June 11, 2021
And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly (Matthew 17:18).
We must appeal again to Mark’s Gospel for information that is absent from Matthew’s account. And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose (Mark 9:25-27).
As noted earlier, Jesus had experience with demoniacs before. The Gospels record 7 occasions when Jesus encountered demon possessed/influenced people (the demoniac in the Synagogue, Mark 1:23-28; Luke 4:31-36; the blind and mute demoniac, Matthew 12:22; Luke 11:14; the demoniac of Gadara, Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39; the mute demoniac, Matthew 9:32-33; the Syro-Phoenician woman’s daughter, Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30; the demon possessed boy, Matthew 17:14-18; Mark 9:14-29; Luke 9:38-42; and the crippled woman, Luke 13:10-17).
In each instance His power and authority over demons was unquestioned. On this occasion the demon was stubborn. After Jesus commanded it to leave the boy, the demon made one last attempt to kill him through a severe seizure. But the sovereign authority of Jesus is greater, equal to that of the Father and the Holy Spirit.
While the boy was still in a death-like condition, Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. Health and well-being were restored with a touch of the Master’s hand. (I commend to your reading the poem, The Touch of the Master’s Hand by Gabriella Franco. It is a wonderful and inspirational work.) We do not know the details of the healing - whether or not the scars of demonic possession were removed or if the boy grew to adulthood bearing those scars - but that’s not as important as having life restored and changed by the power of Jesus Christ. And that’s something we take for granted today.
Is it not enough that Jesus would come to us and heal us from the power and penalty of sin that we should be grateful to Him for the rest of our lives? Is it not enough that in salvation He would deliver us from the clutches of hell and give us eternal life in heaven that we should praise His name forever? Is it not enough that He has given us His Holy Spirit to be our strength, comfort, and guide through this life and into eternity that we should honor Him with our daily obedience and service?
“Lord Jesus, thank You for the gift of salvation that heals the soul and spirit, and in many instances the mind and body as well. Your grace toward us is measureless, Your love abundant. Thank You for healing this boy and countless others who have come to You in faith. To Your honor and glory I pray, Amen.”