Miracles of Jesus: Healing a Demon-Possessed Man Who Couldn't Speak

The Bible Describes Jesus Restoring the Man's Spiritual and Physical Health

Jesus demon possessed mute man speaking
A medieval painting of the Bible story in Matthew 9 of Jesus Christ healing a mute man possessed by a demon. Public domain

In Matthew 9, the Bible records how Jesus Christ performed a miracle to heal a mute man who couldn't speak because he was possessed by a demon who had afflicted both the man's spiritual and physical health. Here's the story, with commentary:

A Matter-of-Fact Miracle

Matthew 9:32 describes the miracle in a matter-of-fact way: "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."

Jesus had just finished performing a different kind of miracle -- healing two blind men -- and the text about this miracle starts by mentioning that they were going out just before the demon-possessed man who couldn't speak was brought to Jesus. This is the first miracle of restoring someone's speech that the Bible records Jesus performing. Later, Jesus would miraculously heal a deaf and mute man, restoring both his ability to speak and his ability to hear.

Demons are fallen angels who can cause great harm to people's health in cases of possession (when demons enter a human body). After that occurs, demons tend to stay until they're driven out, which is a challenging process. The influence of an evil spirit living within their bodies impacts every aspect of people's health, and the toxic energy often leads to illness of some kind.

So it's not surprising that the possessed man in this story has suffered physically from his struggle with the demon, losing both his speech and hearing in the process.

A Connection Between Spiritual and Physical Health

The text shows a connection between the man's spiritual and physical health. As soon as Jesus restored the man spiritually by casting the demon out, the man's physical ability to talk was restored, as well.

Although Jesus physically healed many people without casting demons out of them, in this case, he did both to make the man well.

God has created human beings with intricate connections between all aspects of their health: spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical. As a result, a profoundly unhealthy situation like the infiltration of a evil spirit into someone's body is bound to affect that person holistically. Similarly, a profound healing like breaking free of a demon positively impacts not just spiritual health, but also physical, mental, and emotional health.

The fact that that man was able to speak implies that he was able to freely express his thoughts and feelings after Jesus healed him, so it's likely that the man's mental and emotional health also improved along with his spiritual and physical condition.

A Split Reaction to the Miraculous Healing

The story continues in Matthew 9:33-34: "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.'"

The people who witnessed this miracle had two very different reactions. Some believed and responded with a sense of awe, but the local religious leaders were suspicious and responded with fear, telling people that they thought Jesus' miraculous power to make demons obey him must come from Satan, whom the Bible refers to here as "the prince of demons."

Since there are two contrasting sources of supernatural power at work in our fallen world -- good versus evil -- not all miracles that happen are from God. In this case, Christians believe, it was God himself (incarnated as Jesus) who was performing the miracle.