Mark 7:31-37 Jesus heals a deaf man with a speech impediment
Jesus returns from His trip up north back to the shores of the sea of Galilee. They have not forgotten about Him (thanks likely to the proclamation of the Garasene demonaic, 5:19-20). The people there bring a man to him who is both unable to hear and defective in speech: “they begged Jesus to place his hand on him” (v. 32, NIV). Jesus takes the man aside, away from the crowd, apparently as a means of establishing personal relationship (because communication matters). The seemingly strange acts of putting His fingers in His ears and (especially) touching the man’s tongue with His saliva may have been an effort communicate with the deaf man (Hendriksen, NTC) and/or to communicate that the healing he was about to receive comes from Jesus (Lane, NICNT, on v. 33).
NOTE TO SELF: When praying for someone, you might want to take time to explain to them what you’re doing instead of just hot dogging it and knocking them over or whatever!
Jesus’ prayer to the Father (in heaven) on the man’s behalf results in his ears immediately being “opened” as well as him speaking clearly, without defect (v. 34-35). Jesus tells the crowd to “tell no one” (v. 36), but even He can’t stop people from talking about this astonishing miracle! Indeed, similar to the Leprous man healed in 1:45, their disobedience to Jesus’ charge keep their mouths shut is described as kerusso (preaching, or proclamation). The language describing their reaction (v. 37) is very strong (ekkplesson) – “astonished beyond measure” (ESV), “overwhelmed with amazement” (NIV). And their exclamation, reminiscent of Is. 35:5-6, is surely Messianic in significance.
He has done everything well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak. (v. 37)
The disciples, though not mentioned explicitly here, continue to gain insights into who and what Jesus is. He is not only a powerful healer but a compassionate Messiah who identifies with the sick, and takes time out for single human soul to look him in the eye and communicate with him in a way that he can understand.
One thing I’m learning recently is the reality that relationships take time. If you’re going to make disciples, you better plan on being in it for the long haul!
[Paul spent a year in Antioch, a year and a half at Corinth, and at least two years in Ephesus].
- Followers of Jesus, make disciples (and that doesn’t happen overnight), who make more disciples!
- Followers of Jesus live sent lives (as the Father sent Jesus, so Jesus is sending you – Jn. 20:21)!
Until next time, my friends, follow the Messiah!