Summary: Jesus Christ specializes in bringing order out of chaos when demonic activity seeks to prevail in His house
Against the backdrop of this story is a very familiar scene where Jesus has taken the inner circle of His disciples up to the mountain in what has now been termed by theological scholars ‘The Mount of Transfiguration’; because in a real sense Jesus is transfigured before their very eyes. It is at that point on this mountain where the P.A. System of Heaven is cut on; the windows of Heaven opens; and God gets on the boom box of eternity and says—as it is reported in verse 7—‘This is my beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased, Hear ye Him.’ Here is this scene with Moses and Elijah (two of the major players in Old Testament tradition) who are both major prophetic liberators of the Old Testament. And they are on this point of the Mountain of Transfiguration and they say to Jesus, ‘Let’s just chill up here. Let’s not go anywhere at all. Let’s just stay right here where we are’.
- The problem with staying right where they are; is that if they stay where they are they can’t fulfill WHO they are.
Get this—HE is called to be the Savior of the world; THEY are called to be His disciples and followers of the Most High God Himself. And the danger of getting caught up and enamored in Transfigured moments is that you want to stay & remain in a place that was only designed to get you PREPARED.
• It is a simple and important memo—never allow yourself to become emotionally enamored with that which is designed to be a temporary place.
• One of the dangers of always being in constant desire of staying in high moments of celebration is that if you stay on the MOUNTAIN you will miss and bypass your purpose in the VALLEY.
And so when they come back down they encounter this demonic boy. And one of the things that you must understand that the text makes very clear to us—is that while they are on the mountain of transfiguration that there was something going on in the valley. And that oftentimes while you are having your mountain-top experiences the Devil is already busy in the VALLEY orchestrating and devising your next destruction to meet you at point where you come off your high and your worship.
• And that’s the word for somebody today because someone today can testify that you are IN the mountain right now; but in about an hour from now you are going to leave the mountain and go back to some stuff that the Devil is already preparing for you right after your moments of celebrative communion with Almighty God.
And when they come back down, there is an interesting twist in the story that is bypassed and is often overlooked in the reporting of the story. This boy is brought by his father and I want you to hear the words of the father in verse 17, the father says that he has a ‘dumb spirit’. It is ‘alay-los’ in the Greek and it means that he is mute; but it is Matthew who gives a stronger connotation in Matthew chapter 17 verse 15 and the report is that he comes to Jesus Christ and says to Him, ‘Master, my son is a lunatick’, it is the word sel-ay-nee-ad'-zom-ahee and it means to be moontruck; to be crazy; buckwild, foolish, outlandish, fanatical, wild, ferocious and extreme.
Interestingly, one version goes so far as to say that he is epileptic; but he describes his son as a lunatic who possesses a “dumb spirit.” And watch what he says in verse 18—that “Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid.” And in verse 22 he says that his son keeps falling IN water and IN fire.
• He keeps falling into the same stuff. He keeps doing the same thing and ending up in the same places.
• He keeps falling in the same miserable cycle and he’s a lunatic.
• He somebody who doesn’t appear to be learning from his mistakes; because he keeps falling back into the same stuff over and over.
And I know right now I’m making somebody mad because you think I’m calling you a lunatic; but if I can use the text, the TEXT suggests that anybody who keeps falling into the SAME mess, the SAME activity, SAME depression, SAME dysfunction, SAME type of relationship—to the extent that you’ve been falling into BAD stuff so long that GOOD stuff seems dysfunctional.
Get this—you’ve grown accustomed to falling into the WRONG thing, that when the RIGHT thing comes along, IT looks abnormal.
And there is somebody who may not be a lunatic, but you’ve some luna-tickish behavior. You keep falling IN and OUT of the same SIN, Self-Inflicted Non-Sense.