32 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
Leave it to the Pharisees to throw cold water on a miracle.
As Jesus said elsewhere, it wasn’t logical for the prince of demons to drive out his own kind, but their hatred for Jesus and what He was doing had no end. They were blinded by their own self-righteousness that they couldn’t possibly see the Messiah for who He was. Were they happy for a grown man who could now speak and live a normal life? Probably not. They didn’t seem to be interested in people. Sure, they used them as objects to try to trick Jesus, but they weren’t truly concerned about the people.
There’s a scene in the movie Patch Adams, where the instructing doctor is running down a list of pathologies of a particular patient to his students (in front of the cognizant patient) and asks for questions from the students.
After two questions, Patch Adams asks from the back, “What’s her name?”
“What’s the patient’s name?”
The doctor fumbled through the paperwork and found the name. The instructing doctor was so busy imparting knowledge that he didn’t have time to address the patient as a person.
These Pharisees were similar in their approaches. They had no desire to get to know the people Jesus touched and healed. That wasn’t and probably never was their focus. They were out to trap Jesus.
This is merely a reminder that ministry (whatever ministry you’re engaged in) is about people.
Not processes, not tools, not programs, but people.
We may need all of those, but when all is said and done, it’s about the people we minister to.