o) The Epileptic Boy Cured (Matthew 17:14-21)
14 When they came to the multitude, a man came to him, kneeling down to him, saying, 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is epileptic, and suffers grievously; for he often falls into the fire, and often into the water. 16 So I brought him to your disciples, and they could not cure him.” 17 Jesus answered, “Faithless and perverse generation! How long will I be with you? How long will I bear with you? Bring him here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked him, the demon went out of him, and the boy was cured from that hour. (Mark 9:14-29, Luke 9:37-42)
Christ came down from the mountain of transfiguration to the valleys of the sinners. On the mountain He had conversation with Moses and Elijah, but in the valley He came upon the boy possessed by the devil. This change was a shock to the disciples who were still captivated with thoughts of that glorious vision on the mountain. Christ brought them back to reality in the struggle to deliver the demon-possessed.
The disciples could not free the boy or cast the unclean spirits out of him, though they made attempts in the name of Christ. Their faith had weakened since Christ had spoken of His death. Their hearts were fearful, and they had become troubled and disturbed.
Christ calls such spiritual detachment and lack of submission to God’s guiding, “faithlessness.” He that does not abide in the will of the God but tries to carry out his own will is a selfish, stubborn unbeliever. The father and his demon-possessed son, the crowds, the educated scribes, and even the disciples, were not in line with God’s love and His plan of salvation. So they remained weak and without Christ’s power.
Christ’s victories over Satan are obtained by the power of His word; the sword that comes out of His mouth (Revelation 19:21). Satan cannot stand before the rebukes of Christ, though he has, for a long time, possessed the hearts of men. It is comforting to those who are wrestling with principalities and powers, that Christ has disarmed them and “made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” (Colossians 2:15).
Examine yourself! What hinders your union with Jesus? Why is your faith weak and powerless? Has your love become cold to men and to God and have you not yet died to your old self? Ask Christ to uncover your disobedience and to overcome your rebellious heart. Then bring to Christ the sick that are in need of healing by the Great Physician. Cry to the loving father, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!,” (Mark 9:24)
Christ immediately answered the prayer of the father, who was weak in the faith, and cast the demon out of his son. Christ’s power cannot be delayed by the unclean spirit, if we ask Jesus in faith to act. Turn to Christ, even if you are disturbed and unable to do anything. Ask Him to fulfill His victory in you and in those that are around you. Do not become downhearted or yield to difficult circumstances, but believe in the power of your Lord and pray to him insistently in faith.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, spirits and demons cannot stand in the way of Your beloved Son, because he is almighty, lowly, and holy. We thank You because Your Son freed the demon-possessed boy from Satan and cast him out. We ask You to strengthen our faith that, in the name of Jesus, all unclean spirits have to move from our beloved ones and friends that they shall not throw themselves in the mud under the domination of the devil, but be completely freed to follow You and abide in You forever. Amen.
QUESTION 161: How did Jesus rebuke His disciples for their failure in casting the demon out of the boy?