“While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. 33 And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” 34 But the Pharisees said, “It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.” Matthew 9.32-34
How is it possible to look at an event and see it from two different angles? Look at today’s politics. The handling of the COVID virus, the division between Republicans and Democrats, the contrasting reporting on subjects in the news are just some examples.
The healing of the demon-possessed man who could not speak was brought to Jesus. And Jesus, who was on-a-roll in terms of miracles and healing folks, drove the demon from this man and then he “who had been mute spoke.” Truly a miracle. A life saved. A person who was condemned to evil set free.
And half the crowd was amazed and said so — “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” True. No records of anything like this has ever been documented then or now. And the amazed crowd spoke about what they heard. I’m guessing they told their neighbors, shouted it from the roof tops, whispered it in their homes — there’s something special about this Jesus of Nazareth.
Yet the other side of the coin were the Pharisees who said, “It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.” They viewed Jesus’ power as evil even though he did only good with it such as healing the sick, setting people free from demon-possession, giving sight to the blind, raising the dead, etc. They were threatened by Jesus, didn’t know what to make of him, and saw his actions as evil. One event but viewed entirely differently.
So how to we judge, gauge, determine what is right and true when seeing Jesus at work? How do we know what is happening around us is from God or from the devil? We discern, pray, read Scripture and see if what is occurring is in keeping with the nature and character of God or not.
Now I can’t tell you how you should think on political matters, nor do I want to tell you, but we can judge for ourselves if what others are doing is filled with the fruit if the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, etc.). Are the behaviors of people around us good and godly or are they selfish, deceitful and evil?
Was the miracle of Jesus the release of the demon from the man or the realization that God works in the midst of chaos and evil? The fact that God can break through the lies of the devil and bring freedom is refreshing.
Whatever situation or circumstance you are facing, try to view it through the lens of godliness, holiness and Christ-likeness. Trust in God to do a miracle in your life even when evil is so prevalent around you. For he who casts out demons can bring freedom and fulfillment today.
“O Lord Jesus, your work on this earth was so good. You restored people to health, you gave them life, and set them free from that which kept them from you. Thank you for loving us and for allowing us to find refuge in your name. I trust you Lord for your unfailing love and grace that you’ve poured out upon your people Israel. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen