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Luke 9:37-50

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Luke 9:37–50 NIV
37 The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him. 38 A man in the crowd called out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. 39 A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him. 40 I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.” 41 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.” 42 Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the impure spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father. 43 And they were all amazed at the greatness of God. While everyone was marveling at all that Jesus did, he said to his disciples, 44 “Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.” 45 But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it. 46 An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest. 47 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. 48 Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.” 49 “Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.” 50 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”
Pray
Remind the audience of context
This passage flows from Jesus teaching on being a disciples and the disclosure of his glory on the mount of transfiguration
Keep in mind that we are about to start a 10 chapter journey to Jerusalem.
The disciples have agreed that Jesus is the Messiah = the fulfillment of judaism
Jesus has warned that he is going to the cross
Jesus has called his disciples to take up their cross and follow him
In the two scenes we are studying in this passage we see the disciples failure. They fail to cast out the demon in this boy and they fail to grasp that Jesus path to greatness goes through the cross.

Verse 37-43a

Summary of story
Jesus comes off the mount of transfiguration and the crowds are back.
A father with an only son approaches Jesus and says that his son is demon possessed + the disciples couldn’t do anything about it.
We are given a description of the demon’s influence over the boy: seizes him, screams, convulsions, foams at the mouth, regular and common experience, destroying him...
Jesus says “You unbelieving and perverse generation. How long shall I stay with you and put up with you.”
Jesus then heals the boy and restores him to his father.
The gospels of Matthew and Mark also give this account.
Matthew 17:14–21 NKJV
14 And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.” 17 Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. 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.”
Matthew 17:14–22 NKJV
14 And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 16 So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.” 17 Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. 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.” 22 Now while they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men,
Matthew 17:14–20 NIV
14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.” 17 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Matthew 17:
Matthew 17
Mark 9:14–27 NIV
14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. 16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked. 17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.” 19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” 20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. 21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” 23 “ ‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
Mark
What do we learn from these other two accounts:
In Matthew we get Jesus’ follow up conversation with the disciples about this healing.
Mark gives us more of the conversation between the father and the son.
All three accounts emphasis the disciples failure and the need for faith.
A Few Points
Parents: bring your kids to Jesus. Interceded for them. Ask God to work in their life.
Jesus is the great physician. He preached about the Kingdom and healed people. There is no reason why we should believe that the latter part of that ministry has ceased. Jesus can heal people today and an honest reading of these passages shows us that our faith or our friends faith can play a role in our healing.
We are in the middle of a spiritual battle. Demons are real. We have already looked at demonic activity in the world a couple of weeks ago, but here we see again the very real testimony of a demonic spirit afflicting a human with the intent on destruction. And here we see that Jesus has power over demons.
The disciples failed. And in Matthew Jesus told them that they failed because they lacked the faith to cast out the demon. And going one step further Jesus prescribed prayer and fasting to remedy that lack of faith.
Fasting
Fasting can be abstinence from a meal all the way up to 40 days with out food.
Fasting can be abstinence from a meal all the way up to 40 days with out food.
Consult your doctor
There are new found benefits to fasting: Netflix documentary on fasting, Intermittent fasting based on rhythms of the body.
It is not an act that earns you the favor of God. Instead it causes our body to effect our disposition so that the way we relate to God is pleasing: dependence upon him, ability to hear and say “yes”.
We have five senses: sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing. Our brain is processing all of that data. If you shut down one sense it can cause you to have a more acute spiritual sense.
(NIV)
since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. 4 For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him in our dealing with you.
Personal Experience:
3 since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you. 4 For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him in our dealing with you.
21 day Daniel fast and 10 day water fast in 2000.
Food can be an idol in our lives. I found myself taking pleasure in just walking the isles in the grocery story imagining the taste of the food.
Current intermittent fasting and the removal of sugar and gluten from my diet.
More energy, the ability to focus, good sleep, greater discipline and ability for self-denial

Verse 43b-50

Summary of the Story
The crowd is marvelling at Jesus
Jesus is telling the disciples (again) that he is going to be betrayed
The disciples just don’t get it
The disciples start to argue over who will be the greatest
Jesus uses a child to reframe the idea of greatness in the kingdom
The disciples recount how someone else was driving out demons and they tried to stop him
Jesus corrects them and says “whoever is not against you is for you.”
Some Points
Approval ratings are not a good indicator of what is ahead of you. Only God knows the future, and only God’s approval matters. Don’t bank your life on a worldly concept of success. Instead, seek to honor God and listen for his leading in your life.

Conclusion

If we step back for a minute and look at all that we have covered in Luke up till this point we see that Jesus is gathering devoted followers… not just a big crowd. Jesus wants people to become his disciples: those who passionately follow his teaching and example. This next section up through chapter 19 is primarily focused on shaping the disciples for the future.
Read ahead: (9:51-19:27)
Evaluate your own commitment to Christ. Are you a fan that just thinks about God on Sundays at church or are you adherent?
You may say “Josh, I want to be committed more. What does that look like?”
Understand that when you surrender your life to God and trust him, he gives you His Spirit. And God’s Spirit activates a desire for commitment to Jesus and then provides you with the motivation and strength to take the necessary steps.
Have you been baptised?
Community: Our view of Christian relationships change from coincidental encounters with like minded people, to God ordained friendships that we are committed to. These are Spirit-filled Christians who we worship with and who help us become what God intended for us to become. God can work through these other Christians in our lives as we gather on Sundays and share our lives outside of church. Slack, Sunday Worship, Compassion Center, Meals, Fellowship gatherings.
Claim:
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son...”
(NIV)
As disciples we are pressing in for more of God and for our own transformation. God wants to shape us into the image of Jesus. He does that over a lifetime in the context of a close relationship with him. The first three instruments that he uses to shape us is His Spirit in us, His Word, and other Christians.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
Practically speaking for Haven City Church:
Claim One Online Discipleship class
Sunday Bible teaching… Come to church regularly so that you can hear the Bible taught. Take notes with action points
Attend our Men’s or Women’s fellowship times once a month
Read the books on the welcome table
Contribute:
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
(NIV)
(NIV)
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
(NIV)
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
This isn’t just a flowery “I want to pay Jesus back for being nice to me.” Jesus paid for our lives on the cross and he has full ownership of us. We are at his disposal. What “Christ living in me” looks like will very from person to person. Again, the Spirit of God shows us what this looks like on a daily basis.
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Practically: 5 x 5, Serve @ The Compassion Center, Sunday Setup, Children’s Ministry
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