The Deaf Hear and the Mute Speak

The miracle of the healing of a deaf man illustrates Yeshua’s work teaching his disciples.

Collage: Photos by Cristian Newman and Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash

The Master’s miracles seemed to leap from the prophecies of Isaiah: “The ears of the deaf will be unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute will shout for joy” (Isaiah 35:5-6). Some of his miracles, however, illustrated aspects of his mission and teaching. For example, the miracle of healing a man both deaf and mute functions like a living parable to illustrate Yeshua teaching his disciples.

They brought Him a deaf man who “spoke with difficulty, and they implored Him to lay His hand on him” (Mark 7:32). Yeshua took the man aside, away from the crowd, put his fingers into the man’s ears, spat and touched the man’s tongue with His spittle. Then He looked up to heaven and sighed a deep sigh saying, “Be opened!”

Like the deaf man, Yeshua’s disciples suffered spiritual deafness, often unable to comprehend what the Master desired to convey. They needed further explanation of His parables; they did not understand His teaching about the kingdom. They hoped he was the Messiah, but they did not understand His mission, nor did they understand His divine identity as the Son of God who had “come down from heaven” (John 6:38).

In order to heal the deaf man, Yeshua took him “aside from the crowd by himself.” Likewise, Rabbi Yeshua often attempted to take His disciples aside and away from the crowds to teach them. He explained His parables to His disciples when alone in the house; He took them by boat to escape the multitudes; He took them to Tyre and Sidon to find some solitude where He could teach them.

The Master put His fingers in the deaf man’s ears to unstop them. Likewise, He laid His words in the ears of His disciples, saying, “He who has ears, let him hear!”

The Master put His spittle on the man’s tongue, and He put His sayings in the disciple’s mouths, telling them, “As you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand’” (Matthew 10:7).

“Looking up to heaven with a deep sigh,” the Master said, “Be opened” (Mark 7:34). Miraculously, the man suddenly heard the Master’s voice speaking to him, and even more wondrous, he instantaneously could speak without the impediment created by a lifetime of hearing impairment. In a similarly miraculous manner, the Master endowed His disciples with articulation to communicate the gospel of the kingdom. In that day, the people said, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we each hear them in our own language?” (Acts 2:7-8).

When the people saw the miraculous transformation, “they were utterly astonished, saying, ‘He has done all things well; He makes even the deaf to hear and the mute to speak’” (Mark 7:37).

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