Sermon #61††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† Luke Sermons
†††† Title:† ††††††††† When They Came Down
†††† Text:††††††††††† Luke 9:37-45
†††† Subject:†††††† Christís Healing of the Demon Possessed Young Man
†††† Date:††††††††††† Sunday Evening Ė
†††† Tape #†††††††† W-61b
The title of my message tonight is When They Came Down. As the title implies, the things recorded in our text took place† the next day, after our Lord, Peter, James and John came down from the Mount of Transfiguration.
†††† This event is given to us by Matthew, Mark and Luke. Mark and Luke give us the more detailed accounts of it. I asked Larry to read Markís account earlier, so that you would have it fresh in your minds. I will be referring to both the passage in Mark and to our text here in Luke 9:37-45.
†††† When our Lord Jesus came down off the mount of transfiguration, he found his disciples being harassed by the scribes, apparently because they were not able to perform the miracle of casting out the demon which possessed a young man who was brought to them. When the Lord Jesus saw what was going on he immediately stepped in to defend the nine disciples who were baffled by their inability to perform this miracle and baffled by the learned scribes who were disputing with them. He asked the scribes why they were disputing with (questioning) his disciples. But, before the scribes said anything, before any of the disciples said anything, a man butted into the conversation. Normally, in polite society, such an intrusion is looked upon as rudeness and is disdained.
†††† However, this manís intrusion was most welcome because it was the intrusion of a desperate, loving father for his demon possessed son.
†††† This poor man cared nothing for the dispute between the scribes and our Masterís disciples. His son was possessed of the devil! His son was pining away under satanic influence. His son was perishing and he was helpless! Therefore, he came directly, as soon as he had opportunity, to the only One who could help. He brought his son to the Son of God, seeking mercy, grace, and life for his son by the power of our great and glorious Savior. Read the story with me in Luke 9:37-45.
(Luke 9:37-45)† "And it came to pass, that on the next day, when they were come down from the hill, much people met him. (38) And, behold, a man of the company cried out, saying, Master, I beseech thee, look upon my son: for he is mine only child. (39) And, lo, a spirit taketh him, and he suddenly crieth out; and it teareth him that he foameth again, and bruising him hardly departeth from him. (40) And I besought thy disciples to cast him out; and they could not. (41) And Jesus answering said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you? Bring thy son hither. (42) And as he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down, and tare him. And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father. (43) And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God. But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, he said unto his disciples, (44) Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men. (45) But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying."
I. The first thing I see in this passage is the fact that Mountain top experiences seldom last very long.
The contrast between this paragraph and the one preceding it is very striking and must not be overlooked. We move from the mount of transfiguration to the valley of sorrow, from the vision of Christís glory to a sad, sad history of Satanís power and influence in the life of one young man.
†††† Peter, James, and John had been in the blessed company of Moses and Elijah. They had just heard God the Father speak from heaven. They had just seen the Son of God transfigured before their eyes. Now they come into the scene of conflict, pain, weakness, and misery. Here is a boy in agony, tormented by the devil. Here is a father with a broken heart, in deep distress. Here is a band of weak disciples baffled by Satanís power and unable to help.
†††† That is a fairly vivid picture of every Christianís life in this world. Mountain top experiences are delightful, blessed times; but we must not expect them too often or expect too many of them. Most of the believerís life is spent in conflict with the world, the flesh, and the devil. Our blessed visions of glory, those sweet foretastes of heaven, those seasons spent on the holy mount with the Lord are to be seized and enjoyed when God gives them. But that is the exception, not the norm. When we are in the valley, let us try always to remember thatÖ
∑ The Lord Jesus comes to his disciples in the valley, just as he does in the mountain.
∑ He always comes, manifesting himself to us at precisely the right time.
∑ The sorrows and conflicts of our valleys are as much by divine arrangement as the joys of our mountain tops.
