Matthew 9:32-34 – The Mute Will Speak

John Carter – March 3, 2019

{No Audio Available}


To introduce the hearer to the teachings of Jesus in the context of the Old and the New Testament. The Gospel according to Matthew lends itself to this end because Matthew spends a great deal of time quoting and alluding to the Old Testament as he describes the life and teachings of Jesus.


What should be said about the works of Jesus?



  •   Thank you for hearing our pleas for help


  •   Forgive us for going astray like a lost sheep


  •   Seek out your servants so that we might turn and praise you with our lips!


Isaiah – Themes – Theology of Word – Text – Now What?

Isaiah 35

Again we start by reading Isaiah 35, because it is clear that Matthew 9:18-38 parallels the prophecy given to Isaiah. We saw courage and strength for the weak and feeble. We saw sight given to the blind. This week the mute will be given speech, and the week following we will see God’s heart and purpose for his people.


Authority; Intersession of another; Marveled; Faith; Word; Blaspheming; Mercy; Son of David; Son of Man; Touch;

***This is a brief passage and it concludes a trilogy of stories. Because of the brevity I am able to take a moment and look at an aspect of biblical theology a bit more in-depth. Understanding the biblical theology of word and speech will set the frame work for the weight of Matthew 9:32-34.

Theology of Word and Speech

The ability to speak is not small thing. In fact it is quite the opposite. The ability to speak is a divine gift. We are beings who are designed to live and die by spoken word. Words give life. They also bring death. How much more important, words proclaim the Gospel message of salvation and announce praise to the living God! Therefore, one of our adversary’s greatest destructive works has been in the realm of binding the tongue and plugging the ears. Because to impede our skills of verbal communication is to further distort the image of the living God that the image bearers are supposed to reflect.

Creation: In the beginning all things were created by God. But it should be noted that his favorite tool for creation was the spoken word. From the very first chapter of the Bible we learn about the creative power that is bound up in the spoken word.

Tower of Babel: Due to sin at the Tower of Babel man lost the ability to speak to all people with ease and clarity. Although many people are bi-lingual this does not mitigate the reality that our ability to communicate was irreparably damaged. Or, at least it seemed that way.

Blessing/Cursing: In Deuteronomy we see the power of the spoken word in the proclamation of the blessings of obedience and the curses of disobedience associated with the Law of Moses. 

Worship: True worship requires spoken word. This does not mean that we cannot worship without speaking, but we are certainly limited in our ability to worship when our ability to speak is limited. Consider the weight of a letter declaring one’s love for another in lieu of the words themselves being uttered and heard. The letter will suffice when the words are absent, but spoken words carry a weightiness that goes beyond what is written. Further, read through the Psalms and note how often the Psalmist is exhorting himself and others to let their praise be heard. Or consider the throne room of Heaven where God’s praise is continually, eternally, and loudly being declared for everyone to hear and respond to. The gift to worship through words is no small matter in the kingdom of Heaven.

The Word Became Flesh: We must understand that not only did God use the spoken word to establish creation and command worship. The word of God became flesh. Jesus himself is the living word of God.

Pentecost: The ability to communicate across language barriers was a great reversal of the tower of Babel. Not even language will be able to inhibit the proclamation of the gospel.

Gospel Call: It is impossible to call for salvation unless the gospel is proclaimed (Rom 10). This is not incidental.

Gospel Acceptance: The gospel is proclaimed verbally but it is also received verbally.

Sanctification: Hebrews teaches us the word of God divides the soul and spirit; bone and marrow. Meaning, that which is intermingled is easily divided by the word of God and further, we who are divided by the word of God are sanctified by the word of God.

Spiritual Gift: We can’t go into details here, but it is no small thing that one of the spiritual gifts has to do with speaking (tongues).

Life/Death: James makes clear that the ability to communicate life and death are bound up in words. This is a further reflection of creation ad Elijah in the valley of dry bones.

Judgement/Worship: Judgment will be done with words. Gods people will be called by the words of God and gods enemies will be condemned by the word of God. And it will be with words that God is forever worshiped.



WARNING: Although not all ailments are physical we should be cautious to misdiagnose demon possession, physical ailments, and sin. (see 4:24)


A man’s voice restored is a reversal of the fall of man. A man’s voice restored is the ability to sing praises and cry for help. A man’s voice restored is an opportunity for the exultation of the name of God.


  • specifically the mute being healed,
  • Not the exorcism, because demon exorcism has already happened and was common in this culture and was already recorded in Matthew
  • The raising of the dead was in secret but this was done publicly so this was publicly noted
  • Generally the entire corpus of Jesus’ ministry. This concludes Jesus’ work.

There are three groups: disciples who follow, crowds who marvel, and Pharisees who deny.


“His power is not doubted, but its source is called into question.”[1] (France) – see also 12:24


Meditate on the word of God

Be careful that you do not merely marvel at the authority of Jesus.

Be careful that you do not call the works of God the works of Satan.

If you follow Jesus prepare to be hated: 10:24-25 – This is not an excuse to sin but an explanation for contempt.


Let us hear and obey the words of the Psalmist (118:2-4,29)

[1] P.343 – R.T. France – NICNT – see p.369