Markby Robert M. Solomon
Jesus moved on from Tyre and Sidon to another Gentile area, the Decapolis (Ten Cities), east of the Sea of Galilee (v. 31). There a deaf and dumb man was brought to Him by some people who begged Jesus to ″place his hand″ on the man (v. 32). They may have heard of how the famous healer had healed many people and wished to see the same happen in this man (cf. Mark 5:20). It must be miserable not being able to hear what others wanted or to express what you want.
Jesus took the man away from the crowd, partly to perform a more private healing and partly because of the unusual method He used. He put His fingers into the man's ears and then applied His spit on his tongue (v. 33). Jesus would employ different methods-for it was not the method but the Man that really mattered. Here Jesus did not talk to the man since he was deaf. Rather, He used a method that the man could perceive clearly, that would give him confidence in being healed. Jesus turned His eyes toward heaven and with a deep sigh commanded, ″Be opened″ (v. 34). The word for ″sigh″ is also used for the ″groans″ of the Holy Spirit who intercedes from within us (Romans 8:26). It shows how deeply God feels for us and how much He is involved in our lives.
The man's ears were opened and he could now hear. His tongue was loosened. The Greek word (mogilalon) translated ″tongue″ is a rare word found only here in the New Testament. It more accurately means ″impediment in speech″. It is used also once in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible) in Isaiah 35:5-6 where the Messiah is said to loosen tongues and open ears. Mark indicates by the use of this rare word that Jesus is that Messiah.
Again, Jesus is careful not to publicise this event-because His time to die had not yet come. But ″overwhelmed with amazement″, the people could not keep what they saw to themselves. It was too amazing not to share. They spoke highly of Jesus: ″He has done everything well″ (v. 37). The Creator who pronounced all He had created ″very good″ (Genesis 1:31) would now re-create His new kingdom, excellently.
Jesus sighed deeply as He turned to His Father in prayer. What do you think was communicated and expressed through that sigh? What does it say about how close Jesus is to us in our troubles?
Jesus did everything well. Think of situations in your past (or present) when you felt doubts about Jesus' care for you or His wisdom and ability to help you. Why did you think so? How can you deal with such doubts?