Luke 9: 37-41

Luk 9:37 “And it came to pass, that on the next day, when they were come down from the hill, much people met him.

The mountain top is for renewal and refreshment; however, nothing grows on the mountain top.

Brakes from the world are important, but to impact the world we must live in the world.

We can’t float around on cloud nine and expect to live our gospel mission, our gospel mission points at the world and says, “go”.

  • Go and be light.
  • Go and give hope.

The way we give hope is by being light!

By living a holy life, it reveals to those who are observing our lives that there is something beyond the here and now.

  • Why do I give money to the church? Because I believe there is a life after this one and I'm storing up treasures for the then and there.
  • Why do I die to self? Because I believe on the other side of this death to my desire there's something better than what the world has to offer me.

Our mission is to go. However, the going comes with many trials and tribulations.

We face conflicts, we would rather just go along to get along, but we are called to take stands and to be bold.

Jesus goes up the mountain to commune with the Father and refresh himself, and when comes down he finds chaos and discord.

This is where Jesus finds himself in our text.

  • He's just been up to the mountain top.
  • He's just experienced the encouragement and renewal that comes from communing with the father.
  • But now he must get to work.

On the mountain top there is rest and renewal, but in the valley, there is conflict.

I remember one year we took the teenagers to church camp, we had a wonderful experience! What makes a church camp so effective is that it takes you away from the world for a week.

  • You have a week to focus on God.
  • You have a week to get closer to God.

There are no distractions. There is no worldly influence. At the end of the week, they can't pass through always says something like this, “who’s ready to go home?”

And the kids all scream no! Why is that? It's because they are on the mountain. Living for Jesus on the mountain is easy, however living for Jesus in the world is difficult.

One year after we got back from church camp, and we experienced this amazing renewal and refreshment we get back home, and we find that our hot water heater is broken!

I want to tell you that church camp is amazing for teenagers, but it is hard on adults.

We were hot sweaty, and looking forward to a nice long shower when we got home but the hot water heater was broken.

The other gospels fill in what Luke leaves out, while Jesus, and his inner circle were having the amazing experience of the “Transfiguration”, the other disciples were busying arguing with the Pharisee’s.

Mar 9:14And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them.”

The word “questioning” here meant to debate or dispute.

So, when Jesus comes back from the mountain what does he experience? Conflict!

Have you ever gone on vacation and the next Monday when you're back at work you find chaos and drama waiting for you?

This is what happened to Jesus. He goes up the mountain, he has a wonderful experience, he comes down and finds his disciples arguing with religious people.

Before we move forward, I want to give you 3 tips for arguing with religions people:

  1. Avoid it, I’m not saying don’t share the gospel with them, I’m saying when a discussion turns into argument, it’s like wrestling with a pig in mud. Pigs like the muck, they’re at home. When discussions turn into arguments, we are in danger of losing our testimony. Don't get me wrong, there are times where it is good and right to argue with religious folks, however we should avoid it.
  2. Limit it to what the Scripture says, people love to give you their opinion and tell you how they feel but neither of those things have God's authority.
  3. Admit it when you do not know something or lack knowledge of a specific topic. People don't need another person talking about things they don't know about.

Not only does he find conflict, apparently there's demon activity.

Luk 9:38And, behold, a man of the company cried out, saying, Master, I beseech thee, look upon my son: for he is mine only child.

Luk 9:39 And, lo, a spirit taketh him, and he suddenly cried out; and its teeth him that he foamed again and bruising him hardly department from him.

Luk 9:40 And I besought thy disciples to cast him out; and they could not.

Liberal theologians read this story and immediately dismiss the idea of demon possession. They look at the symptoms and conclude the boy wasn't afflicted by demon. They read the list of symptoms and say what is being described here is epilepsy.

Chronological snobbery.

This critique is guilty of what CS Lewis called “chronological snobbery”. It assumes because they lived then, and we live now, we are more intellectually enlightened.

Of course, you will not be surprised to learn people back then were aware of epilepsy, but they did not contribute the symptoms to demonic possession, rather they thought people with epilepsy were insane.

The reason we believe demon possession is in view here is because this is what the Bible says.

