Jesus had just healed two blind men who asked for mercy (Matthew 9:27-31). Then another man came; he was brought by friends or family, and he could not speak. Jesus agreed that a demon was terrorising him, preventing him from speaking. Matthew simply reports that Jesus expelled the demon and then the man spoke. The instant cure validated the diagnosis and Jesus' treatment of the man's muteness.
The crowd had no doubt that Jesus understood the problem and had the only powerful solution. No other dumb person had been healed by anybody, although some religious leaders claimed to be exorcists (Acts 19:13). So the people thought that Jesus was an amazing person with divine authority. But the Pharisees did not want to agree. They said that Jesus was demon-possessed Himself and that He was empowered by Satan - what blasphemy!
In the New Testament, the word translated 'demon-possessed' is really a verb meaning 'demonised'. It is the effect of the activity of the devil and his demons who induce fear in people, gripping them in such a way that they feel compelled into an compulsive action or preventing them from doing what they should. Such a pattern of behaviour can also become a personal habit. But Satan has no authority which is greater than that of Jesus. The Lord has the authority and power to deal with anything which prevents God's people from fulfilling their God-given purpose.
Words are very special to God. They are part of the way in which God made mankind in His own image - being able to communicate ideas, thoughts and instructions, and to respond in a relational way. So, preventing speech spoils God's plan, which Satan delights in doing. But remember that whatever may hold us back from being the people God intends us to be, the Lord is stronger - whether it is a compulsive thought, dysfunctional habit or binding fear. Ask the Lord to deal with the things which grip you, because He has the power to save.
© Dr Paul Adams