No matter how often I read about it I am shaken, startled, and saddened at the response of religious people to the work of God. Jesus healed a man speechless because of a demon of silence. When the man spoke the religious people (the ones who go to church service and sit on committees and contribute to new furnaces and a roof or two) condemned Jesus.

In a twisted and grotesque perversion the religious lay people (Pharisees) did not praise God, or compliment Jesus or pat the healed man on the back, they discounted EVERYTHING that had just happened and pronounced that Jesus healed by calling on the devil.

“As they were leaving, some people brought a man to Jesus. The man was unable to talk because he was possessed by a demon. But as soon as the demon was forced out, the man began to speak. The crowds were amazed and said, ‘We have never seen anything like this in Israel!’ But the Pharisees said, ‘He forces demons out of people with the help of the ruler of demons’ ”(Matthew  9:32-34 God’s Word).

I wish I could say nothing like this has ever happened in my presence, but it has. Congregations still destroy prophets. Leaders still prefer gossip over justice. People are still refused membership in a denomination or congregation for unbiblical reasons (as though that really mattered to God anyway).

Hannah Giving Her Son Samuel to the Priest

Hannah Giving Her Son Samuel to the Priest (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How many miracles have you missed out on because you didn’t like who performed it in Jesus’ name? (I’m not talking about the charlatans, who strangely seem to have a big following). How many times have you missed a close encounter of the third kind with Creator because it didn’t happen in your congregation or according to the teaching of your denomination or because it happened in a church building, if you happen to hate organized religion?

God rules. Only God has real authority. Only Jesus adds names to the book of life. Only Paraclete seals the saved for eternity.

Next time an unexpected person speaks because God moved them or healed them, listen. Like very young Samuel do as Eli taught: “Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. ‘Go, lie down,’ Eli told Samuel. ‘When he calls you, say, “Speak, Lord. I’m listening” ’ ” (1 Samuel 3:8b-9a God’s Word).