And he took him aside from the multitude
To shun all appearance of ostentation and vain glory:
and put his fingers into his ears;
the finger of his right hand into his left ear, and the finger of his left hand into his right ear:
and he spit and touched his tongue;
that is, either he spit upon his tongue, for so the Vulgate Latin renders it, "spitting he touched his tongue"; and the Persic version thus, "he cast his spittle on his tongue"; or rather, he spit on his finger, and touched his tongue with it. These actions were not done as means of healing, or as having any natural virtue, or tendency in them, to effect a cure; but to show the power of Christ, that by the mere touch of his finger, and by the spittle of his mouth, as well as by laying on of hands, as was desired, and by a word speaking, he could at once remove this, or any such disorder. The taking this man aside from the multitude, is an emblem of the Lord's separating his people from the rest of the world, when he calls them by his grace; for as they are distinguished from others, in the choice of them in Christ, and in redemption by him; so in the effectual calling, they are bid to come out from among them, and by the power of divine grace, they are brought out from among them, and give up themselves to Christ, and to his churches: and Christ's putting his fingers into the ears of this man, represents the exertion of his power, and his removing by the finger of his Spirit, the obstructions of spiritual hearing; or rather, the planting of the spiritual ear, or forming a principle ot spiritual nearing in the soul: and his touching his tongue with the spittle of his mouth, may lead us to observe the application of his word, through the efficacy of his grace, as a means of loosing his tongue and opening his lips to show forth his praise.