32 As they went out, behold, they brought to Him a man, mute and demon-possessed.
33 And when the demon was cast out, the mute spoke. And the multitudes marveled, saying, “It was never seen like this in Israel!”
34 But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons.”
35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.
36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.
37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.
38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”
The account of the dumb man only appears in Matthew.
ruler of demons (v.34) — Satan. This is the first recorded time that the rulers of Israel accused the Lord of blasphemy.
cities and villages (v.35) — in Galilee
sheep having no shepherd (v.36) — Numbers 27:17; Ezekiel 34
But what scenes met His eye as He passed thus ministering among the crowds of people? He beheld them as worn out, harassed and cast away as sheep not having a shepherd. His loving heart was moved with compassion for them. In this loving sympathy He reveals Himself as the Shepherd of Israel. Long before His Spirit in the prophets had spoken of the scene we behold here. “Son of Man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds: Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do not feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flock? … And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd; and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, where they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill; yea, My flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth and none did search and seek after them” (Ezekiel 34). In the same chapter we read what Jehovah the Shepherd of Israel says: “I will both search My sheep and find them out … I will seek out My sheep … I will bring them out from the people and gather them from the countries … I will feed them in a good pasture … I will feed My flock and I will cause them to lie down … I will seek that which was lost … I will make with them a covenant of peace,” etc. He came thus to His own as the Shepherd, but they did not want Him. — Gaebelein, pages 201-202.
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