When the two men were leaving, some people brought another man to Jesus. This man could not talk because he had a demon inside him. Jesus forced the demon to leave the man. Then the man that couldn't talk was able to speak. The people were amazed and said, "We have never seen anything like this in Israel." But the Pharisees said, "The leader of demons (the devil) is the one that gives him (Jesus) power to force demons out."
— Matthew 9:32-34
This passage reminds me of how horrifyingly easy it is to lose sight of truth in the search to preserve my religion. Here was Jesus Christ, Son of God, Immanuel, and the most religiously-committed people of the day reject him and accuse him of being from Satan. But the people—the everyday folks who did not have all the ecclesiastical training and religious indoctrination—recognized him as something special. Neither was right, but the crowd was less wrong. I must always remain humble and focused on Jesus if I am to know what God's truth really is. Jesus is, after all, the key that opens up the meaning of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16-17; John 1:1-8; Hebrews 1:1-3).
Holy and compassionate God, forgive me when I've been too narrow and correct me when I've been too loose with your will. I want to help all different kinds of people know that the Kingdom is open to them, but I don't want to lower your standards and cheapen your grace. Help me find in Jesus the balance needed to share your truth with courtesy, integrity, and respect. In Jesus, your ultimate Word, I pray. Amen.
Today's Verses in Context
When Jesus was leaving there, two blind men followed him. The blind men said loudly, "Show kindness to us, Son of David. " Jesus went inside, and the blind men went with him. Jesus asked the men, "Do you believe that I am able to make you see again?" The blind men answered, "Yes, Lord, we believe." Then Jesus touched their eyes and said, "You believe that I can make you see again, so this will happen." Then the men were able to see again. Jesus warned them very strongly. Jesus said, "Don't tell any person about this." But the blind men left and spread the news about Jesus all around that area. When the two men were leaving, some people brought another man to Jesus. This man could not talk because he had a demon inside him. Jesus forced the demon to leave the man. Then the man that couldn't talk was able to speak. The people were amazed and said, "We have never seen anything like this in Israel." But the Pharisees said, "The leader of demons (the devil) is the one that gives him (Jesus) power to force demons out." Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages. Jesus taught in their synagogues and told people the Good News about the kingdom. And Jesus healed all kinds of diseases and sicknesses. Jesus saw the many people and felt sorry for them. Jesus felt sorry for the people because the people were worried and helpless. The people were like sheep without a shepherd to lead them. Jesus said to his followers, "There are many, many people to harvest (save). But there are only a few workers to help harvest them. God owns the harvest (people). Pray to him that he will send more workers to help gather his harvest." Jesus called his twelve followers together. Jesus gave them power over evil spirits. Jesus gave them power to heal every kind of disease and sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles : Simon (also called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James, son of Zebedee, and his brother John; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew, the tax collector; James,son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot. Judas is the one that gave Jesus to his enemies.