GT Bible Studies    


Navigation Glad Tidings Bible Studies Other material 

10. EPHPHATHA - BE OPENED (Mark.7:31-37)

BACKGROUND: The man in the text had obviously been deaf since his early childhood, because he had not learned to speak. As a result he was unable to communicate with other people. (At that time there wasn't a commonly-used sign language yet.). Isaiah had prophesied 700 years earlier (Is.35:5) that the Messiah would make the deaf hear and the mute speak (verse 37).
  1. Think for a moment about the kind of sounds and voices you hear during a day. What do you think would be most difficult for you if you were unable to hear anything?
  2. Imagine how this man's childhood. (What means did his parents have available to teach their child, to guard him from dangers, to make him work etc.? What kind of relationships might he have had with his peers? What do you suppose his self-image was like?)
  3. Compare the everyday life of this hearing-impaired person as an adult with that of his peers?
    • Perhaps this man had also visited the synagogue and the temple a few times. How much do you think he understood about the unseen God?
  4. What were the motives of the people who brought the man to Jesus? Think of various possibilities (vs.32).
    • If you helped bring the deaf man to Jesus, how would you have explained to him where you were going to take him and why?
    • Why was it extra difficult for this man to be in a crowd?
  5. Why didn't Jesus heal the man in the way his friends asked him to (vs.32,34)?
    • Why didn't the man protest but instead went along with the unknown rabbi (vs.33)?
  6. How much do you think the man understood of the four signs of Jesus' own sign language in verses 33-34? (What did Jesus want to convey to the man by looking up to heaven before healing him? What about by his deep sigh?)
  7. Why has Mark recorded the healing word of Jesus in the original Aramaic in his gospel (vs.34)?
    • Jesus is standing in front of you just now and saying the same word as to this man: "Ephphatha! Be opened!" What does he mean by that - think about your communication with other people. (You may answer in your heart.)
  8. Usually it takes three years for a child to learn the most important words of a language. How is it possible that this man gained all that information in a twinkling of an eye?
  9. Every miracle of Jesus tells us something about heaven. What can we learn about it through this incident?
  10. Why did the people keep talking about this miracle even though Jesus had asked them to keep silent about it (vs.36)?
    • What do you think: is it profitable for the Christian church of our day to advertise miracles in the media?
    • What news would Jesus have preferred that people tell their friends?
GLAD TIDINGS: The deep communication between Jesus and his Father was broken while Jesus was hanging on the cross. This was the price Jesus had to pay for establishing the communication between us sinners and God.

Version for printing    
Contact us