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In some way this boy has become a victim of “demon possession.” When we are told that the evil spirit “throws him down” (v. 18) the idea is to take hold of him and take possession of him. The evil spirit makes the boy his own possession. He throws the boy to the ground and causes convulsions to seize the boy. The boy no doubts has both physical and emotional scars from the injuries inflicted on him over the years.
As we come down into the valley with Jesus I want you to notice five factors we discover in the valley.
First, It Is In The Valley That We Discover The Crowds Of Hurting People Who Need Help.
Mountaintop spiritual experiences are wonderful things to experience. But there comes a time when we must go back down into the valley because that’s where we live. In the valley, the challenge is to translate those mountaintop experiences of intimate communion with God into valley living, where people are hurting and need our help. In fact what we have received from God on the mountain is empty and meaningless if it does not translate into service in the valley among men.
After you have had a mountaintop experience with God, you tend to think that things are going to go smoothly and when you arrive in the valley literally “all Hell breaks loose.” That is the standard pattern so
don’t be surprised. So be ready, because whenever God opens the windows of Heaven to bless you, you can be certain that Satan will open the doors of Hell to blast you!
God gives us those mountaintop experiences in order to equip us to minister in His name. But often we find ourselves attempting to do His work without very much success. So we roll up our sleeves and work even harder, only to fail. And most of the time we don’t understand why. Perhaps we have not worked hard enough! Perhaps we should have tried a different method? What is it that we have missed? That is the very subject of today’s text. No doubt as the disciples descended the mountain with Jesus they were filled with the afterglow of the marvelous experience they had just been privileged to be a part of. They were full of divine encouragement. But what they were about to confront was altogether different.
In verse seventeen we are told, “Then one of the crowd answered and said, "Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit.” Matthew adds in his account that the father got on his knees before Jesus. Dr. Luke (9:38) records him as saying “I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only son.” In our text the father, in agonizing detail, describes the pitiful condition of his son. Every verb the father uses in verse eighteen is in the “present tense” and describes a horrible, ongoing situation of demonic torment. “And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid."
The boy’s agony was demon-induced, causing him to scream, foam at the mouth and to have violent convulsions in which he threw himself into the fire.
Secondly, It Is In The Valley That You Find Out Whether You Have Anything To Offer A Hurting World. (9:18b-19)
•The Disciples – “
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