“And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, ‘He has done all things well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.'” (Mark 7:37, ESV)
The gospels record that Jesus healed many who were deaf and mute, usually referenced in a collective manner without specific details. Mark records the only two specific detailed instances of such a miracle. One in chapter 9 is of a man who had an evil spirit which rendered him deaf and mute, while the one here in chapter 7 is of a man with deafness which was the result of a condition, accident or disease which afflicted him probably in his youth and left him with a related speech impediment. Jesus healed Him in a highly unusual but intimate manner which displayed love and great compassion for a man who had, no doubt, suffered much in life.
Saint Mark links this miracle to the prophecy of Isaiah 35 about the deaf hearing and the mute speaking in order to portray Jesus as the promised Messiah. The people who saw it were quite amazed at what Jesus did and were not hesitant to proclaim it, for they realized what it meant. In addition they were touched deeply by Jesus’ kindness for this poor man and others. Jesus was bringing great blessing to the poor and oppressed, those whom the religious leaders of the day could or would not help.
Today Jesus still blesses the downtrodden with mercy, forgiveness of sin and compassionate love. This love is the essence of the gospel that touches the hearts of oppressed sinners who are looking for love and acceptance in all the wrong places, in the programs that society, culture, media and governments offer. But the peace, fellowship, meaning and purpose all seek is found only in Jesus who died for all men. All fall short of God’s glory and perfection. All deserve punishment yet Jesus offers the blessing of unmerited grace and undeserved mercy. And His work is carried on by the Church.