Turning to Jesus! Story Four

A Vacation Bible School Curriculum by Barry McWilliams
an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America

Story Four: The demon who Wouldn't Come Out

Daily Theme: Faith is Believing in Jesus' power to save.

Teaching Method: Dramatic Storytelling.

Tell the story in your own words, using the storyteller's skills. Note the phrases to repeat.

Story Summary:

  1. While Jesus, Peter, James and John are away on a mountain, the other nine disciples are confronted with a challenge: a very ill boy, a very concerned father and a group of very unfriendly Pharisees.
  2. They prayed a short prayer, and tried to help the boy, but failed.
  3. As the father is very disappointed and the Pharisees mock them, Jesus arrives and inquires what is going on.
  4. The somewhat ashamed disciples are afraid to speak up, so the father does, telling Jesus about his child.
  5. Jesus rebukes his disciples for their lack of faith in him.
  6. Asked for help, Jesus confronts the father with his own lack of faith. The man responds that he believes, but needs help to trust Jesus fully.
  7. Jesus heals the boy by casting out the wicked spirit.
  8. The disciples ask why they failed, and Jesus responds that they had failed to pray as they needed to pray.

A simple Story Outline:

  1. The man tries to find help for his child
    a. Doctor's b. Rabbi's c. Pharisee's take him to Jesus' disciples)
  2. The disciples challenged by the Pharisees try, but fail to help him.
  3. Jesus appears and rebukes them all for lack of faith:
    a.The Pharisees b. the disciples c. the man
  4. Jesus casts out the demon immediately.

Key Phrases:

Once there was a man with a very sick boy. He loved his boy very much. But the boy had a terrible disease that robbed him of hearing and speech, and often made him fall down, foaming at the mouth and grinding his teeth. Often he would almost fall into the cooking fire or water where he might drown.

The man took him to the doctors, he told them the problem and said "If you can do anything, please help us". But they could do nothing. One said "This child is not only sick, he must have an evil spirit in him that makes these things happen."

The man took his child to the Rabbi's to ask them to pray for him to get well. "If you can do anything at all, please help us." When they heard how sick he was, and especially when they heard about the evil spirit, they told them there was little they could do.

But one day a group of Pharisees overheard him ask "If you can do anything, please help us". They had been looking for someone so sick that nothing could be done. One of them said, "This would be a good test for Jesus and his disciples. I bet they couldn't help him either". They all agreed.

So they went to the man and asked him what was wrong. He told them, and they said: "Jesus' disciples are nearby. If they can do anything, perhaps they can help you".

So everybody hurried off to find Jesus and the disciples. Now Jesus had gone up on a mountain with three of His disciples and wondrous things were happening there. But that's another story.

Now Jesus' other nine disciples were anxiously awaiting Jesus to come down from the mountain. When they saw the group of people coming, they were even more nervous. Jesus had taught them how to help people and even how to heal diseases and cast out demons. But they were not real confident even yet.

Then from the midst of the crowd a man emerged carrying a boy. He set the child down and, though the boy looked normal, all of a sudden he seemed to be thrown down and began gnashing his teeth. There was foam around his lips. The man looked at them pleadingly and said: "if you can do anything, please help us."

The crowd had gathered around, and some of them were Pharisees who had often argued with Jesus, and sometimes tried to trick him and get him into trouble with the Priests. One of them spoke up.

"You are Jesus' disciples, aren't you? Help the man"

The disciples looked at each other, wondering what to do. The crowd was muttering. The man looked at them pleading: "He has a demon that tries to kill him by throwing him into the fire or water. If you can do anything, please help us."

One of the disciples said: "Jesus told us that Faith as small as a little seed can move mountains if we just believe. Anything is possible to him who believes." Another said: "We have to do something, the crowd is laughing at us". A third said: "We have got try to help this man and his child".

So they tried to cast the demon out. But the child still lay there, his body jerking. The crowd began to laugh louder. They tried again. Still nothing happened. The crowd began to make jokes.

"Why can't we cast this one out?" the disciples were asking each other. They tried again and nothing happened.

Just then there was a sudden quiet in the crowd. It parted and there stood Jesus looking at sternly at them all.

"What is going on?" He said.

The disciples ashamed kept quiet. The pharisees surprised by his appearance kept quiet.

The man on the ground holding his son cried out: "I brought my boy to your disciples, to cast out the demon within him, but they couldn't do it. If you can do anything, please help us."

Jesus looked at the crowd. He could see their guiltily avoidance of his eyes. He knew how they had been making fun of the disciples. "How long," Jesus said "will I have to put up with you, O unbelieving Generation!"

He looked at his disciples. He could see their sadness at failing to help the boy. "O unbelieving generation." he said again this time with sadness in his voice. "How long will I be with you?"

Then he looked at the boy and with love in his eyes said: "Bring him to me!" As the boy was brought to Jesus the evil spirit in the child became even more violent.

"How long has he been like this" Jesus asked. "Since childhood", said the man. "If you can do anything, please help us"

"If" said Jesus..."IF!...Don't you believe I can. Anything is possible to him who believes. Why do you say `if'?"

"I do believe, but...but...it's not easy to do so...help me believe."

Then Jesus commanded the evil spirit in the boy: "O deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again!"

The spirit shrieked and shook the boy. The the boy lay still. Some in the crowd thought he was dead, but Jesus picked him up and he stood straight. His father called his name and the child turned to him. "O father, father". the boy said as his dad hugged him close. "I do believe you Jesus". the man sobbed. "Thank you".

The crowd was amazed. "Jesus spoke and the spirit came out right away. The boy can hear and talk."

As the crowd left, Jesus disciples came up to him and asked: "Why couldn't we help him?" Jesus said to them: "Because of your little faith. This kind of demon can only come out by prayer. All you had to do was pray, and I would have helped you cast him out".

© 1989 Barry McWilliams and Mission Church Fellowship,
Hypertext Version © 1996 Barry McWilliams
For Permission to reproduce and use these materials and other information
Contact Barry McWilliams at eldrbarry@eldrbarry.net