Jesus heals a deaf man with a speech impediment

Two young boys were spending the night at their grandparents? house the week before Christmas. At bedtime, the two boys knelt beside their beds to say their prayers. The younger one began praying at the top of his lungs: “I PRAY FOR A NEW BICYCLE...” “I PRAY FOR A … More

Deaf

Jesus now moves from Tyre through Sidon to Decapolis which was largely a Gentile area (v. 31). It seems that He went north before swinging south and some think that this journey may have stretched into as much as eight months. This would have given the Lord a lot of valuable time with His disciples before the final tempest breaks.

During this time we find the healing of a man that was “deaf and with an impediment in his speech"(v. 32). We find Jesus showing tender consideration for the feelings of this man as He takes him away from the crowd where they could be alone (v. 33). Deaf people are normally embarrassed in a crowd. Jesus looked up to heaven so the man would be sure to know where the help was coming from and said,"Be opened” (v.34) and the man was healed (v. 35). Jesus told them not to say anything when he went back to the crowd (v. 36). The people were amazed and said, “He hath done all things well.” (v. 37)

Jesus clearly is not using this healing as a method to draw a crowd — quite the opposite. Crowds have caused Jesus problems, hindering what He sees as His central ministry. So Jesus shows compassion to this man, and heals his deafness and blindness, but does so alone. I believe Jesus is comparing the eagerness with which the crowds seek physical healing to their lack of interest in more important spiritual matters. Jesus may be thinking, “If only they would seek healing of the spirit with the same eagerness that they seek healing of the body! This deaf man knows he is deaf, and longs for healing; if only all the spiritually deaf would acknowledge their deafness, and long for healing!”

Application

If I suddenly went deaf what would I miss the most?  I can think of some people I know who are deaf to the Word of God and they wouldn’t miss hearing it at all. Just as Jesus took special interest in a particular man in need, I need to think of someone I can help who is presently “deaf” to the things of the Lord. I must reach out and touch others because I am Christ’s ambassador.

Mark 7:31-37 (English Standard Version)

Then he returned from the region of Tyre and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment, and they begged him to lay his hand on him. And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue. And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened." And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. And Jesus charged them to tell no one. But the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, "He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak."

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

More Mark commentaries

Mark 4:1-9
Jesus Teaches on Sowing Seed in 4 Types of Soil

Mark 4:10-20
Jesus Explained The Parable of The Sower

Mark 4:21-29
Jesus Teaches in Parables

Mark 4:30-41
The Parable of The Mustard Seed

Mark 5:1-10
The Demon Possessed Man at Gerasa

Mark 5:11-20
Two Thousand Hogs Drown

Mark 5:21-34
Hemorrhaging Woman Healed

Mark 5:35-43
Jesus Heals Jairus Daughter

Mark 6:1-6
Jesus returns to His home town of Nazareth

Mark 6:7-13
Jesus sends His disciples as missionaries

Mark 6:14-29
Mark tells about the death of John the Baptist

Mark 6:30-44
Feeding of the 5000

Mark 6:45-52
Storm on the Sea of Galilee

Mark 6:53-56
Crowd wanting to be healed

Mark 7:1-13
Conflict with the religious leaders over laws

Mark 7:14-23
Jesus attacks a system of rules and regulations

Mark 7:24-30
Jesus casts a demon out of a Gentile daughter

Mark 7:31-37
Jesus heals a deaf man with a speech impediment

Mark 8:1-9
Jesus feeds 4000 with 7 baskets leftover

Mark 8:10-21
The Pharisees ask Jesus for a sign from heaven

Mark 8:22-30
Jesus heals a blind man gradually

Mark 8:31-38
Jesus warns His disciples that He is going to die

Mark 9:1-8
Jesus takes 3 of His disciples to a high mountain

Mark 9:9-13
Three disciples question about the transfiguration

Mark 9:14-29
The disciples are helpless and ineffective

Mark 9:30-37
Disciples arguing about who is the greatest

Mark 9:38-50
Jesus says greatness comes from serving others.

Mark 10:1-12
Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?

Mark 10:13-22
Possessions don’t help you obtain eternal life

Mark 10:23-31
Hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of God

Mark 10:32-45
Willingness to give extra service

Mark 10:46-52
Every male Jew must attend passover