The disciples could not drive out a demon. They tried and tried. How many demons did Jesus give them power and authority to drive out? All demons, yet they failed. Have you ever failed as a disciple and follower of Jesus? I certainly have. When I fail ministering to others, or fail personally, I’ve learned there’s a spirit involved I could not handle. It’s not that I didn’t try. How about you? Ever fail as a Christian?

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE CHAPTER 9

The Disciples Could Not – Luke 9:37-44

By Delbert Young

The Disciples Could Not - video audio notes

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The Disciples Could Not – Luke 9:37-44

Scriptures: Luke 9:37-40; Luke 9:1; Luke 9:41-43; Deuteronomy 32:5; Deuteronomy 32:20; Deuteronomy 32:28; Deuteronomy 32:35; Revelation 15:3; Mark 9:22-24; Luke 9:41-42; Mark 9:28-29

As you recall, Jesus took Peter, John, and James up a mount to pray with him. There Jesus transfigured in their presence. During the awesome experience, Moses and Elijah appeared. Peter, John and James, in a hupnos – hypnotic supernatural sleep or trance, actually saw and heard departed souls in an afterlife state. We talked about our seeing and hearing departed souls today. We talked about our having a hupnos supernatural experience and it giving us a glimpse into the spiritual world. Their experience either happened at night or they stayed the night as we read,

Luke 9:37-40 The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him. A man in the crowd called out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. 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. I BEGGED YOUR DISCIPLES TO DRIVE IT OUT, BUT THEY COULD NOT.”

The father begged the “disciples” plural. They all tried to drive out the spirit. It was not that “they” (plural) “would not” drive it out. It’s “they could not.” They tried and tried, but “they could not” even though…

Luke 9:1 When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out ALLDEMONS

How many demons did Jesus give them power and authority to drive out? All demons, yet, “they could not.” They failed.

Have you ever failed as a disciple and follower of Jesus? I certainly have. When I fail ministering to others, or fail personally, I’ve learned there’s a “spirit”involved that I “could not” handle. It’s not that I didn’t try. How about you? Ever fail as a Christian? It’s not that you were not trying. There’s something spiritual about failing as a Christian. Why do we fail when ministering to people and fail personally?

Jesus coming from the mountain experience found his disciples in a state of pandemonium. Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s gospels all write of this event (Mat 17; Mar 9). All show the stark contrast of the mount experience and the humanity experience. They came “down” literally and spiritually from a supernatural mountain experience reentering the mess of humanity. They went from majesty to tragedy, from the dazzling vision of the glorified Christ, Moses, and Elijah to the insanity of humanity. No wonder Peter said, “Let’s build shelters and stay here.”

Jesus found the disciples surrounded by a crowd ready to riot. A crowd led by the teachers of the law (scribes KJV) “arguing” – suzeteo {sood-zay-teh’-o} dispute, question – with the disciples (Mar 9:14). There were obviously loud combating voices.

What caused this chaos and arguing? It was the disciple’s failure to drive out the spirit from a boy. The big crowd, including the teachers of the law, watched the disciples fail. People are watching us and even wanting us to fail. Somehow, in the mind of the lost, if Christians fail, it justifies them. Sometimes failure brings chaos.

The disciple’s failure gave place for the teachers of the law to criticize, discredit, and argue concerning the authenticity of Jesus and his disciples. You can hear it. “If you’re such ‘men of God’ and Jesus is the Son of God as he claims, why can’t you help the boy? This father brought his son for help and all they find is you! You’re some help!”

Frequently, people come to Life Gate in dire situations – their family is being destroyed, or they’re fighting addictions, or they are ill in their bodies. They come to find Jesus and receive help. Instead, all they find is me – just a disciple. I’ve had people depending on me, as this father depended on the disciples, and I failed. My words, my actions, my preaching, my teaching, my prayers, or maybe what I didn’t do failed to help them. People come to Life Gate and to churches everywhere to find Jesus. All they find are… Christians. The good news is if they can get past the attack of doubt, Jesus is on the way. People will always fail us, but Jesus is coming down the mount to our mess of humanity.

When the crowd saw Jesus approaching, they began running (Mar 9:15) toward him. An angry crowd running toward you would be a bit intimidating. As this happened the father “called out” – anaboao {an-ab-o-ah’-o}to raise a cry, to cry out. The Amplified Translation says he “shouted out.” The running people were yelling out their needs each attempting to shout over the others. Of all the voices yelling in the crowd Jesus heard this father. How loudly do you cry out to Jesus in your need? In the mess of humanity Jesus hears you and your need.

This father pushed through the crowd holding on to his only son explaining to Jesus how a sinister force – spirit – seizes him and was destroying his son. At that moment, the boy screams, goes into convulsions, and foams at the mouth. The violent spirit would slam the boy into fire and water (Mar 9:22, 25). Also, the boy couldn’t hear or speak (Mar 9:17). It was a sad situation as a broken hearted parent pleaded with Jesus to help his son. Parents, sometimes this is what it takes – pleading with Jesus.

We’ve talked about demons sufficiently studying Legion, the man full of demons (Luk 8:30). I’m not going to go through demonic presence again, but I do want us to notice how frequently Jesus encountered demons. It’s constantly. We don’t take demonic activity and its evilness serious enough today. You and I encounter evil spirits far more frequently than we realize.

This dad knew something was fatally wrong with his boy. He realized it was aspirit – spiritual. Dad, Mom, don’t discount negative spiritual activity happening with your child. You don’t have to go “weird” with it, but consider the possibility and “cry out” to Jesus. Learn from this passage how to help your children.

