As they were going out, a demoniac who could not speak was brought to him,and when the demon was driven out the mute person spoke. The crowds were amazed and said,”Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”But the Pharisees said, “He drives out demons by the prince of demons.”Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness.At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”
Isn’t it comical that Jesus drives a demon out of a mute and the story continues with a verbal rebuttal to Jesus action : He is told he is the work of the devil.(“He drives out demons by the prince of demons.”) The Pharisee exercised his right to freedom of speech as dictated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948:
Article 19:Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
This same Pharisee exercised the same right expressed in the first Amendment of the United States Constitution.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Jesus then speaks:”The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”
After the exorcism of the mute demoniac, the Pharisee is the first to speak, he is the first one to enjoy the fruit of the harvest. At the same time by using his right to free speech he also labors for this harvest. Both are required, protecting the right for people to speak freely and using that right. I think within this short little gospel passage lays the groundwork for political debate. Political debates that brought about both the first amendment in 1787 and the Universal declaration of human rights in 1948. It might even be considered a first century bipartisan agreement.The crowds were amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”