Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Part XXVII: Serving God By Communicating To The Understanding Of Our Disciples
(Mark 7:31-37)
  1. Introduction
    1. When God calls us to make disciples of all nations, He calls us to reach all kinds of people in those nations of the world, Mtt. 28:9-20.
    2. People come from all walks of life and all levels and types of understandings of what God is like.
    3. To show us how precisely we are to communicate the truth to the people we reach, Jesus demonstrates in Mark 7:31-37 how careful we need to be to know where our disciples are coming from, and to communicate to them at levels they can un derstand:
  2. Serving God By Communicating To The Understanding Of Our Disciples, Mark 7:31-37.
    1. The prophecy of Isaiah 35:6 informs us that when Messiah came, He would cause the tongue of the dumb to sing. The word used for "dumb" there in the Greek translation of Jesus day is mogilalon, meaning to "speak with difficulty," Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament, p. 136.
    2. The only other place where this word is used is in Mark 7:32 where it is translated "impediment in speech," so the healing of the deaf mute in Mark 7 fulfills Isaiah 35:6, showing Jesus to be the promised Messiah!
    3. However, to heal the man, Jesus sought for faith from him, for faith is necessary to please God, He. 11:6.
    4. Yet, Jesus had obstacles to overcome so that this man could exhibit faith:
      1. The man was deaf and mute so that there existed a communication barrier as to who He was and what He intended to do so that the man could be healed.
      2. Additionally, there was a crowd around, and were Jesus to use sign language in the presence of others, the man might not comprehend that Jesus was communicating to him, and ignore His input.
      3. Also, Jesus needed to communicate to this man a message that he would understand so he could exhibit faith in Jesus so he could be healed in accord with the plan of God that people were to believe in Jesus!
    5. Accordingly, Jesus went to special lengths to communicate to the deaf mute's mind so he could believe and be healed of his physical problems:
      1. Jesus took the man away from the others standing around so that when He used sign language, the man would understand that Jesus was communicating a message to him, not to the crowd, Mk. 7:33a.
      2. Then Jesus touched the man's ears and his tongue, indicating that He was expressing concern about those organs the man recognized were a physical problem to him, Mk. 7:33b,33d.
      3. Then Jesus spit on the ground, Mk. 7:33c. Spitting signified defilement or disgrace (Dt. 25:9), and the man then understood that Jesus was going to remove what undesirable impediment he had regarding his hearing and speech in order to heal him!
      4. Then Jesus looked up into the sky where the man knew God dwelt, and sighed, an expression demonstrating a compassionate request to the Father that conveyed to the man that Jesus was depending on the heavenly father to heal the man from his infirmities out of love for him, Mk. 7:34a.
    6. Apparently the man believed Jesus, for Christ then commanded for his ears and tongue to be unleashed, and the man was made perfectly whole, Mk. 7:34b-35.
    7. The crowd was overcome with how well Jesus had performed: Jesus had made a deaf mute well, one who not only could not hear, but who could not speak at the same time, Mark 7:37. From our perspective, He had done well in communicating what the man was to believe in spite of the communication obstacles, demonstrating how to communicate to one's understanding the truth of God to be believed!
Lesson: When we communicate the message God wants communicated to people, we need to understand where their understanding lies, and how to address it before giving the truth out. Then, whether it involves detailed sign language to deaf mutes, or v isual aids, etc., we should give the message out so it communicates to the mind to elicit faith in God's message, cf. 1 Cor. 14:11-12,19.

Application: (1) Jesus here demonstrated for us the validity of using sign language to reach the deaf with God's truth. (2) We must likewise understand where people come from, and that may mean doing pre-evangelism teaching to stone age tribes BEF ORE giving the Gospel.