(This message may be used as an individual sermon or as part of the series.)



Trouble often follows high points in our lives. I’ve learned that when there are high points in my experiences, the very lows are sure to follow!

Last time we saw Jesus and three of his apostles, Peter, James, and John on a mountain where Jesus was transfigured before them and they saw Jesus in his glorified state as God.  They also heard the voice of God saying out of a cloud saying, This is my beloved Son, hear him!

As they come down the mountain to meet the other nine disciples, they walk right into trouble!


Vs. 14 – Jesus shows up to find the scribes, copiers and interpreters of the Law, the Jewish Scriptures, arguing with the disciples.  There was also a great crowd of onlookers.

The disciples were busy defending themselves because they had failed.  As we’ll see in a minute, a man brought his demon possessed son to Jesus.  Because Jesus wasn’t there, the disciples, who had been commissioned to cast out demons, tried to and failed.

You and I can relate to these disciples.  We know all about failure.  We’ve failed often enough, even when we were trying to serve the Lord and do His business.

Vs. 15 – At this very crucial time, in the midst of their failure, Jesus shows up.  I believe the people were surprised to see Jesus because they weren’t expecting Him at that moment, and because the discussion had somewhat to do with Him.

You see, when we disciples fail, it is a reflection on our Master, the Lord Jesus Christ.  When we blow it, He very often gets the blame.

The moment Jesus showed up, the attention was no longer placed on the disciples, but on the Master!

In our day and age, because Jesus is always with us through His Holy Spirit, we don’t have to wait for Him to show up.

BOY IN TROUBLE – Vss. 16-18

Vs. 16 – Notice something here.  When Jesus is brought into a problem, He’ll take over if you let Him!

Right away Jesus is on the defense of His disciples.  This won’t let them off the hook as far being accountable for their mistakes, but it does mean that Jesus is there to help, fix, and defend.

Jesus asked the scribes what the problem was and evidently there was a deafening silence.

Vs. 17 – A man in the crowd tells Jesus what the problem is.  There’s a boy in trouble. It is His boy, in fact, it’s his only son.

The man was saying, “I brought Him to you Lord. He has a dumb spirit.”  That means he couldn’t talk.  Evidently he couldn’t hear either, because when Jesus healed the boy he removed a “deaf and dumb” spirit.

Vs. 18 – The boy’s problem becomes more detailed and more troubling.  The boy is having seizures. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes as stiff as a board.

This was evidently a form of epilepsy complicated by demon possession.

And to make the boy’s problem even greater, the disciples could not help him.


Jesus was talking to the disciples, and putting them in the same boat as the generation in which they lived.

The disciples had tried to cast the demon out of this boy and couldn’t.  But they had been commissioned to do this. Mark 3:14-15

They had some success. Mark 6:12-13

Now, they were powerless.

They, like the rest of the generation, were faithless.

They had tried to cast out the demons in their own power, without relying on the power of the Lord Jesus.

There faith was evidently not in God, but in their own abilities, and they failed.

Jesus was distraught with them. He was wondering out loud how long He had to put up with their obvious lack of faith.

The boy was still hurting because the disciples were faithless.

Jesus said about the boy, “Bring him to me.”

As we’ll see in a few moments, we must learn to bring the troubles of people to Jesus by faith.


Vs. 20 – The demon saw Jesus and seemed to tighten his grasp on the boy. A severe convulsion took place.  It seems that when the devil senses that he is trouble, he often intensifies his attack.

Vss. 21-22 – Jesus asked the Father how long this problem had been occurring.

The Father responded that it had happened since the boy had been a child,

He added that the demon had such a hold on the boy that he even cast him to fire and water trying to destroy the lad.

And notice the father’s impassioned plea, “If you can do anything have compassion on us, and help us.”

The father’s faith was in trouble.

It was wearing thin over the years of no relief.

It had worn thinner because the disciples couldn’t help.

And now his last hope is Jesus. 

Vs. 23 – How often do we doubt God’s willingness to help us?

How often do we doubt God’s ability to help us?

How often have we in our minds rendered things impossible?

Next Jesus says, “All things are possible to him that believes.”

Jesus is not saying that whatever I want I can have if I just believe.

The man here as standing before the Son of God, and what the man wanted was the healing of his son.  Jesus is showing that the healing of the son is God’s will and indicating that Jesus had the power to do it.  What he needed was the faith of the Father.

