A Dumb Man Healed
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; And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.
A. There are two reasons mentioned concerning the Lord “hiding” from his numerous followers.
1. John 8:59 – Jesus hid himself in the midst of the people when the unbelieving Jews tried to kill him before his time.
a. Jesus so hid himself among the people that unbelievers could look directly at him, yet never see him.
b. When people do not want to believe the truth, they can look straight at it, and never see it.
2. Jesus hides himself from true believers, but is very easily found of them, if they will seek to find him.
a. Mark 6:25 - The first is the woman whose little daughter was demon possessed, and she sought him that he might heal her daughter. She very easily found Jesus.
b. Mark 6:31 – Jesus also “hid” himself from those that brought the deaf and dumb man to Christ.
3. Whenever believers need Jesus, he can easily be found, even though superficial believers cannot find him, even though they look directly at him.
B. It is interesting to note that Christ did not go directly from Tyre and Sidon back to Galilee, where he made his home, but traveled through Decapolis, which was on the east side of the Jordan River.
1. Christ was not able to relax at home, but he was able to find some relaxation by walking and resting and talking to his disciples on this “traveling vacation”.
a. Christ was most able to relax when he was about his fathers business.
1.) Compare the reception Christ has in Tyre, Sidon and Decapolis with the reception he had in Jerusalem, and in some areas of Israel.
2.) Matt 15:24 – Even though Christ was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, he willingly went to Tyre, Sidon and Decapolis, healing all that came to him, while many of Israel rejected him.
a.) Bethsaida is the hometown of Peter, Andrew and Philip, but the city as a whole rejected Christ.
b.) Matthew 11:21 states, Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
c.) Mark 8:22,23 – Jesus healed the blind man outside the city, And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. 23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought.
b. John 4:32 reports the words of Christ, But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.
1.) John 4:8 – The disciples were hungry, and traveled to town to buy bread.
2.) When they returned, they attempted to give Christ some food, but he refused, declaring he had meat to eat they did not know of.
3.) A real vacation is from this world - obeying the will of God gives complete relaxation.
2. Decapolis is said to be a general area on the east and south east of the Sea of Galilee.
a. It is said that when the Romans captured Syria, they established 10 cities, giving the cities particular privileges.
b. The 10 cities and the area surrounding them was called Decapolis.
3. Mark 5:20 states concerning the demon possessed man, And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.
a. The instructions given to the cleansed man was that he should publish in Decapolis the great things God had done for him.
b. In Mark 7:32, some people brought this deaf man to Christ (who was not demon possessed), and Matthew 15:29-31 reports that Jesus left the area of Tyre and Sidon, and came nigh unto the sea of Galilee, where great multitudes came to him, and he healed all who came.
c. There is evidence here that the demon possessed man of Mark 5:20 accomplished the task Jesus set before him.
1.) Some things take time to accomplish, but if God is in it, it will work.
2.) It is unclear, however, whether the deaf and dumb man was from Decapolis, or the area around the Sea of Galilee.
II. Verse 32 – Once again the scripture relates that someone brought a person to Christ to be healed.
A. This thought and principle is entirely in tune with Godly mission work, which includes not only bring souls to Christ for salvation, but also for scriptural baptism and then to instruct them in all good works – see Matthew 28:18-20.
1. The use of the word “they” indicates there was more than one person who brought this dumb man to Christ.
2. Their names are not mentioned, but I am sure God has recorded their names in eternity and will give them a good reward for their deeds.
a. It is good when more than one person works on any given project.
b. Ecclesiastes 4:9-11 states, Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
c. On May 7, 2007, I preached a message titled “Going Two By Two”.
1.) In that message I showed many scriptures relating to the strength of at least two people going together on any particular mission.
2.) We get strength and encouragement from one another, more so than when we work separately.
d. In church work, we are together, working toward the same end.
1.) We are not working individually, but collectively for the common purpose of worshipping and serving God together.
2.) In Foristell Baptist Academy, we try to work together for the common good of all the students, and families involved in the school.
