Healing the Blind and Mute
"When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, 'Son of David, have mercy on us!' And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, 'Do you believe that I am able to do this? They said to Him, 'Yes, Lord.' Then He touched their eyes, saying, 'According to your faith let it be to you.' And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, saying, 'See that no one knows it.' But when they had departed, they spread the news about Him in all that country" (Matt. 9:27-31).

The approach of these two blind men was quite different than that of Jairus in the previous verses. He was quiet and very reverent, but these two cried aloud for pity. It should be understood that when these men referred to Jesus as the "Son of David" they were essentially calling Him the Messiah! It was generally understood by the Jews that the Messiah was to be a son of David (cf. Matt. 22:42).

The blind men continued following Jesus, even as He entered a house. Certainly Jesus had reasons for ignoring their request in public: (1) His failure to pay any attention to them at first was probably designed to produce perseverance and strengthen their faith (cf. Luke 18:1ff) and (2) healing them publicly may have created more excitement than Jesus wanted to produce at that moment.

These blind men had shown faith by following Jesus, but He demanded a verbal expression of their faith - "Do you believe that I am able to do this?" (Matt. 9:28). Their affirmative response is fascinating to consider. Because of the fact that these men were blind, their opportunities to know and believe in Jesus' miraculous power were limited. In fact, their faith up to that point was completely dependent on the testimony of others. This reveals that there must have been an abundance of evidence that was available to be believed by those with good and honest hearts. However, the faith of these blind men also exposed the hard-heartedness of many in the first century. There were many who could visually see the results of Jesus' miracles, yet they refused to believe. However, these men had faith in Him despite their lack of sight. Though blind, these men could "see" much more clearly than many Jews in that day!

Jesus showed His power and compassion by touching their eyes and healing them instantaneously. "According to your faith let it be to you" (Matt. 9:29). They came to Jesus in faith and were rewarded. The same principle still holds true today.

Jesus then made His typical request that this miracle not be publicized, and, as usual, His request was not honored. The men immediately spread the news everywhere. It seems strange that these men would be so disobedient to the Lord's command. Perhaps they thought that Jesus' command not to tell of the miracle was due to His modesty, and that they had an obligation of common gratitude to give credit and honor to whom it was due. However, in spite of their good intentions, their failure to obey His command cannot be counted to their credit. Good intentions never justify disobedience (e.g., I Sam. 15).

"As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a man, mute and demon-possessed. And when the demon was cast out, the mute spoke. And the multitudes marveled, saying, 'It was never seen like this in Israel!' But the Pharisees said, 'He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons'" (Matt. 9:32-34).

This man was unable to speak and apparently such resulted from being demon-possessed since the removal of the unclean spirit loosed his tongue. The multitudes were amazed at Jesus' ability. Not only were His miracles impressive, they were also unique. They had never seen anything like this before!

The jealous Pharisees, however, didn't intend to give Jesus any credit for His works. They questioned the source of His power. Clearly it was not a trick or deception since no one denied that a miracle had occurred. Jesus fully answered their blasphemous charge in Matthew 12:24ff (note our series of five lessons starting on August 7, 2006). If He repeated any part of His answer at this time, Matthew was silent regarding it.