Luke 11 v 14. “Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been dumb spoke.”
People who have disabilities always raise within us a sympathy for their situation. But of all possible disabilities think for a moment about a person who is dumb. That is, unable to speak [most definitely not ‘dumb’ in the sense of being stupid]. There is something uncanny about dumbness in a human being. Why is that? Because the ability to express oneself verbally, or to articulate one’s thoughts, to communicate with others is a characteristic human faculty and is part of the image of God in us, the distinctive glory of being human.
People are forever trying to humanise animals by trying to fathom how they communicate, or to train them to understand words. But no matter how hard they try, or how intelligent some animals in God’s creation may be, or how developed some animal instincts may be, no animal can speak like humans do. Humans speak, translate, write grammar, compile alphabets, learn to speak more than one language and in one way or another are always communicating. Why do we have this faculty?
Well, the most obvious answer is that God made it possible for man to speak so that He could converse with humans, as indeed He did in the Garden of Eden. We were designed to use our speech to communicate with our Creator. But sin has entered the human race and that part of our spirit that should communicate with God is now dumb. Many people feel no interest in talking to God. They feel no need to pray, do not want to and see no need at all. All this is the work of the enemy.
So when Jesus meets a man who is dumb it is no wonder that Luke tells us the cause of his dumbness was a demon (v 14). This man who was physically unable to speak, stands as a sort of analogy for us who because of our sinfulness are struck dumb before God.
In other words, the very heart of true communication between people – speech, has been silenced as far as God is concerned. Dumbness was a blow against the poor man’s humanity. Thus it was a wonderful thing when the demon was cast out and the man was able to speak. He was no longer locked up within himself. The enemy’s power was broken and he was restored to his community and presumably about to praise God verbally again.
The sign of the man or woman, who has been redeemed by Jesus, is that their hearts and tongues are free to cry “Abba Father”. The communication is restored.