Chapter # 9 Paragraph # 6 Study # 2
May 2, 2010
37 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.
1901 ASV Translation:
37 And it came to pass, on the next day, when they were come down from the mountain, a great multitude met him.
38 And behold, a man from the multitude cried, saying, Teacher, I beseech thee to look upon my son; for he is mine only child:
39 and behold, a spirit taketh him, and he suddenly crieth out; and it teareth him that he foameth, and it hardly departeth from him, bruising him sorely.
40 And I besought thy disciples to cast it out; and they could not.
41 And Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and bear with you? bring hither thy son.
42 And as he was yet a coming, the demon dashed him down, and tare him grievously. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father.
43 And they were all astonished at the majesty of God.
- I. A Resistant Demon.
- A. Of the two-pronged presentation (Authority over illness; Authority over demons) of Jesus as the Son of Man, His dominion over the realm of spirits was the more critical.
- 1. It makes little difference whether one can manipulate the physical creation when the issue is "Life" because "Life" does not primarily consist of material issues.
- 2. "Life" is the interaction of "spirits" and "souls" and powerlessness in this realm is the same thing as "Death".
- B. The failure of The Nine was a direct assault upon the legitimacy of the claims regarding the efficacy of Jesus as the Redeemer Whose "power" resided in His ability to bring about the forgiveness of sins (the reestablishment of harmony between the Spirit [of God] and the souls [of men]).
- C. This demon's ability to "resist" The Nine was enormously deceptive because it was, in reality, an ability to "resist The Nine", but it looked like an ability to "resist" Jesus of Nazareth.
- 1. The "problem" with God's willingness to share His "Life" by sharing His power over the forces of death is that when those who are known to "share the Life" fail to "Live", it comes across as a failure of the God represented by them.
- 2. In a realm where everything finds its roots in "faith", anything that effectively blocks the ability to "believe" is catastrophic.
- a. In the case of The Nine, the "problem" was, more than likely, the inordinate desire to appear to "be" someone great.
- 1) That this is an accurate description of their lusts is revealed just a few verses further into our context (9:46).
- 2) That this is a major "block" to faith is established by Jesus in another text (John 5:44).
- b. In the case of the "great multitude", it is interesting that Luke does not record the fact that the father's faith in what he had heard about Jesus was destroyed by the failure of The Nine (Mark 9:22). The most he records is that Jesus was pretty "put out" by the unbelief (Luke 9:41).
- II. A Large Multitude and A Smattering of Individuals.
- A. The "multitude" has already been identified in 9:18 as a group which, though fed by Jesus just two verses before (9:16), persisted in its unwillingness to be changed by the experiences to which Jesus was subjecting it. There is a perversity involved in being unwilling to permit a most blatant level of proof from having its intended impact (Romans 1:18-21).
- B. The "father" was a part of the "multitude" (9:38 calls him "a man of the company") with one difference: it was his son who was in such dire straits. It is easy enough to be detached when circumstances are not crowding one's experiences; it is altogether a different thing when those circumstances contain a potent threat of death.
- C. The text declares that a great crowd "met" Him.
- 1. The term Luke chose to describe this "meeting" is only used outside of Luke/Acts in Hebrews 7:1 and 10. Additionally, Luke's use of the term is only four-fold (Luke 9:37; 22:10; Acts 10:25 and 20:22).
- a. In the Hebrews texts, the issue is the same -- Melchisedec "met" Abraham as he returned from "the slaughter of the kings" with a "blessing" -- and the point of these texts is that Melchisedec was greater than Abraham.
- b. The "meetings" were events in which certain factors came together that had significant impact upon the participants. It is hard to escape the notion that the "meetings" were orchestrated from on High.
- c. Luke's choice of terms is one in which the events are elevated to higher than normal "causes": what comes about as a result is relatively more significant than the run of the mill events of everyday living.
- 2. The fact is that it was Jesus, returning to The Nine, that "came upon" the multitude and not the reverse.
- a. The multitude is embroiled in a fiasco. A man whose only begotten son is demonized had decided to seek Jesus for His power over demons. When he located The Nine he discovered that Jesus was not there, so he sought help from them.
- b. His description of The Nine was that "they were rendered incapable" (passive voice).
- 1) The lesson of "the next day", from chapter seven, was lost to them. The only way a man can build upon a solid foundation is by embracing the words of Jesus (6:47-49). The words of Jesus to The Nine had been given in 9:1-5. But they were rendered powerless in a setting to which those words applied. And what put them in that state? Jesus defines it as "faithless corruption".
- 2) There is a potent connection between Luke 9:46 in its "fearful" setting (9:45) and John 5:44 and its "oppositional" setting.