The Key Word

“Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.  Then will the lame leap like a deer and the mute tongue shout for joy.  Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.”

                                                                                                                                                                Isaiah 35:5-6

                “Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis.  There some people brought Him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Him to place His hand on the man.”

                                                                                                                                                                Mark 7:31-32

I am constantly amazed by the new things which I discover every time I carefully read the Bible.  Kenneth Wuest once wrote regarding the purpose of one of His books the following comment.

“The purpose of this book is to make available to the Bible student who is not familiar with the original text the added richness and light which a study of the Greek Scriptures brings.”

(Kenneth Wuest, Golden Nuggets from the Greek New Testament, paragraph one of the preface)

There is so much which we discover which grows our faith as we examine God’s Word.  Such is the case when we look at the account in Mark 7:31-37 regarding Jesus’ restoration of the hearing and speech of a man who was deaf and who could hardly speak.  Mark uses a word here which is found only one other place in the Scripture.  That is in the Greek version of the book of Isaiah the 35th chapter verses 5-6 (which would have been familiar to Mark’s original readers).  The word in both places means “a stammering tongue”.  Mark is calling our attention to the wonderful fact that Isaiah’s prophesy was being fulfilled in these events in the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is made even clearer to us when we see that just three verses earlier in Isaiah 35:2 we read that “the glory of Lebanon will be given to it (the desert)”.  These wonderful things will be taking place in Lebanon.  It is in this very region, Tyre, Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee, that this notable miracle takes place.  Jesus is living out a parable whose purpose is to cause those who observe it or us who read about it to ask questions about its purpose.  Do we truly recognise the one who is fulfilling the Scripture right in front of us?

Robert Rayburn in a sermon entitled “Hear Him Ye Deaf” writes the following.

“That this miracle has that symbolic significance – as a picture of salvation from sin and death and as a picture of the dawning of a new day, a new creation, and a new world – is further confirmed by the way Mark speaks of hearing a spiritual capacity.  We have noted already how often the word “hear” or “hearing” occurs in Mark with spiritual overtones; that is, referring to grasping or understanding the significance of Jesus and the good news about Him.”

                The significant question for each of us today is whether we truly hear what Mark is telling us about the Lord Jesus Christ.