II. We are also reminded by this story that We are utterly and entirely dependent upon our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is brought out very
clearly in our text. Like Moses, when he came down from
†††† These disciples learned by humble experience a very needful lesson. It is a lesson we must learn, a lesson that must be burned into our hearts. You will find it in the words of our Lord Jesus Christ to his chosen disciples in John 15:5Ö
John 15:5† "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."
†††† This is a lesson contrary and bitter to our flesh. However, it is a lesson demonstrated over and over again in Scripture. We must not forget it. If the Lord leaves us to ourselves, we have no strength to do anything or in any way resist the devil. AskÖ
∑ Noah.†††††††††††††† Abraham.
∑ Moses.†††††††††††† Samson.
∑ David.††††††††††††† Peter.
†††† May God the Holy Spirit teach us daily that we are weak, weakness itself, and utterly helpless without the wisdom, presence, power and grace of Christ, which he alone can give us.
III. This story is also recorded upon the pages of Holy Scripture to teach us and warn us of THE HORROR OF SATANIC POWER.
Let no man or woman here imagine that Satan is a fictional force of evil. Let no young man or young woman hearing my voice laugh, and think, that Satan is just a religious boogie man conjured up by crotchety old men to scare little children. In Mark and Lukeís inspired narratives we hear a father describe the power and influence of Satan over his son in five waysÖ
(Mark 9:17-18)† "And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; (18) And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not."
(Luke 9:35)† "And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him."
A. †The demon possessing his boy was A FOUL SPIRIT.
B. This young man was possessed of A DESTRUCTIVE SPIRIT.
C. The demon which controlled this young man was A DEAF AND DUMB SPIRIT.
D. The demon possessing this child possessed his heart as well as his body as A LUNATIC SPIRIT (Matt. 17:15).
†††† Matthew describes his condition as a form of epilepsy which causes fainting and dumbness, kardiakos, ďa delirium of the heartĒ (Gill).
E. †This demon took possession of this young man as a mere child (Mark 9:21).
This is a matter of deepest importance. We must labor to do good to our children and to serve the interests of their souls, even from their earliest years. If Satan begins early to destroy them, we must begin early to save them. We must, to the best of our abilityÖ
∑ Control those who have influence over them.
∑ Choose their friends and companions.
∑ Instruct them in the Scriptures and the blessed doctrines of the gospel.
∑ Pray for them.
IV. We also see in this passage another of the numerous examples given in Scripture of THE DUAL NATURE OF THE BELIEVER.
This is brought out clearly by Mark (Mark 9:23-24).
(Mark 9:23-24)† "Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. (24) And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief."
Who can read those words and fail to see that faith and unbelief, righteousness and sin are found in the same person? The father of this child said, ďLord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief.Ē He believed. Yet, he had some doubts. He brought his child with hope. Yet, he was fearful. He seems to have expressed this honestly in Mark 9:22. He said to the Lord Jesus, ďIf thou canst do anything, have compassion on us and help us.Ē
†††† You may think, ďThatís not much faith.Ē You would be right in your thinking if you did. But it was enough. He took his son home completely freed of the demonís power. He had faith as a grain of mustard seed; but it was true, God-given faith.
A. †None of Godís people in this world are perfect, not even in a single area.
B. It is not our faith, neither its strength, nor its quality, nor its quantity that matters, but Christ, the Object of our faith.
C. Luke 9:43-45 shows us this fact: Not only is true faith very often weak faith, true believers are often terribly ignorant of many very important things.
Yes, all who are taught of God know the gospel. They all know all that they need to know to exercise true faith in Christ. All true believers know Christ. But it is a very dangerous thing for us to start trying to determine how much a person must know to be saved. It is not what we know that saves us, but WHO!
(Luke 9:43-45)† "And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God. But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, he said unto his disciples, (44) Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men. (45) But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying."
V. †We are taught here, by vivid example THE TOTALITY OF CHRISTíS DOMINION.
There are many who foolishly imagine that Satan and the demons of hell are rivals to God, that they are somehow out of control. Nothing could be further from the truth. The devil is Godís devil. He is under Godís control. God uses him to accomplish his own purposes. And when he gets done with him he will destroy him.