So, what did Jesus do?

Luke 9:41-43 “O UNBELIEVING AND PERVERSE GENERATION,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and PUT UP WITH YOU? Bring your son here.”

This seems out of context, but it’s not. Before addressing the spirit, Jesus rebuked the generation. The generation had a part to play in this poor boy being seized by the spirit. Their generation wasn’t ministering to people. It was arguing about belief and religion. It was allowing their children to be destroyed by demonic activity. Jesus said, “This generation is perverted!” What is our generation doing to our children and grandchildren? What would Jesus say to our generation?

I will only skim the following: its information you need to know and connects with things we’ve taught concerning the termination of Judaism. I’ll give the notes and references. Jesus wasn’t frustrated with his disciples as most commentators say. Jesus was at the end of himself with that perverse generation. Jesus despised that generation and didn’t want to be around it – “how long shall I put up with you?” Why did he feel this way? It is difficult to imagine a more religious generation than the generation of Jesus’ day. They were religious to the maximum. They were consumed with religious laws, duties, and rituals. Their religion was actually their god. Yet, Jesus despised the religious generation. There was a boy tremendously troubled by an evil spirit and all they wanted to do was argue. Their religion didn’t help people. It actually allowed the evil presence.

An “unbelieving and perverse generation” wasn’t a statement Jesus simply came up with in his frustration. It’s a direct reference to a passage referenced as the “Song of Moses” (Deu 31:30-32:47; Rev 15:3). Those religious teachers of the law knew exactly what he meant. It’s a prophesy by Moses concerning the generation of Israel upon whom God’s judgment would come, terminating the law of Moses. We can’t read the entire song, but let’s look at a few verses speaking of Israel’s relationship with God at a time called the day of disaster and doom (KJV – “day of their calamity”).

(KJV) Deuteronomy 32:5 They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a PERVERSE AND CROOKED GENERATION.

(NIV) Deuteronomy 32:5 They have acted corruptly toward him; to their shame THEY ARE NO LONGER HIS CHILDREN, but a WARPED AND CROOKED GENERATION.

Then in verse 20…

(NIV) Deuteronomy 32:20 “I will hide my face from them,” he said, “and see what their end will be; for they are a PERVERSE GENERATION, CHILDREN WHO ARE UNFAITHFUL.

The teachers of the law knew exactly what Jesus referenced.

Deuteronomy 32:28 They are A NATION without sense, there is no discernment in them.

Deuteronomy 32:35 It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their DAY OF DISASTER is near and their doom rushes upon them.”

The Book of Revelation speaks of this song of Moses and tells about this event coming upon that generation.

Revelation 15:3 and sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb: “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages.

That generation was the generation who sang the song of Moses.)

After blasting the crowd and teachers of the law with “O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus said “bring your son here.” Mark’s gospel tells of this conversation between the father and Jesus.

Mark 9:22-24 “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.” “‘IF YOU CAN’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

Though Jesus performed hundreds, maybe thousands of miracles, their unbelieving and perverse generation continued in unbelief that Jesus is the Son of God. Even Jesus was amazed at their unbelief (Mar 6:6).

Luke 9:41-42 Bring your son here. Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. BUT JESUS REBUKED THE EVIL SPIRIT, healed the boy and gave him back to his father.

What did Jesus do to the demon? Rebuked – epitimao {ep-ee-tee-mah’-o} – to tax with fault, rate, chide, rebuke, reprove severely. Did Jesus speak to the demon? My point is when dealing with demons, you’ve got to speak and rebuke it.

Jesus said, “Bring your son here.” When the demon approached Jesus, it threw the boy to the ground convulsing. The evil spirit didn’t come out because the presence of Jesus was there. It actually became viler in the presence of God. We’ve got to come to the place where we can rebuke evil spirits. I know it’s not comfortable, but spirits don’t come out on their own.

Even though the disciples failed, Jesus was successful. He always is. Even though I fail, Jesus never does. When people truly want help and deliverance, Jesus will always help them. If a parent truly wants help for their child, they will press through the crowd, press through the failure of disciples, and Jesus will show up.

Mark tells us how the disciples wanted to know why they failed. I believe this gives insight and explains why we fail.

Mark 9:28-29 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “THIS KIND can come out ONLY BY PRAYER.”

King James says, “prayer and fasting.” That’s a great question. An insufficient prayer life will cause failure spiritually and failure personally. That’s convicting and should be.

Jesus said, “This kind.” What kind? There are different “kinds” of evil spirits? The ability to minister to some “kind” of people under spiritual assault requires much prayer and even fasting. With some kind of situations I need to spend more time with God if I’m going to successfully minister. We will all face situations we can handle easily, but we will all face the “kind” of situations requiring we get our prayer life in order.

We’ve talked a lot about prayer these past weeks. We’ve seen Jesus will ask us questions when we pray (Luk 9:18-20). He asked his disciples, “Who do the crowds say I am? Who do you say I am?” The questions are always so we will be prepared for something in our future. We’ve seen in prayer, we can experience visions into the supernatural (Luk 9:28-36). We’ve seen today how our failure to minister to people and failure in our own lives is related to our inadequate prayer lives. Some “kind” of situations are only handled with prayer. We will never experience the success we desire spiritually or personally without a sufficient prayer life.

Other Related Sermons:

Jesus Assaults the Temple – video audio notes Luke 19:45-20:8

Resurrection Whose Wife Will She Be? video audio notes Luke 20:27-40

Vineyard, May This Never Be! video audio notes Luke 20:9-19

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young