Take It To Jesus

Preached at Riverview Baptist 798 Santa Fe Pike, Columbia TN May 21 2017

Jesus-Said-What-400x400

Matthew 17:14-18 (KJV) And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, 15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. 16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and 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 suffer you? bring him hither to me. 18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.

The story that we’re going to see today is not just in Matthew 17:14-21, but also in Mark 9:14-29 and Luke 9:37-43. In these accounts a father is reduced to tears. His child has been afflicted with a terrible disease since he was very young.

For the young man to get better one thing had to happen.
One truth stands out.
One action must be done.

To find hope in a hopeless situation the only hope was to heed Jesus and do as He commanded in verse 17:

Bring Him Here To Me
What Is The Background Of The Story?

Jesus had been up on the Mount of Transfiguration. If you were here last Sunday night you know that Jesus was up on the Mountain and, while Peter, James, and John watched, Jesus was transfigured. His clothing shine bright light. His face shined, and the very power of God poured from Him. Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus on the mountain. This was not the first time Moses and Elijah stood with Christ on the mountain.

  • Moses Has Been On The Mountain With God. We are told in the Old Testament that Moses went up on Mount Sinai to receive the Law from God. While on that Mountain Christ gave Israel a Law to live by. This is where the Ten Commandments came from (see Exodus 20). God wrote the Law, and gave it to Moses (Exodus 31:18). When Moses came off the mountain he found the Children of Israel worshiping a golden calf, an idol that they made with the gold and jewelry that God gave them (Exodus 32:19). In a rage Moses threw down the Law, breaking the stone tablets. Moses:

Exodus 32:20 (NKJV) …. took the calf which they had made, burned it in the fire, and ground it to powder; and he scattered it on the water and made the children of Israel drink it.

When Moses came off the mountain he confronted idolatry, the worship of false gods. Moses pointed the people back to the God of the Scripture.

  • Elijah Has Been On The Mountain With God. In 1 Kings 18 Elijah confronted idolatry. Queen Jezebel had introduced worship of the devilish god Baal to Israel, a terrible idol that required the sacrifice of children. Elijah stood on the mountain with Christ, and God proved Himself before the people of Israel. Elijah stood before the people and said:

1 Kings 18:21 (NKJV) “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.”

Elijah Stood With Christ And Against Idolatry.
Moses Stood With Christ And Against Idolatry.
Peter tried to make idols of Moses and Elijah!
Sometimes we idolize people.
We should not. We should bring everything to Jesus.

While on the Mount of Transfiguration Peter said “Let us build three altars here”. But the Father said:

Matthew 17:5 (KJV) … This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

Jesus is the Beloved Son of God – HEAR HIM.
This is what the Father has said.
This is what all Scripture declares.
Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ – HEAR HIM.

Now we come to today’s story. Jesus comes down off the mountain what does He see?

Matthew 17:14 (KJV) And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,

Matthew mentions a multitude is gathered, a large crowd, and they are all standing around a man. Mark tells us more:

Mark 9:14-16 (NKJV) And when He came to the disciples, HE SAW A GREAT MULTITUDE AROUND THEM, AND SCRIBES DISPUTING WITH THEM. 15 Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him. 16 And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?”

There is a CROWD and CONFUSION and EVERY PERSON giving their democratic input on how to fix the problem. The Scribes – often noted in the Gospels as the enemies of Christ – are giving their input. A man has come forward with a problem. What is the problem? We read:

Matthew 17:15 (KJV) Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is LUNATICK, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.

Why that’s not a very politically correct thing to say, is it? “My son is a lunatick”. That word “lunatick” (sic) is the Greek σεληνιάζομαι selēniazomai which means “to be moonstruck or affected by the moon”. Some versions translate this as epileptic, but that is NOT a good translation. Dr. John Hughlings Jackson, a British neurologist, discovered Epilepsy and how it affected the human brain. Epilepsy was not known as such in Biblical times. This man said “My son is moon struck” or “out of his mind”. What else did he say?