3.) Families are supposed to work together for the common good of all the family.
4.) Citizens of nations are supposed to work together for the common good of all that nation.
B. This deaf man was not demon possessed, as every blind and deaf person is not demon possessed.
1. The natural result of deafness is revealed by the man also having an impediment in his speech.
2. If a person cannot hear what he is saying, he cannot pronounce words correctly.
III. Verse 33 – Jesus took the deaf man aside from the multitude. If the multitude wanted to see a miracle, Jesus would not accommodate them.
A. This miracle is similar to the healing of the blind man at Bethsaida, as recorded in Mark 8:22,23.
1. Jesus removed the blind man from the city because of the hardness of heart of the people, desiring they see the result of his miracle, not just the miraculous restoration of sight.
2. Jesus always performs miracles in the sight of some of his disciples, and they record what happened.
3. It is not that Christ does not want his faithful followers to know what he is doing, or why he is doing it, but he wants them to have faith in his power, not just “wowed” because they have seen a miracle.
B. Jesus put his fingers in his ears, and spit, and touched his tongue.
1. Mark 7:32 relates that “they” wanted Jesus to lay hands on the deaf man.
a. If “laying hands on the man” indicates the method “they” demanded, Jesus would not satisfy that demand.
b. We should never made demands on Christ, because he is the sovereign God, we are the servants.
2. Jesus did not have to go through any procedures to heal the man.
a. Matthew 8:5-13 – Jesus healed the centurion’s servants without even being present.
b. John 5:1-9 – The impotent man was healed by Jesus speaking.
c. Luke 7:11-17 – The widow’s son was raised by Jesus speaking.
d. John 4:46-54 – The nobleman’s son was healed and Jesus was not even present.
3. He performed miracles different ways to show that procedures are not nearly as important as the power to perform.
C. We also understand that Jesus doesn’t always do things the same way.
1. We should always be aware of the type of things Jesus does, not the particular methods he uses.
2. Faith healers and those that follow them, always look for a particular method.
3. God is well able to perform his will outside of what we consider right – so leave God alone and let us be obedient to what he has called us.
4. Mark 9:38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
IV. Verse 34 – Christ looked to heaven, directing the deaf man to also look to heaven.
A. Whether he looked toward heaven or not is not revealed.
1. Christ wants us all to know that his power comes from heaven, not from the procedures he does on this earth.
2. Through the power of God, all things are possible.
B. Why did Jesus sigh?
1. Sigh means to groan with grief.
2. Jesus was grieved because he had to heal this man, rather he was grieved because the people continually had to see a miracle before they would believe.
3. Perhaps he sighed because of sadness.
a. Christ understands this man will now be able to hear and speak evil things, at least be exposed to them as never before.
b. Every person would be better off if we could not hear or speak evil.
C. Why does the Bible use the word Ephphatha, the Aramaic word, in this place, and not in all places in the Bible?
1. This is not a spell or a charm, as Satan would use.
2. Otherwise, I don’t know.
3. I have asked some Bible college teachers, but have received no reply, or inadequate replies.
V. Verse 35 – Healing was immediate
A. Three things happened.
1. His ears were opened.
2. The string of his tongue was loosed.
3. He spoke plain.
B. Isaiah 35:5,6 is fulfilled: Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
1. Healing today is not immediate as it in the miracles of Christ, because they are not miracles.
2. God is still in the healing, and we should still pray that God heal sickness, but when God uses doctors or surgery or medicine, healing is not immediate.
3. God still heals, using doctors and natural means to promote healing.
VI. Verse 36,37 – Disobedience of the clear commands of Christ.
A. Jesus has told the people before not to tell of his miraculous cures.
B. They continually disobey his commands.
1. It might not make much sense to us to disobey the clear commands of Christ, but we should anyway.
2. When we disobey his commands, we are stating we know better than God what we should do.
3. 1 Samuel 15:22 states, And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
a. Saul lost his kingdom (Benjamin would never rule) because Saul did what he thought instead of what God commanded.
b. The consequences of disobedience will not be less for us.