14. And when they came back down the mountain to re-join the other nine disciples, they saw a huge crowd around them, and the religion scholars obviously arguing with them about something.
15. But as soon as the crowd saw Jesus, His face still slightly glowing with the residue of the glory from the transfiguration, they were amazed, and instantly drawn to Him...and they all flocked to Him, and greeted Him with great excitement.
16. And He warmly received them, asking, "What's going on down here? What's all the commotion about?"
17. From out of the crowd a man spoke up and said, "I'll tell You what's going on...I brought my son to You, because he is under the influence of a spirit that has struck him dumb.
18. And not only has it silenced him, verbally, it also frequently sends him into violent convulsions, causing him to foam at the mouth and grind his teeth, after which he falls into a motionless stupor. This thing is literally making him waste away, so I asked Your disciples to end its authority over his life, but they weren't able to do it.
19. To which Jesus responded, "Oh what a faithless and unaware generation! How many times do I have to go over these things with you? At what point are you going to start walking in your own authority? Bring your boy to Me, sir."
20. So the boy was brought to Him, and when the controlling spirit saw Jesus, and recognized who He was (as the spirits always did), it started showing off, attempting to rebel and resist Jesus' authority. It threw the boy into a seizure, causing him to writhe on the ground and foam at the mouth, just as the father had described.
21. Ignoring the spirit's dramatic display, Jesus asked the boy's father, "How long has this been going on?"
22. "Ever since he was a little boy", the man said. "And I didn't tell you this part, but sometimes it even causes him to attempt suicide...it tells him to jump into an open fire, or to drown himself in the river, and he tries to do what it tells him to do! We're really in trouble here, so if you can do anything to help us with this thing, please have a heart and do it!"
23. Jesus answered him, "You say 'if' to Me...'if' you can help us...and I say 'if' right back to you...'if' you can believe...'if' you can believe, anything is possible!"
24. And before Jesus could completely finish the sentence, the man cried out, "YES! YES! I do believe! I mean, I have some doubts I have to deal with...I'm tired, physically and emotionally, frustrated with this thing that's been plaguing my son for so long...but deep in my heart I really do believe! That's why I came to you in the first place!"
25. Jesus noticed that an even larger crowd was forming to see what was going on, and He refused to let the spirit gain any more attention. So He said, "All right...that's enough, you controlling spirit! Leave the boy's life, and never bother him again!
26. And the spirit screamed, and convulsed him...then it obeyed Jesus and departed. But it left the boy spent and seemingly lifeless, lying still on the ground, so the people started saying, "He's dead."
27. But Jesus gripped his hand, and in one swift motion, pulled him up off the ground, and he stood on his own.
28. After arriving back home, His disciples cornered Jesus and asked, "OK...why couldn't we drive the spirit out?"
29. And He answered them, "Look, I've authorized you all to do everything that I do, but you can't let rebel spirits intimidate you, and make you think that you're weak...or that they're strong. You have to maintain your confidence in who you are in God to have dominion in the spirit realm...and you can do that by staying in constant communication with Him. In that sense you could say that these kinds of spirits can only be expelled through the self-awareness resulting from the strength of your own prayer life."