February 27th 2018 Mark 9:1-29

We see Jesus on the mount of transfiguration today. Immediately following that we see Him heal a boy with a difficult spirit to cast out. When healing comes, but it is not like you thought how do you react?

 

1 And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.” 2 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them.

The Jews really did not get the idea of a suffering Messiah and though that He would some and immediately overthrow the Roman empire and reign there. I am sure that is likely what these guys had in mind when they heard Jesus’ words. However, that was not what He meant. The answer was in the following six days when three of His disciples accompanied Him up the mountain and Jesus was transfigured in front of them. They saw Jesus for those brief moments more as what He looks like as the son of Glory as oppose to a man.

3 His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. 4 And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus. 5 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”— 6 because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid.

This tight must have been spectacular and a little scary to see. His clothes even became white, whiter than a normal white, whiter than was humanly possible to make. Then there were suddenly two prophets of old standing there talking with Jesus. When amazing things are happening around us and we do not know what to say, it is best if we simply do not speak, or at least say the second thing that comes to mind. In our amazement we often open our mouths and say some not bright things. That is what we see happen here with Peter. He was afraid and did not know what to say, so he said something silly. His heart behind what he was saying was nice, but that does not change the fact that it is something that should not have been said. Peter was wanting to build three homes there so that they could stay.

7 And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” 8 Suddenly, when they had looked around, they saw no one anymore, but only Jesus with themselves.

Sometimes we say the first thing on our mind and as it is coming out of our mouth we realize how stupid it really was. Other times we really think we had a great idea and have to be told that it really was not as awesome as we thought. That is more the case here. We hear God’s voice say listen to Jesus who is His son. He is basically saying that it is Jesus who has a heart like His and that has heavenly thoughts like His and is not stuck in the here and now thinking. It is common for us to think that way, because it is what we know. We need to pray to have His heart and follow His words.

9 Now as they came down from the mountain, He commanded them that they should tell no one the things they had seen, till the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept this word to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant.

This is one of the ways the disciples are different then the crowds. The crowds would be healed or see a healing and Jesus would tell them not to say anything, but news of Him would spread like wildfire. When these disciples are told not to say anything they keep their lips sealed. What kind of a person are you? Can you keep your lips sealed? Or when you have news do you just need to spread it? When charged with a secret, so long as keeping it does not put another’s life in danger, we should be people who are trustworthy to keep the secret.

11 And they asked Him, saying, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”12 Then He answered and told them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and restores all things. And how is it written concerning the Son of Man, that He must suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 But I say to you that Elijah has also come, and they did to him whatever they wished, as it is written of him.”

Here things get slightly confusing. The prophecy that talks about Elijah coming first was actually about His second coming. The Jews did not yet know that there were two comes. They knew well the prophecies about Him being the conquering King, but they did not realize that He must come first as the suffering Messiah. In a sense Elijah did come before this coming as well in the spirit of John the Baptist. Jesus draws there attention to the fact that they are missing something by answering this question with pointing to the suffering He must endure.

14 And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them. 15 Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him. 16 And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?”

The scribes were disputing with the disciples over the fact that they could not cast this demon out. How sad is that. There is a desperate father still in front of them and boy who is desperately in need of some help. Rather than someone looking for another solution they get into an argument. Let that never be said of us. If something is going on an we try to solve it, but get nowhere do not get petty and start a dispute, especially not in front of those that came to you for help in the first place.

17 Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit.18 And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”

The father of the child is the one that answered. He told of the desperation he and his son were under and the state of this little boys life. That is a hard place to be. Then he adds that the disciples were not able to help. I can just hear the hopelessness of this man.

19 He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” 20 Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.

They bring the boy before Jesus. As soon as the little boy is brought near the demon casts him to the ground and he begins foaming at the mouth. We would expect for Jesus to heal him instantly to have compassion and end the little boys suffering the moment that He sees it. That is not the case though.

21 So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”And he said, “From childhood. 22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”

Jesus wants to get at the father’s belief in the midst of this healing as well. So we see Jesus ask how long this has been going on. The father replies that is has been since childhood. The life that this kid must have had. The demon would often throw him into the fire and water to try and destroy him. The life this father must of had trying to keep his boy safe all the years he had this demon. He asks that if Jesus could do anything to please have compassion and help them.  

23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

Jesus reply is that if you believe all things are possible. What are you having trouble believing God for? Is it something against His will? Then ask Him to change your heart. Is it something that lines up with the Word of God? Then pray believing Him for it. If you have unbelief towards something ask, like this father did, for God to help your unbelief. James tells us that and unbelieving man is like a man tossed by the waves unstable in all his ways. I do not want to be unstable. I want stability in my life. Therefore I ask God to help my unbelief, because I want ot believe Him for all things.

25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it: “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” 26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.”

Jesus healed this boy, He rebuked the unclean spirit and had him come out and commanded him to enter this fellow no more. But something seemed to have gone wrong. The boy convulsed greatly and then stopped moving. He appeared to be dead. What happens to our faith when things do not go the right way? Do we simply give up and move on? Do we get angry at God for not fulfilling our desires? Or do we take a step back and wait to see how the matter will turn out?

27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.

The boy was not dead, but his body had been put through alot. Jesus went over and helped him up. He arose. He was restored to health and no longer had that demon to mess with him.

28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”

The disciples rightly came to Jesus and asked why they were not able. When we are not able, or when we stumble in some way, do we go to Jesus and ask him why? Do we allow Him to speak into our lives? I know often the answer for me is because its about prayer and your prayer life is lacking. What is it for you? Are you willing to ask Him? I know I am committing to a more active prayer life. What about you? Is your prayer life where it should be?

Caitlin Renee

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