Our faith should always be based on the clear teaching of the Word of God. If God promises something, we can believe He will do it if we ask by faith.

If the Spirit of God clearly impresses us that something is God’s will, we should then believe that God will provide it in answer to prayer. 1 John 5:14-15,

Vs. 24 – Immediately the father of the child cries out, “Lord I do believe”!  It was a like a lunge forward.  “Based on what you just said Lord, I believe that you are going to heal my son.” 

But now notice how transparent the man is!

We should all be so honest!

“Lord, I believe, but help my unbelief.”

The man’s faith was imperfect and he admitted it.

Now instead of asking for help for his son, he’s asking for help for himself!

Your faith won’t always be perfect. This man’s wasn’t.

And when your faith is not perfect, admit it and ask for help!


Now we see the power of Jesus at work.

Vs. 25 – Evidently the discussion with the man was of a more private nature.  Now the people were coming together again. Jesus commands the spirit to come out and not to return.  He uses his authority as God. This is why we are pray and trust. It is God that has authority not me.  And when God takes action there is no doubt that there will be submission on the part of others. They have no choice. 

Vs. 26 – The demon left kicking and screaming. He so worked on the boy that he appeared dead.

Vs. 27 – But Jesus lifted him up and he was healed. The demon was gone.

The boy’s trouble was a demon.

The father’s trouble was that his boy had a demon, and both he and son were helpless to do anything about it.

The father submitted his trouble by request and faith to the Lord Jesus.

He placed the trouble under Jesus’ authority.


Vs. 28 – The disciples asked the logical question, “Why did we fail?”

Jesus had given them authority over demons, and yet they couldn’t handle this one.

Vs. 29 – The problem was so great that the only solution was prayer! 

Jesus stressed the need for persevering prayer. Matthew 7:7-8

Jesus stressed the importance of believing prayer. Mark 11:22-24

All through the Epistles there is a call to persistent, faithful, believing prayer. Ephesians 6:18, Colossians 4:2, 1 Timothy 2:8, James 5:16-18, 1 Peter 4:7

For personal problems – pray!

For family problems – pray!

For church problems – pray!

For church growth – pray!

For more effective preaching – pray!

And what about fasting?  There is some question as to whether the word belongs in the text or not.  But the Bible Knowledge Commentary explains it well when it says, “But the words, if original, refer to a practical means of focusing one’s attention more fully on God for a specific purpose, for a limited period of time.” John F. Walvoord, Roy F. Zuck, Editors, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament Edition, (Wheaton, Illinois, Victor Books, 1983), p145

If God moves you to fast to concentrate on seeking God’s face in prayer, do it!

As we close this message, what does this passage of Scripture teach us?


(This message may be used as an individual sermon or as part of the series.)



We all face trials and troubles often.  It is what Cole Porter called “Stormy Weather” in a song that he wrote.  

There were a couple of times when the disciples faced storms on the Sea of Galilee.  

As we look at this story about literal storm, we also learn lessons about the figurative storms that cause trials and troubles in our lives.  Let’s see what lessons we can learn this morning about stormy weather. 


Vs. 23 – Think of the boat as our lives.

Although God is present everywhere, there is a special sense in which God is present in our lives.  When He indwells us, He has taken up special residence inside of us. John 14:16-17 

God the Holy Spirit dwells inside of the Christian.

He is there to guide us, protect us, keep us, teach us, and comfort us.

And God has promised the Christian that this presence is unending! Hebrews 13:5-6 

You have heard people say, and might have said yourself, “I wouldn’t want to face this problem without the Lord!”

How true!  If God is willing to take up residence in our lives through his Holy Spirit it would be dumb not to avail ourselves of His presence. 

When you trust Christ as your payment for sins, you are what the Bible calls, born again, by the Spirit of God.  And God the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your life. Romans 8:9    

If you have truly trusted Christ as your Savior, you have God’s presence in your life no matter what the storm may be.  Make sure that you have Christ in the boat that is your life!    


Vs. 23 – The Lord Jesus entered the boat.  The disciples followed Him into the boat. It was the Lord Jesus who decided where they were going. Luke 8:22 

The disciples ended up in a storm on the Sea of Galilee because they were following Jesus in obedience.