†††† Do you see this? Our Lord Jesus Christ exercises total dominion over Satan and his agents at all times. He speaks with almighty, sovereign authority, and Satan and his demons immediately, implicitly, totally obey his voice. Satan is strong, malicious, and busy. We are no match for the fiend of hell. But the Lord Jesus Christ is yet able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God by him.
∑ He will save his elect from Satanís power.
∑ Satan can never snatch us from our Saviorís almighty, omnipotent hands.
∑ Soon, the God of peace will bruise Satan under our heels (Rom. 16:20).
VI. I must not fail to call your attention to the fact that this story is recorded upon the pages of Inspiration to remind us again of THE PRIVILEGES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF BELIEVING PARENTS.
We cannot save our children. We cannot change their nature. We cannot give them life and faith in Christ. Many believing men and women have raised houses full of rebels. Let none of us arrogantly and ignorantly imagine that because children are wicked something must be amiss with the parents. Such talk betrays the pride and stupidity of a man who has never raised a family!
†††† Yet, having said all that, there are some things we can and must do for our children. We can, everyone of us, do for our sons and daughters what this man did for his son.
A. †He brought his son to the Savior, to the place where Christ was to be found.
B. He brought the Savior to his Son by fervent prayer.
C. He acknowledged his sonís condition to the Lord Jesus.
∑ Heís deaf and dumb.
∑ Heís a lunatic.
∑ Heís wicked to the core.
∑ Heís always been that way.
∑ Heís dying.
D. Mark shows us that his sonís desperate need was his need. --ďHave compassion on us, and help us!Ē
E. †He believed God for his son.
He could not believe instead of his son as a proxy. There is no such thing as proxy faith. But he did believe for his son. This man understood that foolishness is bound in the heart of every child. The rod of correction must be used to drive it from him; but only the grace of God can effectually deliver a sinner from the foolishness that is in him and from the power of Satan that rules him.
VII. Once more, there is in this passage of Scripture an instructive, beautiful picture of GODíS MIGHTY OPERATIONS OF GRACE.
Whenever God saves a sinner, there are certain things you can expect to see, and certain things you can expect to happen. I do not suggest by any means that all who are saved have the same experiences; but every believerís experience is similar. Death is death. Life is life. Grace is grace. And salvation is salvation. This is how God performs it. This is how the Lord God performs his mighty operations of grace in us. Let me show you just four things in this regard, and I will rap this message up. As I wrap up the loose ends of my message, I pray that the Lord Jesus will by his Spirit wrap you in the arms of his grace and do for you what he did for this young man who was possessed of the devil.
A. †First, when God saves a sinner, there is A DIVINE CALL. - ďBring thy son hitherĒ (v. 41).
∑ A Command to Providence.
∑ The Utility of The Word.
∑ The Commission of the Spirit.
B. Whenever the Lord Jesus calls sinners to himself, as they are coming to him, there is usually A SATANIC THROW (v. 42).
(Luke 9:42)† "And as he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down, and tare him. And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father."
†††† Satan is now in a rage because he knows his time is short (Rev. 7:12).
C. Third, when the Lord comes to give eternal life, there is A HOPEFUL SLAUGHTER (Mark 9:25-26).
He kills before he makes alive. He brings us down before he lifts us up.
Mark 9:25-26† "When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. (26) And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead."
D. Then, blessed be his name, when the Lord Jesus comes in saving power, there is A RESURRECTION FROM THE DEAD (Mark 9:27).
Mark 9:27† "But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose."
 Mark 9:14-29† "And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them. (15) And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him. (16) And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them? (17) And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; (18) And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not. (19) He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me. (20) And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. (21) And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. (22) And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us. (23) Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. (24) And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. (25) When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. (26) And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. (27) But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose. (28) And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? (29) And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting."