Miracle 25:
Casting the Demon out of the Lunatic Boy
   
                                                   

I. OBSERVATION

A. Passage Selected: Mark 9:14-29   And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them. 15 And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him. 16 And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them?  17 And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; 18 And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.  19 He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me. 20 And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. 21 And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. 22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. 23  Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. 24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. 25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. 26 And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. 27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose. 28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? 29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.

Also in Matt 17:14-21 and Luke 9:37-42

B. Progression Stated: Ideological

1.       The main idea revolves around the faith of all those involved.

2.       This is actually a picture of Christendom today. The Lord Jesus has already gone into the presence of the Father and is there in His glorified body. His apostles are there with Him. They have already gone on, and most of the church has already gone on. Moses and Elijah are there today. The Mount of Transfiguration pictures heaven today.

3.       But look at this poor earth and see the problem down here. This boy represents a mad earth today. I tell you, I believe that if we could get off and look at this earth and behold it as God looks at it, and probably as the angels look at it, we would come to the conclusion that man on this earth must be mad. He appears to be demon-possessed by the way he is acting and the things he is doing down here. The sad thing is that the man brought the boy to the disciples, but they couldn’t do anything. And the tragic thing about this hour is that the church is helpless in the presence of the world’s need.

4.       Right now, the organized church in desperation is reaching out, protesting and marching and getting involved in all kinds of things, and the world is actually criticizing the church because they feel it should get even more involved. But social matters are not our business! We ought to be able to help a poor demon-possessed boy today by presenting a Savior to him who will make him rational and who will bring him into a right relationship with God. Unfortunately, the same thing has to be said of the church, “They could not.” The disciples could not and we cannot.[i]

1. Context - Confession of Peter and transfiguration have just occurred.

a.       How many have heard about the mountain top experience followed by the valley of defeat?  What is wrong with that?  It is a different group of disciples.  This is a “meanwhile, back at the ranch” account.

b.      The transfiguration is a confirmation of the faith of the inner core of the disciples who have struggled with the concept that he has to die so he gives them a taste of the coming glory to bolster their faith.  While he is bolstering these disciples’ faith, the other disciples down in the village are having their faith tested.

2. Confusion of faithlessness  9:14-18  And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them. 15 And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him. 16 And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them?  17 And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; 18 And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not. 

a. The antagonistic scribes

1.       The disciples and scribes are arguing, but when Jesus shows up, the crowd leaves and runs to see Jesus. 

2.       Surely this didn’t settle well with the scribes.

3.       Why was the crowd amazed and run to see Jesus? Mark 9:15  Some say it was because Jesus’ face was glowing like Moses’ was after He cam down off of Mt. Sinai.

b. The agonizing father
(1) The hopelessness of the son

a.       Over the condition of his son.  The demons were really damaging the son. 

b.       Luke points out that it is life threatening.  It could kill him.

(2) The helplessness of the disciples

3. Conviction of faithlessness  9:19

a. The response

(1)     He convicts the disciples and others for their lack of faith. 

(2)     He makes reference to the fact that He is going to have to leave, and what are they going to do when He is no longer with them?  If they don’t have faith, they are going to be helpless.

(3)     What a wonderful statement! Bring him unto Me! We are attempting to do everything except bring lost men to Jesus Christ.[ii]

b. The request

He asks the father to bring the son.

4. Confrontation of faith  9:20-27

a. Demonstration of demonic power

(1)                 It demonstrates its control over the boy. This case, friend, is a bad case. It may not have been quite as bad as the case of the man among the tombs over in Gadara because he was a grown man and had been demon-possessed for a long time.

(2)                 This was a boy but had he gone on in this state he would probably have been as bad, if not worse, than the other case. So this father just casts himself upon the Lord Jesus on behalf of his tortured son. When we do that, friend, He’ll do something to help.[iii]

b. Demonstration of Divine power

(1)          The thought here is that Jesus turned to the father and asked him to believe—could the father have been responsible in any way for the condition of the boy?

(2)          He had a certain faith; but it was confession of his undeniable inner turmoil and doubt that marked his faltering faith as truly authentic, if imperfect, trust. Before God honesty is a wise course.[iv]

(3)          It is not a question of “if thou canst do anything”—the Lord Jesus can do everything. The question is, “If thou canst believe.” What about the father? The Lord Jesus told him that all things are possible to him that believeth.

(4)          [v]The father says, “If you can.”  I think somehow God is offended when someone says this. Jesus’ response is “If I can?”  My ability is not the problem.  Your faith is the problem,  “All things are possible to him who believes.”

(5)          Do we really believe that?  Do we pray with faith that God can change my situation?  We have not because we ask not. 

(6)          We shy away from the name it and claim it televangelist crowd and condemn them, but we have thrown out the baby with the bath water. 

(7)          What is your impossible situation?  Are most of your prayers over things you can handle even if God doesn’t do anything?

(8)          “I do believe...” What is happening with the father that should have happened with the disciples?  The father ASKED.  The disciples never asked for help.

(9)          Here is the father’s desperate plea of faith![vi]

5. Correction of faith  9:28-29

a.          Why were they unable?  Because they did not ask for help.  No prayer.

b.          Now, in the Lord’s answer to the disciples, While some manuscripts omit fasting, it seems crucial to the context. Jesus does not seem to have resorted to prayer in the course of this healing. Perhaps He refers to a life-style of prevailing prayer that yields a reservoir of spiritual power for just such a crisis as this. [vii]The emphasis is upon prayer.

c.          And today, friend, the church is weak because prayer is weak in the church.[viii]

II. INTERPRETATION

§          What is the connection between prayer and faith? 

§          This miracle stresses the need of the disciples to maintain constant contact in faith through prayer with the one person who has the power that they need.

§          There is especial need for prayer when involved in spiritual warfare. Eph 6:

III. APPLICATIONS

·          If I don’t pray, it reveals a lack of faith.  Either I don’t think I need help, or I think He can’t or won’t help. What is really going on is — I doubt the Power and Goodness of God.

·          Unbelief is a sure road to spiritual failure.

·          I should not question God’s ability, but I should pray for help with my faith.

·          Sometimes God may need to correct my faith, before He will help.

·          I can’t do it. = Humility

·          He can do it.  = Faith

·          I appropriate His power. =  Prayer



[i]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.

[ii]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.

[iii]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.

[iv]Thomas Nelson, Inc., King James Version Study Bible [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1988  by Liberty University.

[v]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.

[vi]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.

[vii]Thomas Nelson, Inc., King James Version Study Bible [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1988  by Liberty University.

[viii]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.