Jesus did great miracles in the midst of large crowds (feeding of 5,000; curing of the palsied man; Gadarene demoniac), but sometimes He did things just as miraculous with almost no one watching. No one witnessed the soul conversion of the woman at the well, and only the 12 saw Him walk on water. It was these moments of privacy that brought a different side out of Jesus; and brought mighty miracles to those privileged enough to share those moments with the Master.
Jesus was met by a small group of people who brought to him one that was deaf. It would have been customary for family members to take care of loved ones who had physical disabilities, so this was most likely the deaf man’s closest kin. The text also tells us that he “had an impediment in his speech” (Mark 7:32). This was no doubt due to the fact that he could not hear himself when he tried to speak, which had left his speech underdeveloped. They requested that Jesus put His hand on the young man.
Jesus could have performed this miracle in front of the crowd, with His disciples looking on, but we see something come out of the heart of our Savior in this story that still resonates for every person today. Jesus “took him aside from the multitude” (verse 33). Jesus took him away from the onlookers; from the gawkers; from the mockers and from the doubters. This young man had never heard any insults against him for his ears had never worked, but he had seen the looks of frustration on people’s faces as they tried in vain to communicate with him. He had watched the looks of disappointment enter people’s eyes as they were unable to understand what he was trying so hard to say. By taking the man away from the multitude, Jesus is bringing His redemption to the man personally, with no crowd to interfere.
Salvation comes to every man in a personal way. Some cry and fall on their knees in the midst of a crowded church, while others make no emotional response at all, but their heart aches inside for the love of God. Jesus has always made our redemption a personal, not a corporate thing. We may have corporate invitations in church to come and meet Jesus, but that is because we are in a corporate setting; but salvation itself is on the inside, where Jesus meets us at the end of our rope and the end of our faith.
Jesus “put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue” (Mark 7:33). Many commentators speak of how Jesus touched the man’s ears and tongue to loose them, but I believe that Jesus did these things to HIMSELF, not to the man. No one had been able to properly communicate with the young man, so Jesus pulls him to the side to say to him what others had been unable to say. He touches His own ears, spits and touches His own tongue to communicate the miracle that He is about to perform to the man. He then looks to heaven and sighs; no doubt wearied at the desperate case that He constantly found mankind in. When He says, “Be opened”, immediately the man can hear and speak.
Our Lord always took the time to communicate the miracle of the gospel to each individual person. May we not be weary in doing the same thing to those around us; no matter how difficult they may be to reach.