Mark 7:24-37: More Healing Miracles as Jesus Helps a Gentile Woman and Deaf Man

As we finish Mark chapter 7, we find Jesus healing 2 people, one from a distance and another by touching. Here, He also fulfills a prophecy from Isaiah. Let’s dig in…

Mark 7:24-37

The Faith of a Gentile Woman

24 Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre. He didn’t want anyone to know which house he was staying in, but he couldn’t keep it a secret. 25 Right away a woman who had heard about him came and fell at his feet. Her little girl was possessed by an evil (unclean) spirit, 26 and she begged him to cast out the demon from her daughter.

Since she was a Gentile, born in Syrian Phoenicia, 27 Jesus told her, “First I should feed the children—my own family, the Jews. It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs (pets).”

28 She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even the dogs under the table are allowed to eat the scraps from the children’s plates.”

29 “Good answer!” he said. “Now go home, for the demon has left your daughter.” 30 And when she arrived home, she found her little girl lying quietly in bed, and the demon was gone.

Jesus Heals a Deaf Man

31 Jesus left Tyre and went up to Sidon before going back to the Sea of Galilee and the region of the Ten Towns (Decapolis). 32 A deaf man with a speech impediment was brought to him, and the people begged Jesus to lay his hands on the man to heal him.

33 Jesus led him away from the crowd so they could be alone. He put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then, spitting on his own fingers, he touched the man’s tongue. 34 Looking up to heaven, he sighed and said, “Ephphatha,” which means, “Be opened!” 35 Instantly the man could hear perfectly, and his tongue was freed so he could speak plainly!

36 Jesus told the crowd not to tell anyone, but the more he told them not to, the more they spread the news. 37 They were completely amazed and said again and again, “Everything he does is wonderful. He even makes the deaf to hear and gives speech to those who cannot speak.”

Mark 7:24-37 NLT

To the Jew First, then the Gentile

This goes way back to the Old Testatment…

He says, “You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me.
    I will make you a light to the Gentiles,
    and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”

Isaiah 49:6 NLT

What Jesus says to the Gentile woman at first glance may sound like an insult or derogatory, but it’s not. Taking into consideration the time and place, there were 2 types of people — Jews and Gentiles. Anyone who was not a Jew was a Gentile. The “children” of Israel are the Jews. The word “dog”, referring to the Gentiles, in this case is the Greek word kynarion, which means “pet” — not a child, but something that is cared for.

This story is also found in Matthew 15, where she’s called a Canaanite. They were not just Gentiles, but pagans. More than likely, she tried all possible pagan rituals and nothing worked in removing the demon from her daughter. She heard about Jesus and had faith that He could heal her daughter. Also, in the Matthew account, it says that Jesus didn’t answer her right away, but she persisted.

Three Reasons Why the Jews First

  1. Jesus was faithful to the promise God made to Abraham.
  2. He wanted to show that our righteousness is not the way to salvation.
  3. He wanted to show that He was fulfilling the Old Testament prophecies.

Jesus opens the door to salvation to ALL peoples! I quote from the Bible study plan from YouVersion

This woman’s inspiring story, this exchange between her and Jesus, holds monumental implications for us all. We see that: 

(1) no one is outside the love of God; 

(2) committed faith knows the power of Jesus; 

(3) persevering faith moves the heart of Jesus; 

(4) patient faith withstands God’s silence; and 

(5) God’s silence isn’t an indication of indifference. She was truly a case for the cause of Christ: to bring all who believe into the pasture of His fold.

Lisa Supp, The Gospel of Mark (Part Three):

No matter where Jesus went, the crowds followed. They tried to get a break, but His Light just shown so brightly that it could not be hidden or covered.

Prophesied Healing

Jesus then returns to the Decapolis — or 10 cities. This was where He drove “Legion” from the demoniac and send the evil spirits into the pigs who then drowned. Remember, the people told Jesus to leave. However, the former demoniac became a missionary, as Jesus told him to tell everyone who healed him. His testimony changed the people’s attitudes towards Jesus.

Thus, when word spread that He was back, some folks brought a friend who was deaf and mute. In this case, Jesus takes the man away from the crowd. It is a more intimate, personal healing. He touched the man, looked up to Heaven, sighed and said, “Ephphatha”. “Be Opened!”

The man now had ears to hear and a mouth to speak. How many times does Jesus say, “All who have ears to hear, listen and understand”? In the NLT, it’s 19 times! That’s something you should pray each time you study the Bible. “Lord, please open my eyes, ears, mind and heart to understand what you’re trying to tell me. Amen.”

Here’s another prophetic passage from the Book of Isaiah…

And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind
    and unplug the ears of the deaf.
The lame will leap like a deer,
    and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!

Isaiah 35:5-6 NLT

Let Him Touch YOU!

Jesus connects to our weaknesses — if we let Him! Notice that the deaf man allowed himself to be touched and healed by Jesus. He submitted himself to Jesus. As did the Gentile woman. They both had nothing to lose. They humbled themselves before Him and He answered their requests.

Don’t wait until you’re in dire straights and feel you have nothing to lose! Don’t wait until you’ve hit rock bottom only to realize that there’s no where to go but up!

It’s time to surrender your life to Jesus now!

Here’s what you have to do…

Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.

  • Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
  • Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180-degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him. When you ask Jesus to forgive you He will. ALL your sins will be wiped clean — past, present, and future! And All means ALL!
  • Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
  • Receive the gift of Holy Spirit in your heart.

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift of Grace, Joy, Peace, and the Confident Hope of Eternal Life…

Open the Eyes of My Heart

Touch the Sky

Top image by Sweet Publishing from, (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!

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  1. Pingback: Mark 8:1-21: Do You Need a Sign from God? Maybe He Delivered One Already! – Seek the Truth

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