I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they couldn’t.” Jesus replied, “You unbelieving and perverse generation, how long will I be with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.” As the boy was still approaching, the demon knocked him down and threw him into severe convulsions. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. And they were all astonished at the greatness of God (9:40-43a CSB).
Next in this section, we see a society unable to help to father or his son (9:40-41a). Here was the weakness of the church in its early form, nine of the Twelve apostles. Even though the apostles had cast out demons before this, they were unable to help now. They later asked the Lord why they could not (Mark 9:28-29). Many look to the church in their time of need. Unless the church has the wisdom to point them to the Lord Jesus Christ, they will be disappointed. A church without the power of the risen Christ cannot help this needy world. How are we demonstrating that Jesus Christ is able to save and to change lives?
We also observe the corruption of the world. Jesus was very troubled by what he saw. The whole scene reeked of sin, especially two sins. There was the sin of unbelief. The father had little faith, the apostles did not act in faith, and it is doubtful that the crowds believed that the boy could be healed. There also was the sin of religious perversity. The law experts were debating with the disciples, rather than being concerned about the needs of a boy made in the image of God (Mark 9:14). When someone is in need is not the time to engage in doctrinal debates. Yes, we must always serve others according to the truth, but I refer to foolish arguments when there are hurting people to be helped. Such evil talk can be no more than an attempted smokescreen to hide from the duty to help others. Let us minister to the hurting, the grief-stricken, and the emotionally distraught when they are before us. During this pandemic, we all have such opportunities.
Our hearts and thoughts should be fixed on the Savior who is able to heal (9:41b-43b). Rejoice in the Lord’s willingness to heal. The words “Bring your son here” are an invitation to the boy and his father to experience the Savior’s power. First, Christ ministers hope to the father. One of the first things you need to share with people around you is hope. We live in the age of despair, especially during this Covid-19 pandemic. People everywhere are falling deeper into the swamp of depression. Its leads to suicide. It also leads to alcohol abuse. My friends, we have hope in the Lord Jesus Christ!
Every sinner can be sure to find words of welcome from Jesus Christ. Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28 NLT; cf. Mark 10:14, 21, 49).
Most people who read these blogs are believers in Jesus Christ. But I don’t know where these words might be found by others. So I say this. Though you may have been alienated from God, he is willing to receive and forgive people that have not had room for him in their lives. You may have opposed God and not loved God. But today, there is good news! Step back into full reality and ask the living God to become involved in your life in a personal way. The way to God is through his one and only Son, Jesus Christ. He will never turn you away.
Let us consider Christ’s almighty power. He had power over the demon. He rebuked the evil foe and cast him out of the boy. At the same time he had power over physical injury. He healed the boy of all his afflictions. And Christ’s compassion. He gave the boy back to his father. Jesus “not only heals the paralytic but also forgives him (5:17-24), not only cures the centurion’s servant but also commends the centurion (7:2-10), not only restores to health the Gergesene demoniac but also makes him a missionary (8:26-39), not only heals but also comforts the woman who touched his garment (8:43-48), not only raises from the dead the daughter of Jairus but also sees to it that the child gets something to eat (8:40-42, 49-56)… just as the son of Nain’s widow was not only raised from the dead but then also very tenderly returned to his mother…” so now the boy is returned to his father (Hendriksen).
The Savior focused on his mission (9:43b-45). Christ reminded the disciples of his mission. He did this while the crowds were caught up in the experience of the miracle. They are only concerned about the wonder that occurred. His followers or learners must see deeper. Think about the significance! God’s Son is present! Repent! He directed them to pay careful attention to God’s plan for his Son. “All this should not make you forget the reason that I am here.”
The apostles failed to grasp what Jesus was telling them. What is the meaning of “It was hidden from them.” Who hid it from them? The test does not say, so it is useless to speculate. What we should learn is that in situations more than human agents may be involved. They visibly failed. The solution to their ignorance was right beside them. Yet they were afraid to ask Jesus! The lesson is not merely that good men may be spiritually ignorant. It is not an excuse for you or me to remain ignorant. Instead, Luke tells us what we should do about spiritual ignorance.
What should parents do when we are troubled about our children? We should pray. Call on the name of the Lord who is able to save. Spread the whole situation before the Lord. Tell him your sorrows and your fears. Ask him to be merciful to your child. The Lord Jesus cares about the sorrows of concerned parents. As long as a child lives and a parent prays, there is hope.
Will Christ receive children who come to him? Yes, he will! The gospels are filled with examples of his interest in children: the nobleman’s son, Jairus’ daughter, the widow of Nain’s son, and so on. The Holy Spirit has not recorded these mighty works of Christ for without reason. They are meant to show us the interest of the Lord Jesus Christ in children. To some people, children do not count. But the Lord cares about children. So must we. Let us be diligent in bringing our children to Jesus.
We should learn the need for more than amazement. Yes, the people were amazed about what had happened. But did it do them any good? Don’t rest in any experience of religious excitement until by grace you find the Son of God.
Grace and peace,