Were the disciples unable to drive the boy's demon out because it wasn't a demon but rather an illness (i.e. epilepsy)?


Mark 9:14 - 29

AMP - 14 And when they came to the [nine] disciples, they saw a great crowd around them and scribes questioning and disputing with them. 15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw Jesus [returning from the holy mount, His face and person yet glistening], they were greatly amazed and ran up to Him [and] greeted Him.

Clarify Share Report Asked April 01 2013 Mini Anonymous

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Stringio Colin Wong Supporter Founder, eBible.com
Verse 20 says, "And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth." The spirit "saw" Jesus. If it was a medical illness it would not recognize Jesus. 

We should be careful to discern between the manifestation (epilepsy-like symptoms - convulsion, foaming at the mouth) and the source of the manifestation (unclean spirit as mentioned in verse 25).

There is also an aspect of maturity in one's faith. In verse 29, Jesus said, "This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer." Some old Bible manuscripts add the words "and fasting" (see KJV translation for Matthew 17:21). Regardless of whether it is just prayer, or prayer and fasting, additional communion with God is required to gain that additional level of faith.

April 01 2013 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Lambert Lau
I don't think so because the passage says that there's a spirit in that boy. I think the disciples was unable to drive out the spirit because of the lack of faith, Jesus said to the disciples, "O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you?..." and lack of prayer, And when He(Jesus) had entered the house, his disciples asked Him privately, "Why could we not cast it out?" And He said to them, "This kind cannot be driven out by anything but Prayer."
hope this helps :)

April 01 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Open uri20150411 796 abxnt8 Mike Ferrin
The Bible is so simple we need help to misunderstand it (and we've had a lot of help in that regard...)

Matt 17: 20 tells us plainly why: unbelief. 


Get your eyes off the prayer and fasting--that's only to steer us back into faith. Prayer and fasting alone isn't going to get the job done if you're still in unbelief.

See Mark 11:23,24

March 13 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Ezekiel Kimosop - Pastor & Bible Scholar
I sense a number of possible scenarios on the part of the disciples regarding this problem. They may have faced some experiential approach on the part of the disciples. They perhaps thought that every experience required a standard response for a solution. 

There are certain challenges in our lives that God uses to teach us great lessons concerning the nature and person of God. We must realize here that healing is a divine experience rather than a physical act bestowed on us or related to some "powerful healers" and powerful men of God" as have claimed. Unless we placed our faith on God's exclusive and sovereign power and grace, we may begin to imagine that we have some magical powers to the exclusion of God's intervention and miserably fail to see any results in our ministry work. 

Of course God sometimes uses our little faith to show his grace to us but what is important is to keep our view on God who is the true source of healing and wellbeing. By his own admission the man had brought his son to the disciples but they failed to cast out the demon (Matt.17:16). Jesus told the disciples the problem to their prayer - that they lacked enough faith to drive out the demon. 

I see a mechanical approach to healing prayer by the disciples who were yet to learn to place the faith in God perhaps because Jesus was always with them and provided solutions. Surprisingly, the disciples appear to have been unaware of this fact and had to hear of the Master who confirmed that their faith was deficient for the spiritual problem they were attempting to resolve.

Hebrews 11:1 saying faith is a substance of things hoped for, the evidence of thing not seen. Unless we humbly seek the Lord to increase our faith, we shall be lacking the means and wherewithal to minister to those who need the touch of God through us. The solution is not in our identity as believers or followers of Christ but in acknowledging God as the source of all things and holding our unwavering faith in him. If we pray with this understanding we should leave the results to God. 

I am also reminded that God in his sovereign power of will may choose not to answer a particular prayer at a particular time. Eccl. 3:11 states that God hath made every thing beautiful in his season. The fact that some things don't work out in a particular way should not discourage us from focusing on God and should not invalidate our faith or our prayers in any way. However, our faith should be fervent in response to the problem at hand (James 5:16-17). I have often heard some "charismatic" preachers declare instant healing and when the instant miracle fails they blame it on the lack of faith of the subject yet it is well possible that God may exercise his grace at a time and in a manner that he deems appropriate. 

Our faith should please God and be guided by our healthy view of his nature and Person as a loving God who hears his children and seeks to work through them as the instruments of his grace. Whether in our prayer or our deportment as children of God, let him have his way in our lives always and let him receive all the glory and honor as we serve him. This is what the Father seeks of us.

November 12 2013 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Bernita Rainey Missionary and Minster wife
Biblical fact they were praying without the spirit of God telling them everything to do in word and indeed do it all in the name of jesus. Thats why the scripture said these kind come out by fasting and praying.

November 12 2013 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Data Pastor Shafer
[dumb spirit] Not only a dumb spirit, but also a lunatic spirit (Mt. 17:15) Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. 
A clear instance of the reality of demons and the cause of many physical maladies. 
A mute condition (Mk. 9:17,25) Deafness (Mk. 9:25) Foaming at the mouth (Mk. 9:18,20) 
Fits (Mk. 9:18,20,26) Gnashing of teeth (Mk. 9:18) Pining away, lifelessness, complete exhaustion (Mk. 9:18,26) Prostrations (Mk. 9:20) Suicidal tendencies (Mk. 9:22) Screaming (Mk. 9:26) Lunacy or insanity (Mt. 17:15)

Mark 9:18 (KJV) And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not. 

[they could not] They were like modern disciples -- powerless and unbelieving. 

[tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming] Caused him to have a convulsion and to roll about foaming 
(Mk. 9:25-27 KJV)25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. 26 And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. 27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose. 

[to destroy him] The purpose of Satan (Jn. 10:10). 

[but if thou canst do any thing]
Note the two if's of Mk. 9:22-23; one by the father of the child and one by Jesus. Deity can use "if thou canst" just as much as man. In fact, God has the only lawful right to use such a term, for it is a settled fact that all things are possible with Him. So if man can quit his eternal questionings and satanic unbelief concerning God's will and power, "all things" will be possible for the believer (Mk. 9:23; 11:22-24; Mt. 17:20; 21:22; Jn. 14:12-15; 15:7,16; 16:23-26).
It is not the question so much as to what God can do, but what man can do in believing God and His Word. Any question of God's will concerning 
anything that He has already promised and provided for all men, is an excuse of unbelief and must be repented of (Mk. 9:24; Heb. 11:6; Jas. 1:5-8).

Verse 25
[rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him] The disciples did this, but there is a difference in a rebuke of faith and power and one of unbelief. Jesus had conquered Satan and demons in the wilderness and was master of them, but this had not yet been done by the disciples (Mk. 9:29; Mt. 17:17-21; compare with Acts 19:13-16). 

Verse 28
[Why could not we cast him out?]. The answer, "Because of your unbelief" is always the correct one for questions like this (Mt. 17:20-21). Instead of accepting this many modern followers have manufactured innumerable substitutes as excuses for the lack of power,
such as, "it may not be God's will"; "you may be under the chastening of God"; "power to heal was for the apostles only"; "signs, gifts, and miracles ceased with the apostles"; "you may be exalted if God would hear your prayers"; "healing is not in the atonement"; "healing is not for all today"; etc. 
[kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting] Proving there are different kinds of demon spirits.

March 14 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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