Humble Hero


A Battle With Satan’s Spirits

This chapter is based on Matthew 17:19-21; Mark 9:9-29; Luke 9:37-45.

As the sun arose, Jesus and His disciples went down the mountain to the plain. Absorbed in thought, the disciples were awed and silent. They would gladly have lingered in that holy place, but there was work to be done. HH 198.1

At the foot of the mountain a large group of people had gathered. As the Savior came near to them, He instructed His three companions to keep silent about what they had witnessed, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.” To relate the revelation to the crowds would stir up only ridicule or idle wonder. Even the three favored disciples were slow to understand, as we can see from the fact that they questioned among themselves what the rising from the dead might mean. Yet they asked no explanation from Jesus. HH 198.2

As the people on the plain caught sight of Jesus, they ran to greet Him. Yet His quick eye recognized that something had happened that had caused the disciples bitter disappointment and humiliation. A father had brought his son to be delivered from a mute spirit that tormented him. Jesus had given His disciples authority to cast out unclean spirits when He sent them to preach through Galilee. As they went out, strong in faith, the evil spirits had obeyed their word. Now in the name of Christ they commanded the torturing spirit to leave his victim, but the demon only mocked them. The disciples could not find a reason for their defeat. They felt they were bringing dishonor on themselves and their Master. And in the crowd were scribes who were trying to prove that they and their Master were deceivers. Here was an evil spirit that neither the disciples nor Christ Himself could conquer! A feeling of contempt and scorn swept through the crowd. HH 198.3

But suddenly the crowd saw Jesus and the three disciples approaching. The night of fellowship with heavenly glory had left a light on their faces that awed the onlookers. The Savior came to the scene of conflict, and looking intently at the scribes He inquired, “What are you discussing with them?” HH 198.4

But the voices so bold and defiant before were silent. Now the afflicted father made his way through the crowd, and falling at the feet of Jesus, he poured out the story of his trouble and disappointment. HH 198.5

“Master,” he said, “I brought to You my son, who has a mute spirit. And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down. ... So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.” HH 199.1

Jesus read the unbelief in every heart, and exclaimed, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you?” Then He told the distressed father, “Bring your son here.” HH 199.2

The father brought him, and the evil spirit threw him to the ground in convulsions of agony. He lay wallowing and foaming, filling the air with unearthly shrieks. HH 199.3

Again the Prince of life and the prince of darkness met on the field of battle—Christ to “proclaim liberty to the captives ..., to set at liberty those who are oppressed” (Luke 4:18), Satan seeking to hold his victim under his control. For a moment, Jesus permitted the evil spirit to display his power. HH 199.4

Jesus asked, “How long has this been happening to him?” The father told the story of long years of suffering, and then, as if he could endure no more, exclaimed, “If You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” “If You can”! Even now the father questioned Christ’s power. HH 199.5

Jesus answered, “All things are possible to him who believes.” With a burst of tears, realizing his own weakness, the father threw himself on Christ’s mercy: “I believe; help my unbelief!” HH 199.6

Jesus turned to the suffering one and said, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” There was a cry, an agonized struggle. Then the boy lay motionless, apparently lifeless. The crowd whispered, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand, lifted him up, and presented him to his father in perfect health of mind and body. Father and son praised their Deliverer, while the scribes, defeated and crestfallen, turned away sullenly. HH 199.7