Jesus Heals A Mute Man


‘While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.” Matthew 9:32-34

Demon Possession

The New Testament clearly indicates that demons were under the control of divine authority. Jesus, for example, could command them to leave a person, Matthew 8:16, or even to keep quiet, Mark 1:34. The demons that tormented the man in the country of the Gerasenes couldn’t enter the nearby swine herd except by the Lord’s concession, Mark 5:13-14.

Since it’s the case that demons could do nothing except by divine permission, the intriguing question is, why did God allow these spirits to enter into people? The truth of the matter is that the Bible doesn’t give a specific answer to this question.

It appears that God permitted demons to possess certain people in the time of Christ and the apostles so that His power could be seen. Not only did Christ have power over nature, disease, and death, but He also had power over the spirit world. The Devil and his demons were proved to be powerless before the Son of God, Colossians 2:15 / 1 John 3:8.

And we do know that the ability to cast out demons in the first century was given in order to confirm the truth of the Gospel message, Mark 16:17-20.

Demons still exist, but they don’t possess people today. Today, we need to be concerned about Satan, the Devil, who tempts us to sin. We know that the devil is still working today but he doesn’t have the power he once had, so he can only work through lying and deceit, John 8:44 / 2 Corinthians 11:3 / 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 / Ephesians 6:11 / 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 / Revelation 12:9 / Revelation 13:12-14 / Revelation 19:20.

Being Mute

One of the obvious difficulties with being mute is communication. I’m sure in Bible days, there would have been some kind of ‘sign language’ which mute people used. There would be no speech therapists or medical practices.

We must note that this poor man wasn’t mute because of some medical reasons. He was under the power of the devil, who wouldn’t allow him to speak. Obviously, the mute man couldn’t ask Jesus for help, hence why others had to bring him to Jesus.

Jesus drove the spirit out of him, Matthew 4:24, and the man was able to speak, which was proof of His Messiahship, Isaiah 35:5-6. Notice that there was no prolonged healing indicated here. A true miracle is defined by the instantaneous result of its effect.

A miracle was defined by being openly perceived by others who couldn’t deny it. This was the case with this miracle, Acts 4:14-16 / Acts 7:36-37. Miracles were for the primary purpose of confirming God’s messengers and message, Mark 16:17-20 / John 20:30-31.

Matthew Henry, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Christ’s cures strike at the root and remove the effect by taking away the cause; they open the lips, by breaking Satan’s power in the soul.’

A Transformed Life

Unless we are mute or have difficulties speaking, we will never really understand how much this man’s life was transformed. We can only imagine what his first spoken words were.

We can only imagine him going back home or going through the villages simply to talk to people. We can imagine him going around telling everyone that Jesus healed him.

Spurgeon, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The devil had silenced the man, and so, when the evil one was gone, “the dumb spake.” How we should like to know what he said! Whatever he said it matters not; the wonder was that he could say anything.’

The crowd were amazed because they had never seen anything like this before, Psalms 98:1. This was proof that Jesus truly was the Messiah, Isaiah 35:5-6 / Mark 7:37.

Barclay, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The crowds looked on Jesus with wonder, because they were simple people with a crying sense of need; and they saw that in Jesus their need could be supplied in the most astonishing way. Jesus will always appear wonderful to the man with a sense of need and the deeper the sense of need the more wonderful Jesus will appear to be.’

The Pharisees, who couldn’t deny what had just happened, accredited the miracle to ‘the prince of demons,’ Mark 3:22 / Luke 11:14-15.

The prince of demons is the devil, Matthew 12:24-32, and so they were saying that Jesus was working on behalf of the devil, Matthew 12:24 / Mark 3:22 / Luke 11:15 / John 7:20ff / Acts 5:39. This is the first time they said Jesus was working for the devil, but later they will accuse Him of this again, Matthew 12:24-28.

Barclay, in his commentary, says the following.

‘The Pharisees saw Jesus as one who was in league with all the powers of evil. They did not deny his wondrous powers, but they attributed them to his complicity with the prince of the devils. This verdict of the Pharisees was due to certain attitudes of mind.’

With this miracle, we see that Jesus has total authority over the spiritual realm, James 2:19. The people who witnessed this miracle came to two different conclusions as to who Jesus was.

Today people still have the same choices. He is who He claimed to be, or He isn’t, Matthew 16:13-20 / John 20:30-31. We can accept Him as our Saviour or reject Him. We can be for Jesus or against Him, Mark 9:40.

We must either worship Him, or we will have to reject Him out of hand. We must either bow to Him, or we will have to oppose Him. We must either be for Him, or we will be set against Him.