Morning Bible Study
Luke was a doctor and a travelling companion of the apostle Paul.
He wrote this book while Paul was in prison.
In writing this book about Jesus, Luke made use of other older documents
like the Gospel of Mark, as well as extensive eyewitness accounts.
Jesus’ ministry is well under way, and the people have been amazed not just
at the things He’s been teaching, but the things He’s been doing.
Last week Jesus took Peter, James, and John with Him up a mountain to pray.
While they were there on the mountain praying, Jesus’ clothes and face
became bright and shiny.
Moses and Elijah appeared.
God the Father spoke and told them
(Luke 9:35 NKJV) “This is My
beloved Son. Hear Him!”
9:37-42 Demon Boy
:37 Now it happened on the next day, when they had come down from the
mountain, that a great multitude met Him.
It seems like Jesus can’t get away from the crowds for very long. When He
comes down from the mountain with Peter, James, and John, the crowds are
waiting for Him.
When you go on a retreat, the most frustrating thing is that the world and
all its problems are still there waiting for you to come back.
:38 Suddenly a man from the multitude cried out, saying, “Teacher, I
implore You, look on my son, for he is my only child.
A voice comes from the back of the crowd as this man tries to get Jesus’
:38 I implore You, look on my son
implore – deomai – to
lack; to desire, long for; to ask, beg
This father is begging for help
: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.
:39 it convulses him so that he foams
convulses – sparasso – to
convulse, shake, tear; throw into a fit
This sounds like something that a few of you are familiar with.
Epilepsy presents itself to look similar to this.
Certain kinds of autism can look very much like this as well.
Does this mean that demons are the cause of epilepsy and autism?
No. Don’t be too quick to go there.
Mark records a little more detail:
(Mark 9:21–22 NKJV)
—21 So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said,
“From childhood. 22
often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him.
But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
Epilepsy and autism have physical, medical causes to them, while this boy
is being affected by a thinking, spiritual entity.
The father could see that this demon was purposely trying to destroy his
child by either burning him or drowning him.
:40 So I implored Your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.”
:40 I implored Your disciples to cast it out
implored – deomai – to
lack; to desire, long for; to ask, beg
This is the same word used to describe how this father was begging Jesus
for help (v. 38)
He had already begged the other disciples for help and they couldn’t help
Sometimes we disciples of Jesus are going to fail you. Don’t quit.
Take it to Jesus.
: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.”
:41 O faithless and perverse generation
Who is Jesus talking to? Is He talking to His disciples who were unable to
cast out the demon? Is He talking to the crowd that is following Him?
I think the answer is “yes”.
There is a lack of faith by all those involved.
: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
:42 the demon threw him down and convulsed him
The father and son are making their way through the crowd to Jesus when the
demon kicks into action.
threw … down –
rhegnumi – burst or break asunder,
break up; to tear in pieces; to dash down, hurl to the ground
convulsed – susparasso – to convulse completely
This is related to the word the father used to describe his son’s
convulsions (v.39), but it has an added prefix to it, which intensifies it.
Doctors have different classifications for seizures, and Dr. Luke is
letting us know this was a big one.
It seems the demon is really putting a show on for Jesus.
:42 rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the child
You might think that all the child needed was for the demon to leave, but
that’s not true.
Luke the doctor adds that Jesus also needed to “heal” the child as well.
:42 and gave him back to his father
I love this picture of Jesus handing the boy back to the father, healed.
Satan wants to take and destroy your children.
Jesus takes what is given to Him, brings healing, and hands it back to the
one who gave it to Him.
:40 So I implored Your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.”
:40 but they could not
could – dunamai – to be
able, have power; to be capable, strong and powerful
This is the root of one of the words for “power”, dunamis.
(Acts 1:8 NKJV) But you
shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you
shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the
end of the earth.”
The Holy Spirit gives us “power” or “ability” to do the things that God wants
us to do.
Sometimes it’s to be His witnesses.
Sometimes it’s to do miracles.
Sometimes it’s to resist temptation.
The disciples lacked the “power” or “ability” to handle this situation.
Matthew tells us that after the incident was over, the disciples wanted to
find out why they were unable to handle the situation.
NKJV) —19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we
not cast it out?”
20 So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I
say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain,
‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for
you. 21 However,
this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
Jesus and Peter, James, and John had been on the mountain praying.
Perhaps if the disciples who were at the bottom of the
mountain were praying, they might have been able to cast out the demon.
Ready for Action
I think Jesus was frustrated with the disciples because they were not in
the condition they needed to be. They should have been able to handle the
situation, but they weren’t ready.
How can we be ready?
Ask for more faith
There are some things that we can have too much of…
Video: Kid Predicaments - Three
We can’t have too much faith.
Mark gives us some more detail about the exchange between Jesus and the
9:23–24 NKJV) —23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are
possible to him who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears,
“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
I love this. Even when we might be convicted over our own
lack of faith, we can still ask Him to help our unbelief, and He will.
Jesus had been on the mountain praying, and probably fasting as well. (Mat.
While Peter, James, and John had been with Jesus, the rest of the disciples
were left behind.
They didn’t get to go to the retreat.
They couldn’t make it to church that Sunday.
They couldn’t make it to the Men’s or Women’s Bible Study.
And I would say it’s a pretty safe assumption to say that
they must not have been praying.
Prayer is hard work.
It requires you use a certain set of spiritual “muscles”.
Muscles require exercise.
When you first start training, it isn’t easy getting up in
the morning and spending time with God.
