What Jesus Did! 'Mountains and Valleys' — Luke 9:37-43a

Friday, June 16, 2023

The next day, after [Jesus and the disciples] had come down the mountain, a large crowd met Jesus. A man in the crowd called out to him, "Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, my only child. An evil spirit keeps seizing him, making him scream. It throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It batters him and hardly ever leaves him alone. I begged your disciples to cast out the spirit, but they couldn't do it." Jesus said, "You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you and put up with you?" Then he said to the man, "Bring your son here." As the boy came forward, the demon knocked him to the ground and threw him into a violent convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit and healed the boy. Then he gave him back to his father. Awe gripped the people as they saw this majestic display of God's power.
— Luke 9:37-43a NLT

Key Thought

Although Jesus' exaltation from the transfiguration experience with Moses and Elijah and from God's blessing on the mountain was a great experience, he came down the mountain to face disappointment once again. A father said, "I begged your disciples..., but they couldn't do it." After their great mission trip where they preached and healed, after their experience in helping feed 5000, once again they were suddenly limited and lacking. I don't know about you, but my ministry often goes that way, too. Sometimes I feel so powerful and useful to the Lord, and he does great things. Bottom line: Just as Jesus' disciples often disappointed him, other Christian servants are going to disappoint us, and we may disappoint them sometimes also. However, Jesus didn't give up on his disciples when he was discouraged with them, and we must not give up on each other when we let each other down. While he rebuked them, he remained faithful to them. His goal was to make them into God's men. He would not let his discouragement with them keep him from his task!

Today's Prayer

Father God, please help me not to be overly discouraged when other Christians don't measure up to what I think they ought to be or when I do not measure up to what I should be. Help me be gracious with them just as you are. Guard my heart against bitter discouragement and cynicism about the failure of other believers and about my own failures. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Luke 6:42
  • 2 Corinthians 7:6
  • Galatians 6:9


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Illustration of Luke 9:37-43a NLT — "Bring your son here."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.