Miracle 22:
Healing the Deaf and Dumb Man

 

Mark 7:31-37

And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. 32 And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him. 33 And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; 34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. 35 And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain. 36 And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it; 37 And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.  

Presentation Summarized: This account of a unique healing is found only in the Gospel of Mark. The Lord’s procedure is unlike any other recorded healings. In all likelihood Jesus had particular teaching objectives in mind. [i]

Apparently Jesus’ trip to Tyre and Sidon was meant to be a pleasant rest at the seashore (Mark 7:24). He picked a beautiful spot for a spiritual retreat[ii] This was the only time Jesus left Jewish territory.[iii]

1.       Context  7:31 And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis.

a.      Still with the Gentiles.  He has been for several months. Jesus remains in Gentile territory, first going north to Sidon and then southeast to the Decapolis.[iv]

b.      Some think that the trip from Tyre through Sidon lasted about eight months as he ministered to the Gentiles in that area.

c.       During this time all the things He did were done as aids to faith. The whole thought here reveals the fact that the condition of this man caused Jesus to use this method. His ears were first opened so that he could hear.

d.      After this it apparently was useless to try to get the crowd to remain silent. It was this miracle which brought about a great impetus in enlarging the ministry of Jesus, which had already broken all bounds.

e.      At this time pressure upon Jesus was humanly unbearable. In spite of the pressure put upon Jesus, the burdens of the multitudes, the tensions of the times, the long busy days, and the weakness of the body, the crowd could say, “He hath done all things well.” We just add our word of agreement to this and say a hearty amen.

f.        Friend, He still does all things well today![v]

 

2. Content  7:32-37

a. Jesus with the multitudes  (32) And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him.

(1)     The term used means “deaf , or stammerer” 

(2)     Stop and think about what it would be like to have the condition of the person being healed. 

b. Jesus with the man  (33-35) 33 And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; 34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. 35 And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain.
(1) The manner

Privately

(2) The method

a.       They want him to lay hands on him, but He does it a different way. He touches the ears and then touches his tongue (spits) and then touches the tongue of the other.  Perhaps this is a way of communicating visually with the man what He was about to do.

b.       The word for “sigh” appears also in Romans 8:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:2. It reflects Jesus’ inner emotional and spiritual fervor as He beseeches God to undo this evil.[vi]

c.       String would be simply that which had inhibited his speech.[vii]

d.       It is the command, which heals not the power of the saliva.  The most repeated method of healing in the miracles is the “WORD” of God.

(3) The miracle 

A complete healing.  All of the miracles are complete healings except one, which is accomplished in two steps for teaching purposes.  That separates true miracles from what we witness on TV today.

c. Jesus with the multitudes  (36-37) 36 And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it; 37 And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.

(1) His request

He tells them not to tell anyone.  Perhaps to keep the multitudes from looking for a miracle worker.  He was looking less for a following than for people of faith to follow.  We like crowds (quantity).  He likes quality.

(2) Their response

Astonishment but not salvation.

 

The words of the people may have been a simple expression of wonder and praise, although some commentators see a deliberate reference to Is. 5:5, 6,

Isaiah 5:5-6 And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:  6 And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.

…which prophesies the coming of the era of salvation. If that is the case, then the people were acknowledging the miracle as a sign that the age of which Isaiah spoke had arrived in Jesus.[1]

II. INTERPRETATION

·         He has the ability to heal all manner of disease and proves himself to be the Messiah.

·         The miracle work of Messiah among the Jews is now available among the Gentiles.

III. APPLICATIONS

·         I should not dictate to Jesus his methods of operation.

·         The work of Christ reflects the character of God.  “He does everything well.”

 

 



[1]Jack W. Hayford, general editor; consulting editors, Sam Middlebrook…[et.al.], Spirit filled life study Bible [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1991.



[i]Dorothy Kelley Patterson, general editor; Rhonda Harrington Kelley, managing editor, Woman’s study Bible [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1995.

[ii]Thomas Nelson, Inc., Word in Life Study Bible [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1996.

[iii]Jack W. Hayford, general editor; consulting editors, Sam Middlebrook…[et.al.], Spirit filled life study Bible [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1991.

[iv]Luder Whitlock, Jr., executive director; R.C Sproul, general editor, New Geneva study Bible [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1995 by Foundation for Reformation.

[v]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.

[vi]Thomas Nelson, Inc., King James Version Study Bible [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1988  by Liberty University.

[vii]Thomas Nelson, Inc., King James Version Study Bible [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1988  by Liberty University.