And one of the crowd answered Him, “Teacher, I brought You my son, possessed with a spirit which makes him mute; and whenever it seizes him, it slams him to the ground and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth and stiffens out. I told Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not do it.”Mark 9:17-18
There are a few things in this passage that I want to point out for you. First, the man says that he brought his son to Jesus. He does not say, “I brought him to them.” He does not even say, “I brought them to you all.” He says, “Teacher, I brought YOU my son….” He continues to tell how the disciples could not cast out the unclean spirit. Literally, the man says, “they were not strong enough,” or you could say, “they were not powerful enough.” At the end of the Lord’s rebuke of the “unbelieving generation,” he says, “Bring him to me.” His command is to all those there. He says to them all, “Bring him to me.” While there are many things we could learn from this short exchange, I want you to note something of tremendous importance. The disciples were not strong enough, but Jesus says to them, “Bring him to me.” It is because Christ alone is strong enough. He alone has the power to do what needs to be done.
Second, the man says that his son is possessed with a spirit that makes him mute. When Jesus casts out the unclean spirit, he calls it a “deaf and mute” spirit. Let me suggest to you that the context in which this event takes place is one of testimonies and witnesses. We have heard God’s testimony concerning his Son. We have witnessed Scripture’s witness concerning Jesus (Law and Prophets). We have seen Moses and Elijah bear living testimonies concerning the Lord Christ! Now, Jesus calls the spirit “deaf and mute.” What is striking is that the disciples, in their attempt to do what they had no power to do, failed to be good witnesses for Christ. They were like those who had not heard and could not talk. Why? They did not bring the man and his son to Jesus. They took up the matter on their own shoulders. There is a reason Jesus rebuked them. There is a frightening similarity between the witness of the disciples and the unclean spirit. The man and his son were left thinking that perhaps God has nothing to say to them in their suffering. They were left to think that God, perhaps, could not do anything for them. Perhaps God is a good subject for Sundays, but not so much on Tuesday when the spirit throws the son into the fire. It is no wonder the man said to Christ, ““It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!”
I want you to know with absolute certainty that God did have something to say to this man and his son. God had something to say to the spirit that oppresses them. The love and compassion of the Almighty (He is strong enough!) threw out the spirit that bound and oppressed that family. Jesus did so with all the power and strength of the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. Not only did he have something to say, he was able to do something. The Sovereign Savior reached down and took the hand of the once deaf and mute boy. The only true and living God lifted that man up. He raised him, as it were, from death unto life. Now that man is able to hear and speak. He is able to add his testimony to that of Moses, Elijah, and Peter. Why? It is because of the unmerited, immeasurable, ALMIGHTY, fierce, jealous, and holy love of God.
There are so many things you and I cannot control. Our own lives may often seem to be spinning in chaotic disorder. This may especially be true right now. Let me assure you, along with Moses, Elijah, Peter, and that once mute man of Mark 9, that God does have something to say to you. He has the power and the strength to lift you up out of the muck and mire. His hand is mighty enough to raise you up and cause you to hear and testify of his love and mercy. He is strong enough. He is the LORD is our rock and our fortress and our deliverer, our God, our rock, in whom we take refuge; our shield and the horn of our salvation, our stronghold. (Psalm 18:2)
Soli Deo Gloria.