As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a man, mute and demon-possessed. And when the demon was cast out, the mute spoke. And the multitudes marvelled, saying, “It was never seen like this in Israel!”
But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons” (Matthew 9:32-34)
Here we have a man who was mute and possessed. He was brought to Jesus who healed him. The people saw this miracle and rejoiced because they had never seen anything like it before. However, we have the religious leaders who are not impressed. They tried to discredit Jesus by claiming that He was casting out demons by the authority of the ruler of demons. This assertion makes no sense as Jesus later points out.
“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely thekingdom ofGod has come upon you. Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad” (Matthew 12:25-30).
Instead of being thankful that Jesus healed someone, the Pharisees criticized Him and showed clearly that they were not among His supporters. They were jealous of Him and wanted to oppose Him every opportunity they got. How many of us are the same? We see someone do something good for someone else and instead of supporting them and encouraging them, we tear them down with our insensitive remarks and criticisms. We say something like, “Oh, she’s just doing it for the publicity.” Or “give him another month or so and he wouldn’t be able to keep up with all this good work he is supposedly doing.”
Satan cannot cast out demons. It doesn’t make sense to imply that he could. He would be defeating himself. As Jesus pointed out a person cannot be robbed in his or her house, unless they are tied up first. A church cannot be divided unless it allows itself to be. And this is where Satan comes in. He causes strife, pitting people against each other. He sows jealousy, discontent, disunity and contention among believers until like the Pharisees, they are tearing down what others have built up.
The next time someone does something that is beneficial for someone else, do not put him or her down but give encouragement. Don’t give credit where it is not due. Don’t give the devil God’s credit. That’s what the Pharisees did when they claimed that Satan was helping Jesus to cast out demons.