As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, crying loudly, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” When he entered the house, the blind me 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 and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you.” And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus sternly ordered them, “See that no one knows of this.” But they went away and spread the news about him throughout the district.
After they had gone away, a demoniac who was mute was brought to him. And when the demon had been cast out, the one who had been mute spoke; and the crowds were amazed and said, “Never has anything like this been seen in Israel.” But the Pharisees said, “By the ruler of the demons he casts out the demons.”
The really interesting thing about these two blind men, aside from their faith, is that they seem to recognize Jesus as the Messiah. By calling Him the “Son of David” they declare Him as the lawful King of Israel. Again, Jesus hasn’t been calling Himself the Messiah (unless that’s what Son of Man means…), so their faith must have been great indeed to recognize Him.
I’ll be honest, it has always puzzled me why throughout Matthew (and Mark!) Jesus is always telling everyone to keep His miracles a secret. I have a couple of theories, but none of them seems to be quite right. But here are my best two:
1. Jesus didn’t want people to just see Him as a miracle worker, he wanted them to listen.
2. When I wrote about Matthew 8:4 (“Then Jesus said to him, ‘See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.'”), I mentioned not broadcasting your blessings, but thanking God instead. Maybe that’s always what Jesus meant when He said that! (Read More)
Regardless, Jesus’s warnings never seemed to work. Nobody ever listened to Him, and word always managed to spread.
The mute demoniac serves less to teach us something, I think, and more to move the narrative forward. This is the first time the Pharisees openly doubt that Jesus is doing good. They basically say, “Well, if He can cast out demons He must be some kind of demon Himself!” We know, as readers, that eventually the Pharisees are going to turn Jesus in. That starts working in their hearts now.
But I guess if we were to take something away from this story it could be this: If you’re not sure whether you’ve just seen a great miracle or a demon’s work, look at the fruits of the person working like Jesus told us to back in Matthew 7:20 (“Thus you will know them by their fruits.”).