I wear glasses and basically have two pair. One pair is a bifocal so I can see distance as well as close up. I call these my preaching glasses because I like to see the people I am talking to when I speak. The other pair are reading glasses that are just for when I work on the computer (all day). That way I don’t have to always be stretching my neck to look through the small bifocal section used for reading. The key is……it is sooooooo important to be able to see clearly. Without my glasses I am lost (everything is a blur around me), I make mistakes (I can’t discern some things), I have a hard time understanding (because I can’t read the directions)………WHEW! It is so important to be able to see clearly!
Mark 9:15-18 (TNIV)
15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. 16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked. 17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”
Let me bring us a little up to speed here: Jesus and three of the disciples have come down off the mountain where Jesus was flanked by Moses and Elijah and where Glory shown is a pure, beautiful and radiant light. These three disciples, Peter, James and John, in many ways have just seen a glimpse of heaven. This incident is called the “transfiguration”.
Okay, so now the Jesus and these few disciples come down off that mountain and are returning to the lost and evil world that they left when they went up on the mountain. The Scribes and Pharisees have come back on the scene to attack who Jesus was, they are arguing with the remaining disciples in town and they are delighted that these other disciples are not able to heal this demon possessed boy.
There are a couple of things we can learn about Satan and his demons here. Notice that here, this boy was not born with this affliction of convulsions and not being able to talk. These symptoms sound a lot like epilepsy, however, the destructive intent of the demon (mentioned in verse 22) makes it clear that this was more than epilepsy.
Mark 9:22 (TNIV)
“It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
None the less, this boy has been robbed of his ability to connect with the outside world. This boy became isolated by these demons. Satan loves to do this! He loves to isolate us so that we simply struggle to survive! In this isolation, Satan sought to destroy this boy just like he seeks to destroy us in the same way. Satan robbed him of the possibility of a bright future and probably even the possibility of learning to pray. DON”T let Satan isolate you ……pray each day in the name of Jesus to keep Satan at bay.
I want to point out that in this case we are looking at a boy with probable epilepsy coupled with demonic intent. However, Satan can isolate us in many ways and often simply through sin. Usually not the individual one instance of sin (but that is possible too), but most often by habitual sin, whether it be sexual sin, abuse of substances, anger and bitterness, or anything that is habitual. Can you see how those things isolate us? Notice also that just like this boys probable epilepsy, our sins affect our family and friends deeply too. YES, Satan loves to isolate us!
The other thing we can learn is that the battle with Satan is truly difficult……. but it can always be won through faith in Jesus, never by our own efforts. Let’s go back to the “glasses” I was talking about at the beginning, and how they helped my vision. When Jesus and the disciples came down off that mountain where they were in the reassuring presence of God….they walked down into the fallen world that is truly often frightening and hard to understand. When you have faith in Jesus, I would point out that the contrast between good and evil becomes greater and can even be more frightening.
Here is the key: As your spiritual vision improves through your faith in Jesus, through the application of His wisdom in your life, indeed…..as your spiritual vision improves because of your deep relationship with your creator………you are able to understand better, and everything, including the battle, becomes clearer and is no longer a blur. You can discern right from wrong in ways that you couldn’t before, and you can read the directions clearly. Translate that into applying the wisdom of Jesus to your life!
Put on the spiritual glasses of Jesus Christ to be able to see clearly the evil that we often miss and that often ensnares us. Don’t be afraid to confront the evil in your life and say, “get behind me Satan!”. Indeed, as you are in relationship with JESUS…… HE IS WITH YOU! Just put on those glasses and everything will come into focus!