Summary: Jesus healing the possessed boy.
Healing the Possessed Boy
(Do Believers Suffer from a Lack of Power?)
Rev. Phillip A. Wright
Introduction: This morning we are going to take a look at one of the passages we saw about two Christmas seasons ago. I gave a message and preached on the differences in the Lord’s usage of the phrases “Little Faith and Great Faith.” This passage was one of the ones I mentioned that morning.
Attention: The problem as it unfolded before the Lord was that a father had come to the Disciples and made a request that they heal his son. They were not able to heal the boy. The father then went on to make the same request of Jesus. This was a Crushing Blow to the Disciples.
Today we will look at this story and pick out of it the Lord’s message for them at that time and the timeless truths while apply to us today.
Let’s read: Luke 9:37-42 37 Now it happened on the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, that a great multitude met Him. 38 Suddenly a man from the multitude cried out, saying, "Teacher, I implore You, look on my son, for he is my only child. 39 "And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out; it convulses him so that he foams at the mouth, and it departs from him with great difficulty, bruising him. 40 "So I implored Your disciples to cast it out, but they could not." 41 Then Jesus answered and said, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here." 42 And as he was still coming, the demon threw him down and convulsed him. Then Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the child, and gave him back to his father. (NKJV)
Need: Every believer needs to be able to recognize that their ability to be effective in the work of the Lord is wholly reliant upon their being fully surrendered to him all the time.
Textual Idea: Luke describes the events. When begged by a desperate father to cast a demon out of his child, nine of the disciples are unable to do it. The disciples’ inability is highlighted by the fact that another, who was not one of their number was, successfully casting out demons in that area (Luke 9:49-50 49 Now John answered and said, "Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us." 50 But Jesus said to him, "Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side.").
The problem which unfolds for us today is not that the disciples were unable to cast out demons. They had clearly done that before (Luke 9:1-6). The embarrassing problem was that these Disciples were unable to cast out this demon now. The Disciples’ frustration in today’s passage was that they could not help the demonized child. Often time’s believers get into a mutual admiration society and think that everyone is doing their best all the time. The sad fact is that this just is not true. So today, I want to cut straight to the chase and deal with the real issues not puff up the egos of the Disciples involved. Some of my comments today will ping your heart – I assure you they did mine.
Sermon Idea: The issue at hand is not a lack of power. Jesus’ words make it plain that the Disciples could have exorcised the demon from the child if they had prayed and fasted. They did not experience the power of God for two primary reasons:
• They did not feel the need to pray and fast. Folks, the power of God don’t come unless Saints pray and fast.
• We do not know specifically what these Disciples did, but we do know that it was not effective. There is only one way to do the work of the Lord. That’s the Lord’s way.
Interrogative: This morning’s question: When was the last time you prayed in earnest and fasted for something?
Transition: Our text this morning suggest four things that will bring this passage into clearer focus for them and for us.
1. The Return to Disappointment
Explanation: Remember last week, Jesus, Moses, Elijah, Peter, James and John were all present at the Transfiguration. This was a super spiritual high and the very next day, (they could not even rest in that experience for a few days) they were back with the “great multitude.” Notice in verse 37, Jesus did not come down and relax. No, the crowds met him. No rest for the weary. From out of the crowd, a man begins to cry out. This was burdened, hurt, scared, disappointed – he was a father whose child was possessed. How do you think he felt?