esdras saw a commotion down on the shore of the river. Some men were getting out of a boat and the people were flocking around them. One Man, especially, seemed to be the center of attraction. Mothers were even bringing their children to Him, Esdras noticed, wondering who this Stranger could be.
Suddenly two familiar figures separated themselves from the crowd and started through the fields toward Esdras. They were his brothers, and they seemed very excited. Fearing they wished to take him into the crowd, Esdras turned to flee, for he was shy before strangers; yet something kept him from running away. Perhaps it was his curiosity about that Stranger on the shore, for he could not take his eyes off Him. When his brothers beckoned him to follow them, he could not resit. Slowly he walked along after them, a vague excitement stirring within him.
His brothers pushed through the crowd and made a way for Esdras. When they reached the side of the Stranger, they began to address Him, with expressions and gestures that made Esdras know that they were pleading with Him. Esdras wondered what the Stranger had that his brothers wanted–He looked so poor. And yet Esdras could not take his eyes from the Stranger’s face; in all his life he had never seen such goodness and majesty as he now beheld there.
Then the Stranger looked at him! Esdras could not help loving One Who looked at him with so much love and kindness.
The Stranger took his arm and led him to the fringe of the crowd. There He put His fingers first into Esdras’ ears, then on his tongue. Last of all He looked up to heaven, and His lips moved.
“I can hear!” he cried excitedly. Then he realized that he had spoken! The greatest desire of his life had been given him. Esdras had never known such happiness.
The first thing he had heard had been the voice of Jesus; now the first use to which he put the gift of speech was to thank Jesus. Our Lord smiled at him in reply and then turned to listen to the pleas of other afflicted people.
A small group however remained around Esdras, speaking the praises of Jesus.
“Everything that He does is wonderful,” one man said. “He makes both the deaf hear and the dumb speak.”
Esdras wanted more than anything in the world to learn more about Jesus, so he joined this group of people, His loving followers, His disciples.