Lessons From A Mute Man: Matthew 9:32-34
“32) And as they were going out, a mute, demon-possessed man was brought to Him. 33) After the demon was cast out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds were amazed, and were saying, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” 34) But the Pharisees were saying, “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.”” Matthew‬ ‭9‬:‭32‬-‭34‬
This story illustrates potential side affects of demonic possession. Demonic activity can manifest itself as some form of physical impairment. In this case the man could not speak.
No details are given in the story how long this condition plagued the man. It may have been from childhood or for several years as if caused by some form of trauma.
This story in no way suggests that all speech problems have a demonic connection. The opposite is actually true. It merely points out that demonic activity may result in physical impairment for no other apparent reason. This leads me to believe that the condition of being mute may have been a sudden development at some point in his life.
The wording that he was both mute and demon possessed indicates that he had other symptoms beyond an inability to speak. They often included things like mental anguish, emotional torment, episodes of violence, self destructive tendencies, abnormal social behaviors or seizures like manifestations. It appears that the people who brought him to Jesus had a strong suspicion of demonic possession.
After Jesus cast out the demon, the dumb man suddenly started speaking normally. We can only wonder what he had to say. This indicates that the impairment was connected to the demon and not the man.
A detailed study of every case of demon possession mentioned in the Bible is very enlightening. They were often accompanied by some form of physical condition. Jesus healed many people with sicknesses, diseases and physical injuries. Most of them had no connection to the demonic realm. Yet there were occasions when casting out a demonic spirit immediately healed a corresponding physical condition.
I disagree strongly with those who believe there is a demonic spirit behind all physical disease or sickness. They give way to much credit to Satan. On the other hand, when nagging physical conditions persist for no apparent reason and they do not respond to standard medical treatment, it may be wise to test for a spirit. I also believe in praying for healing according to James 5:13-18.
Matthew 9:33-34 gives two radically different reactions to this story. The multitudes recognized the miraculous significance of what Jesus did for this man. It definitely increased their view of Jesus. It put Him in a class far above the religious leaders in Israel.
By contrast, the Pharisees were mocking Jesus and accusing Him of channeling demonic powers. This controversy eventually comes to a head in Matthew 12:22-32. In that context, Jesus strongly rebuked them and issued a challenge. We will examine that discussion in a few weeks when we get to that context.
The take away from Matthew 9:32-34 is that Jesus Christ has total dominion over the spiritual realm. Throughout the four gospels, every demon He encountered was subject to Him. Why?
The gospel of John correctly presents Him as Creator from the beginning. (See John 1:1-5) He was not a man who became a god. He was God who became a man to accomplish human redemption. (See John 1:14-18) Conclusion: The demons were subject to Him… because He is God!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global