He is sore vexed. κακῶς kakōs + πάσχω paschō, miserable with evil suffering badly. How bad was this young man?

Matthew 17:15 (KJV) … for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.

The young man was self destructive.

Young people today often perform “cutting” on themselves, harming themselves. Many young people take their lives. This is not of God. Why was this young person this way? We don’t know. The Bible doesn’t tell us. We just know that this person has been hopelessly afflicted for many years. Mark tells us that … he hath a SPIRIT …

Mark 9:18 (NKJV) … wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid.

Where Do We Find Hope In Hopeless Cases?

The man, I am sure, has gone from doctor to doctor. He is at the end of his rope. He tells Jesus:

Matthew 17:16 (KJV) And I brought him to thy disciples, and THEY COULD NOT CURE HIM.

The poor young man is in anguish. He is surely frightened. Can you imagine being taken over, wallowing on the ground, self destructive. The father said “he throws himself often in the fire” and at other times “he throws himself in the water”. He is confused, delirious, hurting. The Bible tells us that:

1 Corinthians 14:33 God is not the Author of confusion, but of peace ..

and

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

This thing that afflicts the young man is clearly not of God. It is indeed a hopeless situation. Where do we often go to resolve hopeless situations? Often we do as this father did. He goes to HUMANS, and seeks out HUMAN REMEDIES. Now praise God, there are many remedies that we have discovered over the years. God made man in His image and after His likeness, and that has made us creative.

I was talking to the volunteers at the information desk of the hospital the other day about the changes we have gone through since I was a child. I remember telephones being attached to a wall by a cord. I remember pay phones, records, and compact disks. I remember a lot of things that no longer are because we humans have grown in technology.

But man is not God.
We can fix much, but there are many things we cannot fix.
But God can.

This father brought his son to Jesus’ disciples, and they could not heal him. Well of course they could not heal him. Jesus sent the disciples out earlier in this Book:

Matthew 10:1 (KJV) And when {Jesus} had called unto him his twelve disciples, HE GAVE THEM POWER AGAINST UNCLEAN SPIRITS, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.

But now the Disciples cannot cast out what is afflicting this young man. Why? Because the Disciples themselves do not have the power to do anything. It is Jesus Who gives the power. It is Jesus that has the authority.

Oh dear friends, so often we forget this. If we will be blessed, then it must be because we are attached to Jesus. Jesus said:

Matthew 18:20 (NKJV) For where two or three are GATHERED TOGETHER IN MY NAME, I am there in the midst of them.

Oh, how we need Jesus!
Our Blessed Hope is the Blessed Savior, Jesus Christ!
We have nothing if Jesus is not with us.

When Jesus went up on the mountain with Peter, James, and John the nine Disciples left in the valley needed to understand that their power was not their power. The only power is that of Christ. Jesus told His Church before He ascended unto Heaven:

Matthew 28:18-20 ALL AUTHORITY HAS BEEN GIVEN TO ME in heaven and on earth. 19 GO therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to OBSERVE ALL THINGS THAT I HAVE COMMANDED YOU; and lo, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, even to the end of the age. Amen.

The power is of Christ. You can know doctrine, and you should know doctrine. You can know scripture, and you should know scripture. I have known a lot of people who know a lot of stuff like the Scribes did. But the power is of Christ.

There are many times in our lives when we may be brought to our knees like this father. Things confront us that take away our breath. We perhaps have cried out like Job, saying

Job 7:16 (NKJV) I loathe my life; I would not live forever. Let me alone, For my days are but a breath.

What a horrible thing to be in a place where life is no longer a blessing. To cry …

Lamentations 3:7-8 (NKJV) He has hedged me in so that I cannot get out; He has made my chain heavy. 8 Even when I cry and shout, He shuts out my prayer.

When we are overwhelmed by life, where do we go? We must go to Jesus. We must go to Him Who loved us enough to take our sins on Himself. We must go to Him Who dying on Calvary, died with us in mind. We must go to Him and Him alone.

We Must Bring It To Jesus

When Jesus heard the father’s predicament He said:

Matthew 17:17 (KJV) Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.

