Powerless Faith 10-24-2021
From Mountain Top to Valley Low
From Mountain Top to Valley Low
Last week we closed the sermon with a classic Renaissance painting of the transfiguration by Raphael
Add Raphael Transfiguration Slide
It was an unusual transfiguration painting in the only the upper half of the painting depicted the transfiguration and the lower half depicted what was going on down below in the valley where the other 9 disciples were failing to cast a demon out of a young man.
Today we will see Jesus succeed where His disciples failed
We’ll hear from the master Himself why they failed and we will see a father with faltering faith
choosing to step up and declare his Faith in Jesus.
Let’s start in with verse 14
14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them.
This arguing with the disciples was no light discussion.
Some versions say wrangling with them
They were having strong words because the disciples tried to cast out a demon and failed.
They probably faced questions and accusation of
who do you think you are anyway?
Why would you think you could cast out demons, your not even priest or Rabbi’s
The scribes probably had plenty to say against Jesus too.
Let’s read on.
15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him.
Some think after the transfiguration, Jesus might have been glowing.
Like Moses was glowing in Exodus 34
29 When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the covenant law in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the Lord.
That certainly would have been amazing to see, if Jesus face was glowing.
But there is no mention of that so lets assume He looked normal at that time.
But picture this huge argument,
this heated argument going on and
everyone was oblivious to Peter, James, John and Jesus rejoining the group
“Oh hi Jesus, how long have you been standing hear?”
Jesus seeming sudden appearance, after being missing,
could have caused the amazement.
So Jesus asks
16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked.
The scribes had probably enjoyed grilling Jesus disciples,
putting them down
putting them in their place and
Now Jesus is back!
The scribes don’t answer his question
The embarrassed disciples don’t say anything either.
But then a man in the crowd speaks up.
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.”
This news frustrated Jesus,
can I say Jesus was frustrated?
I guess so since God the Father show the same kind of frustration in the Exodus
11 The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them?
The disciples were trained and authorized
they were empowered to heal the sick and cast out demons and yet they fail
they failed before this huge crowd.
Why did they fail?
It wasn’t because of lack of authority.
Back in Mark chapter 6
7 Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.
And they went out, and they had the power
12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
So why had they failed now?
They needed more prayer, before that faced that kind of demon!
I didn’t even know there were kinds of demons but
this is what Jesus said when they were alone with Him
29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”
They needed to have been prayed up,
before they faced that “KIND” of demon.
No I am not an advocate of learning all about demons,
all that men have discovered or guessed at
all that they have revealed
But I do believe in the power of Pray to God
gives power in our conversations
in our prayers for others
Matthew reports another reason Jesus gave for their failure, their lack of faith.
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.” 21
Faith was something the father had
and faith was something he needed more of
The Father had enough faith to bring his child to Jesus.
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.
But then when the disciples failed to help his son,
this is how he approached Jesus
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.”
What did the father say
If you can do anything
This man has a degree of faith.
The failure of the disciples has damaged it.
So this father also has some degrees of doubt.
how many of us can be said to have faith and doubts too?
How does Jesus deal with this man.
Does he cast him away for having both faith and doubts?
No, He does not.
Isaiah described the Messiah this way
3 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;
Jesus gently encourages the man to take a stand for his faith
23 “ ‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
Does the man, does the father make a stand for his faith?
What does he declare?
24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
You think the fathers faith will be helped when Jesus heals his boy?
You bet his faith will grow
and more than it would have without declaring his faith.
So it’s time for Jesus to act, to do his work
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.”
He commanded two things to this demonic spirit
Since seizures tend to be intermittent,
it may be that the spirit came and went in the child's life,
or it appeared that way since he wasn’t always having seizures.
Jesus command would keep the demon away, no matter what.
You can probably guess what happened next
26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.”
The crowd thought the boy was dead, but I don’t think he was, or Mark would have made a point of telling us
here is another person Jesus raised from the dead.
So the boy was just worn out.
Then Jesus took his hand and raised him up.
27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
Jesus demonstrates His power when he reaches out with his right hand.
How did Jesus bring the synagogue officials daughter back to life
With a command and
taking her hand.
How did Jesus heal Peters mother in law
He took her by the hand and she got up and served them
feeling all better.
When Peter walked out to Jesus on the water and his faith failed
and he started to sink,
thinking he was going to die,
Jesus took him by the hand,
and brought him back to the rest of his life too.
And in Jesus name, Peter later took the hand of a
crippled man, begging at the temple and
raised him up to good health
in Jesus name.
Everyone who has ever been saved
pulled up from their life of sin and despair
has spiritually felt Jesus tug
his help hands in our life.
Oh and here is the last verse before Jesus told them prayer was what they were missing
in having the power to cast out that demon
28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
What else can we say about this passage?
The father included himself in the request for healing of the son.
If you have ever had to be a care giver, you can understand that
the whole family is drawn down and in his case tormented by
the songs needs.
The sons problems sound like Epilepsy but the father saw a malevolent pattern and when and how his son’s seizures happened.
a demon was trying to kill his son
or trying to torment their lives, trying to keep him safe from fire and water.
Why is it that the disciples, hadn’t prayed enough to cast out that demon?
Was it ignorance they didn’t know how important prayer was
Was it laziness they just hadn’t put out the effort
Was it self confidence I can handle this now,
that one can catch us as we
gain confidence in the things we can do.
I found a poem that describes the problem and solution to being too busy
Into the Day By Martin Wiles
INTO THE DAY
I got up early one morning
And rushed right into the day;
I had so much to accomplish
I didn’t have time to pray.
Troubles just tumbled about me
And heavier came each task.
Why doesn’t God help me, I wondered,
He answered, "You didn’t ask."
I tried to come into God’s presence,
I used all my keys at the lock,
God gently and lovingly chided
"Why child, you didn’t knock."
I wanted to see joy and beauty,
But the day toiled on gray and bleak,
I called on the Lord for the reason-
He said; "You didn’t seek."
I woke up early this morning
And paused before entering the day.
I had so much to accomplish
That I had to take time to pray
Copied from Sermon Central
If you want God’s power in your life
spend time with Him.
I needed that reminder
Perhaps you did too.