(e.g. john 8 32)

Matthew 17:15  (King James Version)

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<< Matthew 17:14   Matthew 17:16 >>

Matthew 17:14-21

Jesus walked with His disciples from Bethsaida to the neighborhood of Caesarea Philippi. Six to eight days later, Jesus went up into a high mountain to pray, taking Peter, James, and John with Him and leaving His other nine disciples behind. There He was transfigured before the three. Meanwhile in the valley, the remaining nine disciples failed to cast out a demon from a young boy. Descending the day following His transfiguration, Christ healed the demoniac boy.

The failure of the nine disciples had given the scribes fuel for criticism of both the disciples and Christ. When Christ arrived on the scene, the scribes were being critically disruptive about the failure. The scribes were not known for their questioning as much as for their refuting and disputing. "Questioning" (KJV) or "disputing" (NKJV) in Mark 9:14 is translated from a Greek word that implies confuting, that is, attempting to disprove or deny.

The success of Christ, however, countered the failure of the disciples, shutting the mouths of the critical scribes. His coming upon this scene of dispute, chaos, and darkness must have been an incredible contrast to the honor, power, and glory that He had just experienced on the mountain in the Transfiguration. The sights and sounds that met Him on His return to the sinful world must have disturbed Him.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Exorcising a Young Boy (Part One)

Matthew 17:15

The biblical account certainly suggest that the outcome would be death. Sin's costliness and deadliness are connected in Paul's memorable truism, "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). The world frequently advertises that sin results in an exciting life, but this is false, as "sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death" (James 1:15). Many things that society sanctions as good only lead to suffering and death (such as sexual immorality, abortion, and alcohol abuse).

It is by Christ's sinless death that we are forgiven and healed by the stripes He received when beaten (Isaiah 53:5; Matthew 9:2, 5; Mark 2:5, 9; Luke 5:20, 23; I Peter 2:24). God not only removes sin, but He also forgets it (Hebrews 8:12). The prophets Micah and Isaiah vividly illustrate this divine forgetfulness of pardoned sin: God will "cast all our sins into the depths of the sea" (Micah 7:19), and "cast all my sins behind Your back" (Isaiah 38:17).

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Exorcising a Young Boy (Part Two)

Matthew 17:15

Christ interrupts the father's appeal to ask about the duration of the child's affliction. The man answers, "From childhood," that is, since he had been a small child. The boy was still young, as the Greek word translated "child" in Mark 9:24 implies, but the sense is that the affliction had lasted many months or years. Sin, too, has been with us since we were children (Psalm 58:3; Isaiah 48:8).

The boy's illness—"epilepsy" (NKJV) or "lunatic" (KJV)—was then regarded as a disgraceful disease. Some thought it fell on those who had sinned against the moon (luna, "moon") and changes in the moon were said to govern the period of epileptic seizures. Epilepsy was also connected with demon possession, but we know today that being epileptic does not mean that a person is demon possessed.

The boy's convulsions are sudden and last an incredibly long time, for the evil spirit "departs from him with great difficulty." The demon's frenzy becomes more violent in Jesus' presence: The boy falls on the ground, rolls around, and foams at the mouth. Many who have given themselves to sin could be said to act crazily and irrationally. They may be highly respected people in society, but they do not act sensibly when it comes to life's most important matters. They have no interest in salvation, God's truth, or His Kingdom, justifying all sorts of evil. Their choices to do self-damaging acts shows the craziness of their thinking.

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Exorcising a Young Boy (Part Two)

Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Matthew 17:15:

Mark 9:25


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