Meditating on a Miracle

I wrote down these thoughts a few days ago, after reading the amazing miracles of Christ in Mark chapter 7, when he healed a man who was deaf and dumb:

"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 the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak." (Mark 7:36,37 KJV).

This is one of my favorite stories in the gospel of Mark. In the midst of a multitude, a man who could neither hear nor speak was brought to Jesus. Perhaps because of the noise of the people, Jesus removed this man away from the crowd. He then put his fingers in his ears, spit and touched his tongue, looked up to heaven with a sigh and said, "Eph'pha-tha," which meant, "Be opened!" Immediately the man's ears were opened and his tongue was freed so that he spoke plainly. All the people were extremely astonished when they were told what happened, despite the Lord's command not to tell anyone.

Whenever I read this story, I feel astounded and surprised with joy every time. Why do the miracles that Jesus performed never cease to amaze me? I believe it is because they are unlike anything ever done for people in history. Jesus did not perform miracles to show off his own greatness or to exalt himself or the miracles themselves. He did them because he loved people. He saw them as harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He also did them to glorify His Father, and to fulfill prophecy about himself. He did them to reveal the kingdom of God and to promote faith in the Word of God, because what was written about the Messiah had come to pass. God sent His Son to be the Savior of the world, and through these miracles we see little glimpses of His salvation. We see Jesus saving people from demonic power and control, from sickness and death, from blindness and leprosy, from hunger and from pain. In the miracle of our text, Jesus saved a man from his inability to hear and from his speechlessness.

Let's consider a few things about this man. First, he was hearless. You could speak in his ear, yet he would not listen to you, for he could not hear your words. This man was deaf. No amount of cleaning his ears could cause his hearing to return. Nothing could make his ears clean enough, clear enough, or open enough to hear a sound. Yet, Jesus put his fingers in the man's ears, and after he spoke, they were opened so that the man heard everything clearly. This is the power of God's Son! He makes one who cannot hear, cannot listen, cannot understand, to hear, listen and understand everything very well. That is a miracle that must be performed upon every closed hearted sinner, including you and I, before we will humbly listen to and understand Jesus. Do you see the glory in the ear-opening power of the Lord Jesus Christ?

Next, the man was speechless. No doubt if this man was born deaf, he would have also been dumb as well. The man could not talk, at least not like everyone else. Perhaps he had learned to move his mouth like others around him, yet he would have had trouble making the proper sounds, since his ears could not discern their distinctions. So we can see an area of helplessness as a result of his infirmity. However, the Scripture tells us that Jesus spit, then touched the man's tongue. I have often thought this was a strange act on the part of Jesus, but the more I think upon it, the more I am in awe of the Lord's grace. Jesus took saliva from his own mouth, touched this man's tongue, and miraculously made the man able to speak clearly on his own. A man who before had nothing to say, because he could say nothing, now was enabled by Jesus Christ to proclaim the glorious praises of God! What a miracle! My friends, if Jesus has healed the ears of our hearts, then he will also enable us to speak as well. If we think we have nothing to say to others concerning our Lord, then let us look to Jesus, and receive his help that our tongues may be set free.

This story has a spiritual reference to it, just as all the miracles of Christ do. Death is the result of sin, and all infirmities are a byproduct of the curse that God pronounced on mankind because of Adam's sin. So when Jesus healed this man, it has a connection to our need to be saved form our sins, and not only from our sicknesses.

I know that for myself, I was once unable to hear the truth of God's Word. I could not understand it, because my spiritual ears were closed to spiritual truth. "Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Corinthians 2:13,14 KJV). But when the grace and mercy of God toward me appeared, I was able to both hear God's Word and understand it by the Spirit of God, so that by His grace I was saved. And even though I used to have nothing to say, suddenly I could not keep the words within me, but I had to open my mouth and talk about the gracious King of kings and Lord of lords.

Let us learn from this miracle, how Jesus has the power to make us hear His truth and speak of it to others by His grace. Give thanks to the Lord if he has done the same for you, and if not, then go to Jesus and receive a heart of understanding. Jesus died for sinners, so that by His crucifixion and resurrected life, we also might be free from our sins and have power to know and serve Him. Are you living in the freedom of hearing, knowing and serving Jesus Christ? He is still the Savior, yet how much time is left for you to seek Him before you stand before the throne of judgment?