We don't believe the Bible because we are gullible and unintelligent, rather we believe the bible because of the testimony of Jesus.

  • Who claimed to be God.
  • Was arrested and executed.
  • But three days later rose from the dead.

The fact he claimed to be God and that he rose from the dead gives credibility to his testimony, and the testimony of his apostles.

Here we learn a valuable lesson: Life in the valley comes with chaos and discord.

  • Remember how calm and peaceful your honeymoon was? That was your honeymoon, that's not your marriage.
  • Vacations are relaxing and tranquil, but vacations are not real life.

It's good to have an escape to the mountain top from time to time but life happens in the valley.

  • The valley is where God molds into the image of Christ.
  • The valley is where we lean to rely of Jesus.
  • The valley is where we stand against the world.

So, we see when Jesus comes down from the mountain he must deal with demonic activity.

Before we get to Jesus’s solution, I want us to note the disciple’s failure.

Luk 9:40 And I besought thy disciples to cast him out; and they could not.

Remember a few weeks ago when we talked about when the disciples transitioned from being just disciples to apostles. Jesus gave them power and authority.

That is, they had the ability through reliance on Jesus to perform miracles and cast out demons.

When Jesus sees their inability to cast out this demon what does he say?

Luk 9:41And Jesus answering said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you? Bring thy son hither.”

Jesus tells us the reason they could not cast out this demon was because they were faithless and perverse.

On the mountaintop we can expect rest and renewal from God, but in the valley, God expects faith and fidelity.

These men were to do what God called us to do through our reliance on him.

We get discouraged because we try to do what God has called us to do through our own willpower and fail. And then we accuse God of being unfaithful.

The way we do what God has called us to do is by relying on his power.

The disciples found themselves in a crowd of people unable to fulfill their calling because they lacked faith.

And because the lacked faith they were perverse.

Newer translations use the word “twisted” here, “they were faithless and twisted.”

The King James uses the word perverse, which seems out of place.

Normally, when we think of the word perverse, we think of sexual immorality. But the word perverse here in our text meant to be bent out of shape or twisted.

The point here is because of their lack of faith, the disciples were twisted and bent out of shape.

R.C Sproul notes:

“When human beings fail to trust God, they twist their lives into all kinds of crazy shapes. Consider our own age. The sanctity of life has been twisted; the sanctity of marriage has been distorted. We are twisted; we’re distorted and therefore faithless.[1]

Consider our calling.

We are not apostles; therefore, we do not have the authority to speak for God or write scripture.

This also means we do not have the gift of healing as they did, nevertheless we are called to trust God and when we don’t, we bend ourselves out of shape.

What does it mean for us as modern Christians to be faithless and perverse?

 At the center of everything we do as Christians is the belief that Christ is Lord. When we fail to believe and take seriously the Lordship of Jesus we do not rely on God, and we fall into disobedience.

  • Chapter 9 of Luke begins with Jesus giving his disciples power and authority to cast out demons and to heal the sick.
  • They go on a mission trip where they cast out demons and heal the sick.
  • Here they are confronted with a demon they cannot cast out the question is why can't they cast out this specific demon?

The disciple’s ability to do what God called them to do was connected to their willingness to rely on Him.

The root cause was unbelief.

They get back from the mission trip, they've experienced victory upon victory. They start to think everything we touch turns to gold. And then they stop relying on God.

In Mark's account we are told the disciples take Jesus aside and ask him why they couldn't cast out the demons, and Jesus tells them that this kind “comes not out except through prayer.”

Do you see the pattern? A lack of dependence on God produces negative results in ministry.

In other words, they did not rely on God therefore they became ineffective.

When we do not rely on God our lives become twisted and bent, which makes us ineffective.

The disciple’s ability to do what God called them to do was connected to their willingness to rely on Him.

I can tell what areas of your life you do not trust God in because those are the areas where you are most disobedient.


  • The mountaintop experience is supposed to prepare you for faith and obedience.
  • When we don't rely on God and refuse to obey, we should expect negative results.




[1] Sproul, R.C.. Luke: An Expositional Commentary (p. 286). Ligonier Ministries.