“So I implored Your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.”
– Luke 9:40
In Luke chapter nine we are told Jesus gave power and authority to the disciples to preach the Kingdom of God and cast out all demons and to heal all diseases. Jesus then sent them out to perform these tasks. After their brief ministry tour, they met back up with Jesus and shared what they had accomplished in His name. What a fantastic conversation that must have been!
With everything they accomplished, I find it interesting that this man in the crowd is telling Jesus that the disciples could not heal his son. If they were sent out with this power and authority, why would this man need to come and tell Jesus, it was not accomplished? Could it be that the disciples were so excited about what they had accomplished, they forgot to share what they had failed to do?
The Lord has a way of exposing things we think are hidden, doesn’t He? Jesus had given the disciples this instruction back in Luke chapter eight when He said, “No man, when he has lighted a candle, covers it with a vessel, or puts it under a bed; but sets it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light. For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad. Take heed therefore how you hear: for whoever has, to him shall be given; and whoever has not, from him shall be taken even that which he seems to have.” Could it be that the twelve deviated from the Lord’s instructions?
Why were the disciples unable to help the boy? It is possible that they stopped preaching the Gospel first and went right into healing and casting out demons as their primary focus. This would have been contrary to what the Lord had commanded them to do. Now, through this father, something has been exposed and what they had been given, power and authority, was probably taken away for a time.
As Christ-followers we are to be light in a dark world and share the love of Christ. Hiding of truth will be revealed especially due to spiritual neglect and laziness. William MacDonald writes, “Perhaps they had become professional in their ministry. Perhaps they thought they could count on a Spirit-filled ministry without constant Spirit-filled exercise. Perhaps they were taking things too much for granted.” I believe they began to see crowds flock more to healing than preaching of God’s Word and thought that was where the power was at.
Many times we only want God to see the good things we have done and not our failures. We try to conduct ourselves with God like we do on social media, we only post up the positive things going on in our lives. He knows where we succeed and fail. What is encouraging however is that in our weakness, He is strong! Let’s “get back to the heart of worship” because it’s all about Him!