Does Jesus Know Sign Language?

by DanWolgemuth on August 5, 2022

The video rolled… all 3 minutes and 53 seconds of it.

Watch the video here, Deaf Teen Quest – Ajah’s Story.

It told a story. Actually, several stories. Of a mission, of a message, of a passion for the overlooked and silenced.

Ellen Kameraad was the storyteller. But there was no mistake that it was Jesus that authored this story. Ellen is a bright and talented part of our Youth For Christ team. She is deeply committed to bringing the ultimate Good News to deaf young people in West Michigan.

As I watched Ellen communicate with young people who often feel isolated and disconnected, it was like watching a linguistic ballet. Hands expressing what resides deep in the soul. Facial expressions punctuating every sentence. It was moving.

Then a thought… a ponderous thought. Did Jesus know sign language? Would the Messiah, the Savior of the world have been stymied by an inability to communicate with this audience?

Then a flood… of Jesus stories. The depth of His love washed over me with confidence and hope.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:1-5, ESV)

Not audible, but present. The Word. Light in the darkness. Vivid. Unavoidable. Present.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

The Word in the flesh. The ultimate language of love. Impacting every aspect of our lives. Without a single sound.

Yes, even prenatal Jesus impacted His aunt and cousin. Without any senses engaged, Jesus was Jesus. Awe inspiring. Sign language from the womb.

Mary got up and traveled to a town in Judah in the hill country, straight to Zachariah’s house, and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby in her womb leaped. She was filled with the Holy Spirit, and sang out exuberantly (Luke 1:39-42a, MSG)

Then, the clincher. One of the most descriptive verses in all of scripture…

And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. (Luke 15:20, ESV)

The Father… saw, felt compassion, ran, embraced and then kissed him. Redemptive and restorative sign language without a single word.

Indeed. Jesus knows sign language.

That means that not only is He communicating to us in this powerful way, but He’s also listening intently to our inner soul.  The soundless words that spring from our heart… He hears.  He knows.  He cares deeply. 

And then there is the most profound sign of love and forgiveness in all of human history.  Yes, the cross and an empty tomb. 

Bless you, Ellen. Thank you for representing our King, our Savior, our Lord. I see Jesus in every move of your hands and every smile on your face.

Nobody overlooked. Nobody ignored. The language of love. The signs that matter most.

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