Friday, July 21, 2017

51 - Casting Out Demons

As Jesus was passing along from there, two blind men followed him, crying out and saying: “Have mercy on us, Son of David.”
After he had gone into the house, the blind men came to him, and Jesus asked them: “Do YOU have faith that I can do this?” They answered him: “Yes, Lord.”
Then he touched their eyes, saying: “According to YOUR faith let it happen to YOU.”
And their eyes received sight. Moreover, Jesus sternly charged them, saying: “See that nobody gets to know it.”
But they, after getting outside, made it public about him in all that region.
Now when they were leaving, look! people brought him a dumb man possessed of a demon;
and after the demon had been expelled the dumb man spoke. Well, the crowds felt amazement and said: “Never was anything like this seen in Israel.”

But the Pharisees began to say: “It is by the ruler of the demons that he expels the demons.” Mat. 9:27-34 NW

Two Blind Men

The Book of Matthew is the only synoptic Gospel that tells this story.  It is also in this story, in the Book of Matthew, that we find that the Jewish leaders are beginning to attribute the works of Christ to the devil.  Could it be because He could work miracles and they could not?

As Jesus was passing along from there.  Bible commentaries seem to agree that Jesus was just then leaving the house of Jairus where he had healed the twelve-year-old girl.  Maybe it actually happened this way or maybe it was just Matthew's style of writing but he connects all of these stories together as if they happened in immediate succession.  From the time that Jesus left the feast at Matthew's house, it has been one story connected to the next even including these two: one about the two blind men and one about casting out a demon.

two blind men followed him, crying out and saying: “Have mercy on us, Son of David.”  By saying Son of David, the Jews implied that they meant the Messiah.  Barnes,  These two men were determined to get their eyes repaired.  They followed Him crying out for mercy.  Christ, on the other hand, went into the house. 

Maybe Christ was testing them to see if they were really serious.  In any case, they went into the house after Him and there Christ asked them Do you have faith that I can do this?  They answered yes and Christ said, O.K. we will see whether or not you do.  Your healing will be in accordance with your faith.

After Christ touched their eyes both men received sight and Christ gave them the same instructions He had given the others, See that nobody gets to know it.  Don't go telling people about the miracles I can to do - I came to teach not to work miracles!

These two men, like all the rest of us, in our excitement, would have, after getting outside, made it public about him in all that region.

The Prince of Demons

Then, without any lull in the story, as the two men were leaving the house, people brought him a dumb man possessed of a demon.

In the Jewish understanding of demon possession, this man could not be helped. This was because the rabbis thought that you could not cast out a demon until it (the demon) told you its name, and a demon that made a man mute could never be made to tell you its name.  Guzik.   So this man really had no reason to hope that Christ could cast out the demon that possessed him except maybe because of the stories he had heard about the miracles Christ could perform.

Christ expelled the demon and the man who had been possessed spoke.  The people who witnessed the miracle were amazed and said, Never was anything like this seen in Israel.  Of course not, they would never have seen it before because the beliefs of the Rabbis made such a thing impossible for a Rabbi to do.  Christ had cast out demons before but these witnesses had never seen it happen.

Now the religious leaders, the Pharisees, come into the picture.  With a closed mind, the religious leaders say if we have never before seen anything like this it must have been done by the ruler of the demons.  There simply is no room for new thoughts or even new doctrines though it has been proven, from the Bible, that the old doctrines are not biblical.

It is the same discouraging attitude that anyone who questions the church's doctrines faces.  At the end of the dark ages, it happened to Luther, Zwingli and a host of others who questioned the teachings of the Roman Catholic church.  Many of the teachings of that church have been shown to be wrong but the church has not changed its stance.

In our own time, it happens to anyone who dares question the teachings of the Protestant church.

Please pardon a personal example:

In one of my posts, I stated my belief that the Bible is not "word perfect". It seems so obvious that we must make allowances for translation changes and human error, even in the Scriptures.  As it turned out, one of my readers, in several comments to me, condemned me to "hell" for saying that the Bible is not "word perfect".

Religious leaders who have been as dogmatically brainwashed as most of the churches' preachers have will not even open their minds enough to look at another point of view.  Because this fact bothers me so much I entitled this blog, THINK AGAIN!

Have a look at this simple example.  It is easy to prove, from our own Bible, that the doctrine of the Trinity is not a biblical teaching.  However, our religious leaders will not even study that issue with an open mind so as to find the truth!  Evan though some of them admit that the doctrine is not taught by the Bible they still continue preaching it rather than deciding to follow the truth.  Without thinking through the issues in which we disagree with them they would rather just say, "your doctrine is from the devil".