Life-Study of Markby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we shall consider 7:31—8:26. In this section of the Gospel of Mark five matters are covered: the healing of a deaf and dumb man (7:31-37), the feeding of four thousand (8:1-9), not giving a sign to the Pharisees (8:10-13), warning the disciples concerning the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod (8:14-21), and the healing of a blind man in Bethsaida (8:22-26).
In 7:31-37 we have the healing of a deaf and dumb man. Before chapter seven, most of the healings in the Gospel of Mark were healings of a complete person. For instance, Peter’s mother-in-law was sick of a fever (1:30-31). She was healed, and that was the healing of a complete person. Another example of this kind of healing is the healing of the paralytic (2:3-12). When the paralytic was healed, the complete person was healed. The same is true of the cleansing of the leper (1:40-45). But in 7:31-37 we do not have the healing of a complete person; instead, we have the healing of specific organs. In fact, all the healings after Mark 7 involve particular organs, not complete persons. Mainly these healings are of three organs: the eyes, the ears, and the tongue.
We may say that in the Gospel of Mark we have the following sequence related to healing: general healings, the exposure of the condition of man’s heart, the Lord as bread, as the supply of life, and the healing of specific organs. This also is the sequence in our spiritual experience. When we were saved, we experienced healing in a general way. Later the condition of our heart was exposed. Then, probably after coming into the church life, we learned to enjoy the Lord inwardly as our bread, as our life supply. Following this, we have the healing of our ears, tongue, and eyes. Some who have been in the church life for years still need the specific healing of these organs.
Mark 7:32 says, “And they bring to Him one who was deaf and spoke with difficulty, and they entreated Him that He would lay His hand on him.” This deaf and dumb person signifies one who is spiritually deaf and dumb, one who is unable to hear the voice of God and praise Him (Isa. 35:6) and speak for Him (Isa. 56:10). His dumbness was due to his deafness. The Slave-Savior’s healing salvation is fully able to heal such a one’s deafness and dumbness by dealing with his ears first and then touching his tongue.
Verses 33 and 34 say, “And taking him away from the crowd privately, He put His fingers into his ears, and spitting, He touched his tongue; and looking up into heaven, He groaned and said to him, Ephphatha! that is, Be opened!” The Greek word rendered “put” in verse 33 may also be translated “thrust.” The Slave-Savior’s thrusting His fingers into the deaf one’s ears signifies His dealing with his hearing organ (see Isa. 50:4-5; Job 33:14-16), and His touching of his tongue with His spittle signifies His anointing the dumb one’s speaking organ with the word that proceeds out of His mouth. This was a healing.
The deaf and dumb man in 7:31-37 portrays our condition today. Verse 32 tells us that this one spoke with difficulty. Is it not your situation that in the church meetings you speak with difficulty? I believe many among us will admit that they have difficulty speaking in the meetings. Therefore, the case of the deaf and dumb man in chapter seven depicts the need of us all.
Deafness is often the cause of dumbness. In many cases, a person who is deaf is also dumb. The reason for this is that speaking is based on hearing. A child learns to talk by listening to others speak. Eventually, a child speaks what he hears. By this we see that a child learns to speak by listening. We may say that his hearing becomes his speaking.
Do you know why we speak with difficulty in the meetings? We speak with difficulty because we are careless in listening to the Lord’s speaking. If we were more careful in our hearing, we would speak spontaneously.
We need to practice listening to the Lord’s speaking. As we listen to the Word, it will penetrate our being. Then we shall be able to speak fluently. But many cannot speak without difficulty because they do not hear properly. If we take care of listening to the Word of God, this listening eventually will become our speaking.
Sometimes the leading ones in the church encourage the saints to speak in the meetings. But when some try to speak, they seem to have nothing to say. The problem is with their hearing. Apart from listening to the Word, we do not have anything to say in the meetings.
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