Of course, being obedient to God as a Christian and following Jesus’ leadership in our lives is the right thing to do. Luke 9:23-24 

Following Jesus after trusting Him for forgiveness does not mean that it will be an easy life.  In fact, we will have storms. 2 Timothy 3:12, James 1:2-4 

The storms that Jesus leads through will make us strong and mature.  And I’d rather follow Jesus in the middle of a storm than to not follow Jesus.  Being in the center of the Lord’s will is always the safest place to be. 

But you’ll also face storms if you’re not obedient to God. 

Would you rather face storms being in the center of God’s will, or out of God’s will? Which makes the most sense?   


Vs. 24 – I don’t have to tell you how dangerous storms can be.  Just consider last year’s tsunami and hurricanes Ivan and Rita.

This storm was a very violent storm, and even seasoned fishermen like Peter, Andrew, James, and John were having trouble with it. 

The storms of life which we face are also dangerous.

Sometimes we will be in physical danger because of persecution, accidents or illness.

Other times we are in emotional danger with our “storms” threatening to overwhelm us with fear and/or depression.

Other times we are in Spiritual danger, with Satan’s attacks challenging us to give up or to sin. 

And this verse alludes to another danger.  We might be concerned because in the midst of the storm God appears to be asleep.  He does not seem to be responding to our problems during the storm.  He seems to be silent. 

Our Lord Jesus was able to sleep because He had a human body that got tired.  He was also able to sleep because, being sinless, He had a clean conscience.  He was also able to sleep, because He quietly allowed Himself to rest in the hands of His loving Heavenly Father.

If you are doing what is right before the Lord, confessing your sins as a Christian, and striving to live for Him, don’t panic when God appears to be asleep. He’ll show Himself to be very much alive at just the right time. 


Vs. 25 – When storms come we tend to fear. And sometimes when storms come we will go into a panic.  The situation seems to be absolutely hopeless! 

Humans tend to be fearful.  If we didn’t tend to be fearful, God would not have put so many verses in the Bible telling us not to be afraid. I’ll just give you two samples, but there are many more “do not fear” verses in the Bible. Psalm 27:1, Isaiah 41:10 

We tend to fear and worry about what might happen but hasn’t happened.

We tend to fear and worry about the future.

We tend to fear and worry about the opinions of others.

We tend to fear and worry about our children, our parents, our spouses. 

Then comes the times our problems are so real to us that they tend to overwhelm us.  We hit the panic mode. 

Yes, many fears are justified.  But there is a proper way to handle fear.

These seasoned fishermen were literally in over their heads and they knew it, coming to Jesus in panic. 


Vs. 25 – The disciples awoke the Lord Jesus.

Their anxious prayer was an indication that they had come to the end of themselves, and that they had at least a little faith that Jesus could help. 

I personally think that they waited too long to ask Jesus for help.  The moment things got a little stormy, I think they should have come to Him. 

We are like that.  If things seem to be just a little stormy or troublesome, we’ll just worry over it and try to solve it ourselves, instead of bringing it to God right away.

But when problems get full blown, we come in a panic with a little, but not much faith that God can help. Philippians 4:6, James 1:5-8 

Vs. 26 – Note that Jesus did not rebuke the disciples for waking Him up.  Like I said, I feel that He would have welcomed being woken up sooner.    

Notice our Lord’s calm rebuke in the midst of the storm.

He was not in a panic. He’s totally under control.  He can even take the time to rebuke the disciples before He did anything.  He is master of the situation. 

Let’s remember when we give our stormy problems to God He is not in a panic.  He can solve the problem leisurely if He chooses to.  There is no reason to get in a dither or bent out of shape. 


Vs. 26 – Jesus said the word and there was perfect calm. It was like there had been no storm. There was no rocking of the waves that normally follow a storm. There was perfect peace. 

When Jesus speaks the Word there is perfect peace.

Sometimes the problem totally disappears, but more often than not the place where the greatest miracle has occurred is inside of us. 

We are at peace.

God has calmed the ragging in our souls. 

Vs. 27 – The disciples were absolutely amazed!  The Lord Jesus had done what they had never seen before.  A human being told the storm to cease and it did.  The winds obeyed Him! The waves obey Him. 

They had a new appreciation for the power of Jesus!

They had a new appreciation for the glory of Jesus!

And when Jesus calms our storms, we too, should have a new appreciation for the power and glory of the Lord Jesus.

We should be amazed!

We should be filled with praise and worship.

We should be ready to trust Him when an even bigger storm comes.