As we continue through Luke’s Gospel, today’s post will deal with something found in Luke 9:37-50. You may want to look at that passage before reading this article.
As Jesus was coming down from the mountain where was transfigured before a few of His disciples, He was met with a very agitated crowd. It seems that a man had brought his son to the disciples. This child was tormented by a demon.
The disciples had tried to cast the demon out of the boy’s life. Unfortunately, even though they had success in the past, they were unable to prevail in this situation. The people were looking for the Lord’s intervention.
When the father approached Jesus and asked for His help, the Lord had an interesting response.
“O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.”
Luke 9:41 NIV
This took place well into Christ’s ministry in Israel. You would think that by now some of His teachings would have taken root in the people, especially His disciples. But, at this point, the Lord’s followers were very inconsistent in their understanding of spiritual principles.
Needless to say, Jesus was well able to rebuke and remove the evil spirit. The boy was returned to his father healed and whole, with no more problems in that area.
When I talked about this verse as I went through the book of Mark, the emphasis was removing unbelief though prayer and fasting. Luke, however, takes us in a different direction.
When the young man was restored, Jesus had an important statement to make.
“Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men.”
Luke 9:44 NIV
Jesus makes it clear that He’s not going to be with them forever. There’s coming a time in the near future, when the disciples will have to stand on their own spiritual feet. They need to be learning and growing with more fervency.
It seems to be the same with us sometimes. We would much rather have someone else do the hard studying, praying, and fasting. We want to live for ourselves, then run to the pastor or spiritual leader when we need serious prayer.
It’s interesting that in the next few verses we see the disciples arguing over which of them was the greatest. The Lord made it clear to them that if they truly wanted to be great, they needed to get back to basics and start with the faith of a little child.
That’s good advice. We get so proud of ourselves sometimes. We need to realize where we actually are in the faith walk. There is no correspondence between physical age and spiritual age. You can be a middle aged adult and yet be an infant, sucking on a bottle, in the spirit.
As Jesus was trying to get this across to them, one of His disciples – John – had a realization dawn on him. The Holy Spirit brought to mind an incident that had recently occurred. Now it was time for him to bring it up.
“Master,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.”
“Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”
Luke 9:49-50 NIV
Here’s a group of men who followed Jesus as closely as anyone could. Yet, when called upon to cast out a demon, failed to accomplish it. They meet another person who probably only heard Jesus speak a few times, but went out and exemplified His teaching.
We need to learn what they failed to realize. It’s not a competition in the body of Christ. We each need to be running our own race. I must concentrate on what the Spirit is trying to teach me. When I do that, then I’ll see the manifestation of God’s Word in me.
Question: Where are you in your spiritual journey?
© 2022 Nick Zaccardi