Jesus Heals a Mute Boy

Mark provides a series of parables in chronological order matched to the overall story of the Bible. This one is about Babel.

The Story


14And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,!!Tag 12 contains '(17:15) kai's 15Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. 16And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. 17Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.eoos pote (how long) - tagged eoos=how, pote=long but should really be both for both. Occurs twice in this verse. 18And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. 19Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?kat idian (apart) - kat empty dia ti (why) - dia empty 20And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 21Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.ei mee (but) - ei empty Matthew 17:14-21 KJV

14When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15"Lord, have mercy on my son," he said. "He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him."

17"O unbelieving and perverse generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me." 18Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment.

19Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, "Why couldn't we drive it out?"

20He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, `Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." 21 Matthew 17:14-21 NIV


14When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.

16"What are you arguing with them about?" he asked.

17A man in the crowd answered, "Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not."

19"O unbelieving generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me."

20So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.

21Jesus asked the boy's father, "How long has he been like this?"

"From childhood," he answered. 22"It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us."

23"`If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes."

24Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"

25When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. "You deaf and mute spirit," he said, "I command you, come out of him and never enter him again."

26The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, "He's dead." 27But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.

28After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, "Why couldn't we drive it out?"

29He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer." Mark 9:14-29 NIV

14And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them. 15And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him. 16And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them? 17And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; 18And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not. 19He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me. 20And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. 21And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. 22And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.the second 'kai' here seems to be untranslated, so i left it untagged; it could perhaps read, "and ofttimes it has also cast him into the fire" or something to capture that second 'kai'; the NAS/NKJ say "both into the fire and also into the water" or similar 23Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.'de' at the beginning seems to be untranslated, i left it untagged. 24And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. 25When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. 26And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. 27But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose. 28And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? 29And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting. Mark 9:14-29 KJV


In this parable Jesus encounters a man who has a boy with a mute spirit. Jesus’ disciples are unable to cast out the demon so they bring the boy to Jesus. The mute spirit, in world history, showed up at the Tower of Babel. An earlier article showed this event was about 2000 years after the flood, our about 8020 AA. It is the first important story after Noah’s flood.

In the tower of Babel the people were ordered to separate and spread across the world, but they refused. God himself stepped in and cast out the demon and cast the people across the world. In this parable of that historical story the people surrounding the boy are unable or unwilling to cast out the demon. This is like it was at the tower of Babel. Jesus has to step in in order to set the boy free. This too is like it was at the tower where God descended and intervened in the history of mankind in order to effect a Godly change.

The gathered crowds in this parable are the crowds who refused to leave the region of Babel.

Jesus exclaims that this generation is faithless. This is a typical word Jesus uses for the people alive at the time in history when the parable applies. In this case the faithless generation was the generation at the Tower of Babel. God did not remain with that generation long, only long enough to confuse their language.

Faith, properly defined, is to believe a plan Jesus has laid out for someone’s life, even tough nothing like it has been seen before. The people at Tower of Babel could not envision the world filled with people. The world was mostly wilderness. They could not see millions of people. They had no confidence that what God had asked of them could happen.

The boy’s father plays to this theme when he asks for Jesus to help is unbelief. The boy’s father was preventing the boy’s healing because he, too, could not envision what it would be like if the boy was healed.

The spirit itself was a mute spirit, it did not allow the boy to speak. This is of course a key problem at the time of the Tower of Babel. The world only had one language. Language is important because it has the greatest impact on how human beings think. Different languages cause different thought processes. The mental processes that go with language also impact the ability of people to reflect the divine nature. Today’s world has roughly 6000 natural languages. When the spirit was cast out the boy was no longer deaf, mute or dumb.

After this unclean spirit is cast out of the boy, he appears like a dead man. This is the parable’s match to the end of the construction on the city and tower of Babel. Mankind appeared dead. There was no longer anyone working on the tower or the city near by. With Jesus’ personal help, the boy was revived and went on to live a normal life.

Finally, at the end of the parable, the disciples ask Jesus why they could not cast out the spirit. Jesus’ answer is that this spirit can only come out by fasting and prayer.

When someone is commanded by Jesus to do something that is unseen, even unheard of, there is a tendency to keep on with the old life. To build our own towers to heaven, our own idols. Breaking that spirit can only happen when we humble ourselves, ask Jesus to increase our belief, and finally through fasting and prayer get rid of the mute spirit.

Jesus Predicts Death and Resurrection


22When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. 23They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life." And the disciples were filled with grief. Matthew 17:22-23 NIV

22And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: 23And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry. Matthew 17:22-23 KJV


30And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and he would not that any man should know it. 31For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day. 32But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him. Mark 9:30-32 KJV

30They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, 31because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise." 32But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it. Mark 9:30-32 NIV

As the disciples were passing through Galilee, Jesus predicted that he would be betrayed and then rise from the dead on the third day. This 3 day reference follows the standard model. Every time Jesus references a day, he is prophetically indicating an interval 1000 years long for each day referenced.[1]

The Tower of Babel, the story just completed, happened at about 8020 AA. Adding 3 days * 1000 days/year = 3000 years yields 8020 AA + 3000 years = 11020 AA.

We previously worked out that his resurrection was on 11019-10-11 AA so off across 3000 years by about 4 months.

1. 2 Peter 3:8