On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. And behold, a man from the crowd cried out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out. It convulses him so that he foams at the mouth, and shatters him, and will hardly leave him. And I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.” While he was coming, the demon threw him to the ground and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. And all were astonished at the majesty of God.
Comment 1: A while back Jesus had enabled the disciples to do marvellous works in his name, and they had a successful ministry or so it seems. Now they meet a very difficult case and cannot bring healing to the boy. To my ear it sounds as if the boy had epilepsy and the fact that in that society it was seen as a form of demon possession doesn’t worry me at all. Nor does it cause me to believe that demon possession doesn’t happen. At any rate Jesus healed the youngster and handed him back to his thankful father, all of it being watched by an amazed crowd. In another of the gospels the disciples asked Jesus why they had been unsuccessful and were told that it came from their lack of faith in him.
But while they were all marvelling at everything he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men.” But they did not understand this saying, and it was concealed from them, so that they might not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
Comment 2: But while everyone is in a hyper-excited state following the mountain top experience and this miraculous healing, Jesus brings them back to earth. His way is to be via his death! They didn’t come to understand until after Jesus died.
An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”
Comment 3: In their very human hearts the disciples wanted status. The standards of his way of life are very different. It seems to be tied up with humility and service.
Prayer: Help me to learn by others mistakes and to walk in your way, Jesus.