Healing the deaf mute of Decapolis

Healing the deaf mute of Decapolis is one of the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels, namely Mark 7:31-37.[1] Its narration offers many parallels with the healing of the blind man of Bethsaida in Mark 8:22-26.

Christ healing the deaf mute of Decapolis, by Bartholomeus Breenbergh, 1635

Biblical accountsEdit

According to the Gospel of Mark, when Jesus entered the region of the Decapolis after passing through Sidon and down the Sea of Galilee, some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him. This account follows the healing of the daughter of a Syro-Phoenician woman who speaks with Jesus about whether his mission extends to the gentiles (Mark 7:24-30). The deaf-mute man lives in the gentile Decapolis region, although the text does not specify that he is a gentile. The Gospel of Mark states:

After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man's ears. Then he spit and touched the man's tongue. He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, "Ephphatha!" (which means "Be opened!"). At this, the man's ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly. Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. People were overwhelmed with amazement. "He has done everything well," they said. "He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak."

— Mark 7:33-37, New International Version


New Testament commentator Lamar Williamson writes that this is the last unit in a series of miracles concerned with the identity of Jesus, as subsequently confirmed by the Apostle Peter's christological affirmation in Mark 8:29, where Peter exclaimed: "You are the Messiah".[2]

Roger Baxter in his meditations, reflects on the question, What is spiritual dumbness?, writing, "He is spiritually dumb, who does not correct his brother, when by doing so, he can prevent him from sinning. He also is spiritually dumb, who does not preach the Word of God, when it is his duty, or make open profession of his faith, when the honor of God, his own or neighbor's good requires it. Lastly, he labors under this spiritual complaint, whose tongue is not employed in the praises of God, in the exercises of devotion and pious conversations. "Wo is me," says the prophet, "because I held my peace." (Isa 6:6.) And, " you that are mindful of the Lord hold not your peace."" (Isa 62:6.)[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Biblegateway Mark 7:31-37". Biblegateway.com. Retrieved 2018-04-19.
  2. ^ Lamar Williamson (1983), Mark ISBN 0-8042-3121-4 pages 138-140
  3. ^ Baxter, Roger (1823). "Cure of the Deaf and Dumb Man." . Meditations For Every Day In The Year. New York: Benziger Brothers.