Studies in Mark — Mark 7:31-37
D – U – M – B
See also: Matt. 11:4-5; Mk. 5:41; Ps. 94:9, 103:3; Deut. 15:21; Matt 9:22
Disability – v. 32 – Jesus encounters a man with a disability. The man has experienced a loss of hearing. It is no surprise that it has affected his speech too. In his later years my father suffered from some hearing loss after years of exposure to the loud noises of tractors and other farm implements. He was an extrovert who loved to talk to people, but his hearing loss blunted his ability to converse with others. This man was isolated by his disability.
Understanding – v. 33 — Communication is so important. Without hearing one cannot properly respond in speech. What is one to do if he or she cannot hear and is not heard? An old hymn asks, “Does Jesus care?” The chorus replies, “Yes, he cares.” Here his caring spirit is demonstrated as he stops to interact with the man. To give him the attention he deserves Jesus takes the man aside.
Master – v. 34 — Jesus is master of the situation. We have a man who cannot effectively communicate, and we have a master of communication. Jesus wants to open the inroads of communication for the man. He prays to God that the man shall be healed. He wants to open to us a world of sanctified communication with him and with others.
Blessing – vs. 33, 35 — There is healing and restoring. Here is learning by doing. Jesus places his fingers in the un-hearing ears and makes a plaster to apply to the man’s tongue. It was not necessary that Jesus would heal in this way, but it was the best way to lift this man out of his troubles. Jesus reaches us where we are, and he brings us to where we need to be if we trust him.
Exemplary story: When I read the life of Helen Keller, I found it to be a fascinating and inspiring story of the way one soul overcame her disabilities. We remember Helen as a blind, deaf and dumb child who was taught to communicate by Annie Sullivan. One day Helen’s teacher decided she would introduce the child to a new word and a new concept. Annie Sullivan signed the word God. Then she signed to Helen who God is. Helen’s reply went something like this, “Oh, I wondered who that is, and now I know.” God has a way of making himself known in all our lives if we care to listen.