Jesus Heals a Deaf and Mute Man
Mark 7: 31-36
31 Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis.[a] 32 There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him.
33 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. 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!”(which means “Be opened!”). 35 At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.
36 Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. 37 People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”
Coach Ben Annor with the Deaf and Dumb Leaders at sports training
Why Is Deaf Ministry So Hard?
The statistics are sobering
- Nearly 95% of all deaf children have hearing parents and only about 10% of those parents ever learn enough sign language to hold a conversation with their children.
- Less than 5% of all churches in the offer any outreach to Deaf people at all, and it is extremely rare to find a church that offers age appropriate Christian teaching to Deaf kids.
- Only about 2% of Deaf people have accepted Christ as Lord. (By the way, the upper case “D” means deaf people who use Sign Language and see themselves as members of the Deaf culture.)
- Deaf people who use Sign Language (SL) as their primary language are the largest unreached linguistic-cultural people group in our society today.
Here is the truth, as hard as it is for us to admit: The places most people turn to for Christian teaching and spiritual guidance are simply inaccessible to Deaf people.
Parents, Sunday school teachers, youth leaders, camp counselors, pastors and sometimes even “sign language interpreters” lack the skills to make God’s truths clear and understandable to Deaf children and adults. When there is no clear communication, there is no true access!
But changing this situation is very complicated. Making a hearing church truly accessible to Deaf people requires serious commitment from staff, interpreters, and congregants individually, as well as a corporate commitment from the congregation as a whole. Often, a greater commitment than initially expected.
It’s not easy. No wonder most Deaf ministries don’t last more than a few years – if that long. Other are still born.
Rescue Sports Foundation in its effort to reach out to the unreached peoples groups in our communities today have discover one of the most effective open door to share the love of God, and that is through the language and vehicle of Sports Evangelism with the deaf and dumb peoples groups. We welcome all those who want to cooperate with us in reaching out with the Gospel to these neglected and ignore community among us. Let’s explore and join our strength together for a common goal. We welcome your comments and feedback and your stories.