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God’s Word for You

Luke 9:42-43a He healed him

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Wednesday, May 16, 2018

42 Even while the boy was on his way, 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.  43 They were all amazed at the greatness of God.

The disciples had been unsure of what to do without their master there. We know that they tried to cast out the demon—at least some of them tried—but with no success. This failure shows the difference between trust in Christ and mere superstitious use of the Lord’s name. The demon wasn’t worried about these attempts. But when it realized that Christ himself had come, and that the boy—his host—was heading toward Jesus, it began to fight with superhuman power. It threw the boy into an immediate convulsion, an epileptic fit. But Jesus did not let this continue for a moment. He rebuked the spirit and the demon was driven out.

Luke the physician reaches for a comforting medical term here to judge the condition of the boy. Matthew says that the boy was “cured” (therapeuo), but Luke says that the boy was “healed” (iasato). The term “healed” is not much different than “cured,” but it leaves a more positive feeling with the reader or listener.

The healing of the boy left the crowd amazed. The disciples had tried and tried without success, and then Jesus simply walked up and commanded the thing, and the boy was healed. They praised God for his greatness, but their praise fell short of worshiping Jesus truly as God.

The divinity of Jesus is the point of his transfiguration, and it is reinforced by every one of his miracles. Some theologians claim that the Bible never uses the sentence “I am the Son of God,” and therefore the Church must never make the deity of Christ a part of its confession. But that’s a case of counting all the words of the Bible and ignoring what all of the paragraphs and sentences say. Jesus carefully, frequently, and publicly invited his disciples to confess their faith in who he is, even asking them to compare their own faith with the faith of the crowds. “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” he asked (Matthew 16:13). When they got through the superstition and misunderstanding of the crowds, Jesus asked, “Who do you say I am?” And when Peter confessed, “You are the Son of the living God,” Jesus said, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven” (Matthew 16:15-17). A good teacher brings his pupils to a conclusion by letting them discover it for themselves, and Jesus is a brilliant teacher. Jesus also showed his equality with God the Father when he said, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working” (John 5:17). The Jews who heard him rightly understood that by calling God his own Father, “he was making himself equal with God” (John 5:18). For them, this was blasphemy. For those who keep reading the Bible, it is not blasphemy, but the miraculous truth. The Son of God came into the world “to destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8), and by the grace of God, this is precisely what he has done. Jesus Christ is truly God, praised by his Church forever. We confess and believe: “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12). We have him through faith, now and forever.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.

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