As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel. But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.(Mat 9:32-34)
I’m sure this has never happened to you. You’re cruising along as the best in the class or at the job or whatever, and then some annoying upstart comes and does a better job. Really tempting to try to shove that one back where he or she belongs isn’t it?
Here we see Jesus healing a man possessed by a devil. This is like stuff out of exorcism movies; not some warm and fuzzy tale about a guy who was just down on his luck. Possession, not depression. He’s not suffering from the hiccups or a relentless sneezing fit or insomnia or anything “normal.” Everybody apparently knew it (multitudes) so he’d been like that, and in a pretty obvious way, for awhile.
And so Jesus heals him and the rulers in charge are so happy this man is cured of his problem they… blame Jesus. Yes, that’s right. They tell everyone it is because Jesus is friends with the devil that he can do that. Awkward. That’s a bit like saying Eisenhower was successful in WWII because he had a secret phone line to Hitler, who shared all his troop positions with him. Only bigger, since we’re talking about devils who are fallen angels and scary as hell (literally). No wonder the Lord wasn’t a big fan of them.
This pride thing has not worked out well for us, historically speaking.