The transfiguration was an amazing experience, especially for the disciples. Likewise, for Jesus, the meeting with Moses and Elijah and discussion about the pending close of his mission on earth, this too must have been a glorious experience. In that our text today speaks of Peter, James and John descending the mountain with Jesus, we may surmise that the transfiguration was at night. Surely that was extra impressive.
Coming down from the mountain, there again was the crowd. The loudest voice out of the crowd was a father interceding for his only son. It surely felt like this was going from the way things God intended relationship to be, to the realities again of a fallen world in the grips of Satan’s influence. Thus Jesus says to a perverse and unbelieving generation, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you?” Soon, Jesus would endure the work of the cross and pay the price that would atone for the conditions such as were suffered by this child.
The nine disciples who were not with Jesus on the mountain were unable to cast out the controlling demon and heal the boy of the physical malady. But Jesus does it instantly. Once again we see the statement of the amazement of those who witnessed this. This is a most powerful Greek word that speaks of people being stunned out of their senses.
The main point to be taken from this passage is the juxtaposition of the glorious transfiguration with the frustration and brokenness of a world where sin has a child infested with both a malady and a demonic influence.
There are more than a few times when I also feel this frustration, especially in these days where as a church family we have experienced such a list of people with sad and difficult health crises.
It will not always be this way! Jesus, likewise the only son of a Father, has paid the price for the ultimate change to be realized. Some days, and at certain times – like recently – that confident hope seems especially extra good.
Luke 9:37 – The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him. 38 A man in the crowd called out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. 39 A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him. 40 I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.”
41 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.”
42 Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the impure spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father. 43 And they were all amazed at the greatness of God.