November 11 – Saturday of the Twenty-fifth Week after Pentecost (8th of Luke) Luke 9:37-43
The Majesty of God: Luke 9:37-43, especially vs. 43: “And they were all amazed at the majesty of God.” As the Lord Jesus heals a demon-possessed boy, He reveals His majesty in the form of His sovereign power and personal splendor. The plight of the child and his father—and the inability of the disciples to heal the boy—are vividly contrasted with Christ, who shows deep compassion for the child who is thrown “down and convulsed” by an “unclean spirit” (vs. 42). When the Lord “healed the child and returned him to his father” (vs. 42), all present are “amazed at the majesty of God.”
The Lord Jesus’ divine power and magnificence are evident to everyone witnessing these events (vs. 43). How is the majesty of God made evident in this healing? Four factors come together in the circumstances of this miracle. First, the Lord Jesus’ reputation for miracles is already well known in the region. As a result, the father brings to Him a son reduced to a most pitiable state by the dark powers. The Lord Jesus then displays His compassion by immediately responding to the father’s plea. Finally, a violent demonic assault takes place right before His eyes.
What unites these factors is Christ’s direct response. He rebukes the demon, heals the child, and gives him to the distraught father. God’s power and splendor are revealed in one majestic stroke.
To appreciate how the majesty of God is shown forth to the people who witness this healing, let us first consider why “a great multitude” meets the Lord as He descends from Mount Tabor (vs. 37). We can refresh our memories by briefly reviewing Saint Luke’s Gospel from chapter 4 onward, setting the present moment in the context of the larger narrative.
The Lord Jesus has long astonished people with His teaching, “for His word was with authority” (vs. 4:32). Reports about Him “went out into every place in the surrounding region” (vs. 37). For this reason crowds constantly come seeking Him (vs. 42) and wait for Him expectantly (vs. 8:40). Jesus’ teachings reveal God to be a merciful Father, kind to His children even when we are “unthankful” and “evil” (vss. 6:35-36).
When the Lord leaves the seclusion of Mount Tabor (vss. 9:28-36), He is immediately confronted by the troubled father: “Teacher, I implore You, look on my son, for he is my only child” (vs. 9:38). The boy is suffering seizures caused by demonic torment. One such assault is acted out by the insolent evil spirit (vs. 42) right before His eyes, as if to taunt Him: “What are You going to do about this?”
The power of God is thrown into even greater relief further by the fact that the Lord’s own disciples have not been able to heal the child (vs. 40). The consequences of human sin and bondage are manifest in the plight of the suffering child and his helpless community.
However, God’s majesty is not revealed merely through raw power. Along with the Lord Jesus’ capacity to heal, His divine majesty shines forth in His display of deep compassion. The Lord immediately “rebuked the unclean spirit, healed the child, and gave him back to his father” (vs. 42).
“They called upon the Lord, and He hearkened unto them” (Ps 98:7). Let us recognize the glory of our God and worship at the footstool of His feet. Here is a majesty that does not remain removed or detached, but rather a tender majesty that uses His infinite power creatively to bind up our wounds.
Help us; save us; have mercy on us; and keep us, O God, by Thy grace! – Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom