Mark 7:33 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Mark 7:33, NIV: 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.

Mark 7:33, ESV: And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue.

Mark 7:33, KJV: And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue;

Mark 7:33, NASB: And Jesus took him aside from the crowd, by himself, and put His fingers in his ears, and after spitting, He touched his tongue with the saliva;

Mark 7:33, NLT: 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.

Mark 7:33, CSB: So he took him away from the crowd in private. After putting his fingers in the man's ears and spitting, he touched his tongue.

What does Mark 7:33 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

We can't know what the deaf man thinks of all this, but Jesus shows particular gentleness with him. The man seems to be in a vulnerable state; Jesus doesn't use him as a public object lesson, like He does the woman with the issue of blood (Mark 5:25–34) and the Canaanite woman (Mark 7:24–30). Instead, Jesus pulls him away, perhaps so he won't be overwhelmed when his hearing returns.

Then, Jesus lets the man know what is going to happen. Spit is thought to have healing powers in Jewish and Greek tradition. By going through the process of touching his ears and tongue, Jesus invites the understanding of the man who can't hear what was going on.

This is very similar to how Jesus heals the blind man in Mark 8:22–26. People bring the man to Jesus, but Jesus leads the man out of the village, spits on his eyes, and heals him. It's important to remember that we can "bring" our friends to Jesus in prayer, but His work is an intimate experience between Himself and the one who needs healing. We cannot heal others; we need to trust Christ.

Many people are healed by touching Jesus' robe (Mark 6:56), and, on our side, we often ask for healing or help in a similar kind of immediate but anonymous way. We need to remember that God wants our relationship more than our comfort. We grow closer to Him when He pulls us aside and interacts with us, showing us where He is working and not just relieving our inconvenience or pain and letting us go on our merry way.