Who is Jesus addressing? Not just the father of the child. He is addressing all who are standing there. He is speaking to the unbelievers in the crowd. He is speaking to the apparent Scribes and Pharisees who are standing there. He is speaking to the disciples that have been with Him for at least two years now. He says to all standing there:

O FAITHLESS and PERVERSE Generation!

“Faithless”? Why are they “faithless”? Did they not try and do something. I tell you America, faith in the wrong person is not faith at all. In order for faith to be valuable it must be placed in the Person of God.

Faith is only as good as WHAT backs it.
Faith is only as good as WHO backs it.
Jesus said “Have faith IN GOD” (Mark 11:22)

Our faith must be in God. The Bible teaches us that

1 Corinthians 2:5 … faith must not rest on HUMAN WISDOM but on the POWER OF GOD

Jesus called the crowd that stood around this poor father “faithless” because their faith was everywhere but up. Jesus also called them “perverse”. This is the Greek διαστρέφω diastrephō which means “that which is distorted or perverse”. That which places faith in man is distorted. It is like worshiping a golden calf or a false god named Baal. Only God is God. Only Jesus is Christ. The problem this young man has will not be resolved by man, but God can fix it if you take it to Him. Jesus said:

Bring him to Me

The great preacher C.H. Spurgeon said: “Jesus Christ expects us to treat Him as a living, powerful, interposing One, and to confide in Him as such. … We leave some cases, and give them up instead of presenting them constantly to Him; we limit the Holy One of Israel; we grieve His Spirit, and vex His holy mind; but if, as children trust their father, we would trust in Jesus unstaggeringly with an Abrahamic faith, believing that what He has promised He is able to also to perform, then we would see even cases as that before us brought into the light of day …”

In the parallel Gospel the father says to Jesus …

Mark 9:22 (KJV) … IF thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.

Jesus, can You help him? Have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus throws that IF back at the father, saying

Mark 9:23 (KJV) … IF thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

IF you can believe – have faith in Christ – then all things are possible to him that believes. For years the father has deposited the coin of faith in different banks, just as we do today. We have faith in false gods, humanity, humanism, medicine, technology, idol after idol. But now this father turns to Jesus and puts his faith in Him Who is able to do anything. The father cries out:

Mark 9:24 (KJV) …. and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

Lord, I believe, but my faith is pitiful. Nevertheless have faith in Christ. The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41). Nevertheless have faith in God. Have faith in Christ.

Mark 11:22-26 (KJV) Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. 23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. 24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. 25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

Faith in God is to not only believe He can, but to live His Word. The father brought his son to Christ. What will Jesus do? Jesus will bless him.

Matthew 17:18 (KJV) … And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.

Some say “that wasn’t a devil, but epilepsy”.
Believe that if you will, but the Bible says “the devil departed out of him”.
Others say “but doesn’t the text seem to describe epilepsy?”
Does it? But what does the text say? Where is your faith?
Is it in what the Scripture says, or what someone else says?
Faith in the wrong cup is not faith at all.

Let us believe the Word of God.
Let us put our faith in Jesus.
Have faith in God.

The disciples came to Jesus later and asked:

Matthew 17:19 (KJV) …. Why could not we cast him out?

Jesus said:

Matthew 17:20-21 (KJV) And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. 21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

Misplaced belief is no belief at all. Misplaced faith is perverted. Our focus is to be on Jesus. Our eyes are to be on Him. Do you believe Him for salvation? Have you received Him as Lord and Savior? Do you reckon yourselves to live forever because He died for you? Do you believe He has risen from the dead, ever to live and make intercession for us. Do you believe in Him?

You may say with this father, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.” If you will just bring what you have and invest it in Christ you will be saved. If you will just trust Him and believe what He has said you shall have eternal life. Jesus ends with:

This kind does not go out but by prayer and fasting.

Prayer to Him is answered. Fasting or self denial for His sake is honored. Believe Him. Receive Him. Give all to Him. May Christ bless you richly.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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