Video: Rocky “morning” training
When Rocky first started training, he couldn’t run too
far. But that’s the whole point of training, to stay at it and increase your
Video: Rocky Training – Gonna Fly
Build up your prayer muscles. It takes training.
Remember the “PUSH” lesson from last week about
prayer? P.U.S.H. = Pray Until Something
Happens… I have a story…
PUSHING AGAINST THE ROCK
There was a man who was asleep one night in his cabin when
suddenly his room filled with light and the Savior appeared. The Lord told the
man He had a work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his
cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all
his might. This the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun
up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of
the unmoving rock pushing with all his might. Each night the man returned to
his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.
Seeing that the man was showing signs of discouragement,
Satan decided to enter the picture placing thoughts into the man’s mind such
as; “You have been pushing against that rock for a long time and it hasn’t
budged. Why kill yourself over this? You are never going to move it? etc.”
Thus, giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he
was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man even more. “Why
kill myself over this?” he thought. “I’ll just put in my time, giving just the
minimum of effort and that will be good enough.”
And that he planned to do until one day he decided to make
it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord. “Lord” he
said, “I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to
do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged
that rock a half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?” To this the
Lord responded compassionately, “My friend, when long ago I asked you to serve
me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock
with all your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you
that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to me,
your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But, is that really so?
Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewed and
brown, your hands are callused from constant pressure, and your legs have
become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much and your
abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven’t moved the
rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your
faith and trust in My wisdom. This you have done. I, my friend, will now move
Sometimes the act of prayer is more about strengthening
our prayer muscles than what we think are results.
Paul wrote to Timothy,
(2 Timothy 4:2
NKJV) Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season.
Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
Don’t think that Sundays are the only time that God wants
to work in your life.
Don’t think that God is only going to use you in certain
God is looking for men and women who are ready to be used
at ANY time.
A young lady busied herself getting ready for a blind date.
This was not just dinner and a movie; her date had planned dinner at an
exclusive downtown restaurant with live music and dancing. Wanting to make a
good first impression she had taken the day off work. She cleaned her
apartment; she went out that afternoon to have her hair done and get a
manicure. When she got home she did her makeup, put on her best dress and was
ready for her date’s arrival. His expected arrival came and went, but she
continued to wait patiently.
Finally after waiting over an hour she decided she had
been stood up, so she took off her dress, let down her hair put on her pajamas,
gathered all her favorite junk food and sat down to watch TV with her dog. Sometime
later there was a knock at the door; it was her date. He looked at her
surprised and said, “What? I gave you an extra two hours and you’re still not
ready to go!”
Stay ready my friends.
When you are “ready”, you may find that you’re stronger in prayer than you
thought. I am still amazed that anyone
would think it a big deal to have me pray for them.
When you are building your prayer muscles, you will find that God is going
to want to use you in the most unexpected, unusual ways.
9:43-45 Coming Betrayal
:43 And they were all amazed at the majesty of God. But while everyone
marveled at all the things which Jesus did, He said to His disciples,
:43 they were all amazed
amazed – ekplesso – expel
by a blow, to cast off by a blow
We would say, “they were all blown away”.
They have seen Jesus’ amazing power at work when He cast out this demon and
healed the boy.
…But Jesus is going to change the subject.
:44 “Let these words sink down into your ears, for the Son of Man is about
to be betrayed into the hands of men.”
:44 Let these words sink down into your ears
Jesus wants the guys to pay particular attention to what He is about to
He is going to be betrayed and He will be put to death.
:45 But they did not understand this saying, and it was hidden from them so
that they did not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this
:45 they did not understand this saying
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t understand the things God has been doing
in your life or saying to you.
The disciples didn’t understand everything either.
:44 the Son of Man is about to be betrayed
The bigger picture
We too can get all caught up in the amazing, miraculous power of God to do
above and beyond what we could ask or think.
Yet don’t forget what was on the top of Jesus’ priorities
He is starting His journey to Jerusalem.
He is going to be betrayed.
He is going to die.
He is going to let this happen on purpose.
I think sometimes we can lose sight of what God considers to be the most
I hope that after the Paris terrorist attack, people are going to be
thinking about what is truly important in life.
As much as we want the pain to be healed and the suffering to end, there is
something more important to God’s heart than the suffering you are currently
God is more concerned that you are ready for eternity with Him.
This is why Jesus came to the earth and took on human flesh in the first
He came in order to pay for our sins, to make it possible for man to once
again become connected to God.
As difficult as you might think your life is, it is nothing compared to an
eternity being separated from God.
When we lose perspective, sometimes cruel things can be said to people who
might not be healed.
Even though our “demon boy” wasn’t healed because of a lack of faith, that’s
not always why God doesn’t heal. Sometimes
it is simply not God’s will for them to be healed at that time.
When Paul begged for healing three times, God said,
Corinthians 12:9 NKJV) “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in
Joni Eareckson Tada was paralyzed from the
neck down in a diving accident when she was seventeen years old. That was forty-nine
She has continued to be an example that you don’t have to give up if God
chooses not to bring the healing you are seeking. Listen carefully…
Joni has learned in her life that intimacy with God is
more valuable than getting out of her wheelchair.
Intimacy with God only comes through Jesus Christ and the
sacrifice He made when He was betrayed and crucified on the cross.
Let me challenge you today.
God can indeed “fix” your problems and amaze you.
But don’t ignore the most important thing God wants to do for you.
God wants you to actually know Him intimately.
There is nothing more important in life.
Let these words “sink down” into your heart.