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Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time. The reading is from Gospel of Matthew 9:32-34.

Jesus healing a deaf-mute by Bartholomeus Breenbergh,1635

The Healing of a Mute Person – Matthew 9:32-34

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.

Matthew has two versions of this healing. The other is found in Matthew 12:22–24.

Jesus and Beelzebul – Matthew 12:22-32

Then they brought to him a demoniac who was blind and mute. He cured the mute person so that he could speak and see.

All the crowd was astounded, and said, “Could this perhaps be the Son of David?”

But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man drives out demons only by the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons.”

But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste, and no town or house divided against itself will stand.

And if Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself; how, then, will his kingdom stand?

And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your own people drive them out? Therefore they will be your judges.

But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

How can anyone enter a strong man’s house and steal his property, unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house.

Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

Therefore, I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.

And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

The source of this story of healing of a demoniacal mute person in Matthew 9:32-34, 12:22-32 seems to be drawn from Q source. It appears in Luke as

  • He was driving out a demon [that was] mute, and when the demon had gone out, the mute person spoke and the crowds were amazed. Some of them said, “By the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons, he drives out demons.” (Luke 11:14–15)

This spiteful accusation

  • But the Pharisees said, “He drives out demons by the prince of demons.” (Matthew 9:34)

foreshadows the growing opposition to Jesus in Matthew 11; 12.

The Pharisees link Jesus with “the prince of demons,”

  • But the Pharisees said, “He drives out demons by the prince of demons.” (Matthew 9:34)

who is named Beelzebul by Matthew in

  • But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “This man drives out demons only by the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons.” (Matthew 12:24)

and also by Mark in

  • The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “By the prince of demons he drives out demons.” (Mark 3:22)

The meaning of the name “Beelzebul” is uncertain; possibly, “lord of the house.”

  • It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, for the slave that he become like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more those of his household! (Matthew 10:25)
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