Luke said that Jesus answered the disciples of John (καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς εἶπεν αὐτοῖς). He told them to go tell John (Πορευθέντες ἀπαγγείλατε Ἰωάνει) what they had seen and heard (ἃ εἴδετε καὶ ἠκούσατε). The blind ones receive their sight (τυφλοὶ ἀναβλέπουσιν). The lame walk (χωλοὶ περιπατοῦσιν). The lepers are cleansed (λεπροὶ καθαρίζονται). The deaf hear (καὶ κωφοὶ ἀκούουσιν). The dead are raised up (νεκροὶ ἐγείρονται). The poor have good news brought to them (πτωχοὶ εὐαγγελίζονται). This is almost word for word like Matthew, chapter 11:4-5, indicating a possible Q source. Jesus responded or answered these disciples and their main question. He told them to report back to John after their journey what they had heard and seen. Then Jesus listed what he had been doing. The blind people have recovered their sight. The lame people were walking around. The lepers were cleansed. The deaf were able to hear. The dead were raised up. The poor and destitute people were getting good news brought to them. This is a very strong response, as if to say that he was the Messiah, the Christ, the anointed one, something that Jesus did not do often. This messianic expectation was based on Isaiah, chapter 35:4-6, when the savior, their God would come with a vengeance to make up for past problems. He would come to save them. Isaiah seems to indicate that there would be a reversal of fortune, a change in the ways that things happen. The blind would see. The deaf would hear. The lame would run. The mute people would speak. Have you had a change in your life?
This is unique to Mark. When Jesus saw that a crowd came running together (ἰδὼν δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὅτι ἐπισυντρέχει ὄχλος), he rebuked the unclean spirit (ἐπετίμησεν τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἀκαθάρτῳ). He spoke directly to this evil spirit (λέγων αὐτῷ) as he commanded, in the first person singular, this unclean spirit (ἐγὼ ἐπιτάσσω σοι), in the second person “you”. This evil spirit had kept this boy from speaking and hearing. This mute and deaf spirit (Τὸ ἄλαλον καὶ κωφὸν πνεῦμα,), was to come out of him (ἔξελθε ἐξ αὐτοῦ), never again to enter him (καὶ μηκέτι εἰσέλθῃς εἰς αὐτόν). Jesus then got rid of the unclean spirit that was in this boy in a public act in front of a crowd.
This unique saying of Mark ends with everyone being astonished or amazed. Mark said that they were astonished beyond measure (καὶ ὑπερπερισσῶς ἐξεπλήσσοντο λέγοντες). They said that Jesus had done everything well (Καλῶς πάντα πεποίηκεν). He made both the deaf hear (καὶ τοὺς κωφοὺς ποιεῖ ἀκούειν) and the mute speak (καὶ τοὺς κωφοὺς ποιεῖ ἀκούειν). This was great praise for Jesus.
This physical healing is unique to Mark, who said that Jesus looked up to heaven (καὶ ἀναβλέψας εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν), and sighed deeply (ἐστέναξεν). Jesus said to the deaf and mute man (καὶ λέγει αὐτῷ), “Ephphatha (Ἐφφαθά,)!” This means “Be opened (ὅ ἐστιν Διανοίχθητι)!” Then this man’s ears were opened (καὶ ἠνοίγησαν αὐτοῦ αἱ ἀκοαί). The impediment on his tongue was released immediately (καὶ εὐθὺς ἐλύθη ὁ δεσμὸς τῆς γλώσσης αὐτοῦ). He spoke plainly (καὶ ἐλάλει ὀρθῶς). Jesus had cured this man with an Aramaic saying, once again indicating the Aramaic base of this gospel. However, Mark was quick to explain what the meaning of this word was to his Greek audience.
The various nations or countries will see what is happening. They will be ashamed of their own strength. They will put their hands over their mouths, not speaking. They will be deaf, not hearing. They will be like creeping, crawling snakes, licking the dust of the earth. They will come trembling out of their strong fortresses. They will stand in dread and fear of Yahweh, our God. The tables will be turned on them.
Isaiah seems to indicate that there will be a reversal of fortune, a change in the ways that things happen. The blind will see. The deaf will hear. The lame will run. The dumb will speak. Waters and streams will be in the wilderness desert, as the burning sand will turn into a pool of water. The jackals will be in a swamp. The grass will become reeds or rushes along the streams. Everything will be reversed or different.