When reading this passage, we tend to focus on the Transfiguration of Jesus. After all, it has such theological significance. As for the healing that follows, the Gospel has lots of stories of healing. Besides, when we read the others we don’t have to think about whether we are like the disciples who were asked to heal the boy and could not.
Unlike Matthew and Mark, Luke does not address the issue of why the disciples had failed in their attempt. But he does sandwich the stories of the Transfiguration and this healing between two times when Jesus foretold his death, then talked about God’s reversal of the typical values of the world (gaining things of the world, being great).
The events on the mount of transfiguration confirmed Jesus in his journey toward suffering and death, so that he might bring life to the world. But the disciples still tended to think in terms of worldly values. Only after his death and resurrection were they transformed and began to share that new life with others.
These verses from Psalm 36 stand in stark contrast to those at the beginning of the psalm. Interpreters have pondered the reason for the abrupt change at verse 5. Earlier, the psalmist reflects on the attitude of the person who does not fear God, who has abandoned wisdom and chosen evil over good. Then the psalmist switches to praising God for His righteousness and steadfast love, before ending with a prayer against evil and evildoers.
It has been suggested that these contrasting verses help us remember that praising God and focusing on His goodness is a good way to keep us turned toward Him and away from evil. Or it is a reminder that no matter how bad the world seems sometimes, the steadfast love of God is just as true as ever, and we can take shelter in Him. In any case, the verses of praise, while they certainly could stand alone, here serve to focus our minds on God in the midst of a world that is so often opposed to Him.