Back to Earth with a Bang!
Father God, grow my faith each day as I spend time with You. I want to be Your growing child.
Read Mark 9:14-29
 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them.  As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.  “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked.  A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech.  Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”  “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”  So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.  Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered.  “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”  “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”  Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”  When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”  The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.”  But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.  After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”  He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat did Jesus demonstrate by this miraculous healing?
Returning from the mount of transfiguration, Peter, James and John meet the other disciples, who have already shown that their faith is inadequate to deal with this severe case of demon possession. They move from glory to despair, from what speaks eloquently of God, to that which speaks only of the power of Satan. At the center of this is a desperate father, with whom many will sympathize. His particular source of anguish is his son’s distressing lifelong experience of possession. Jesus’ disciples are simply ill-equipped to tackle this kind of problem without him. Prayer is identified as the only source of power to cope with a demonically charged world. The father, like many people, has faith, but needs help to access its power (24). Jesus both addresses the father’s need and demonstrates the power of faith to his disciples. At his command, a dramatic turnaround in the boy’s condition takes place (25-27). The story could not be more dramatic; the lesson for the disciples could not be simpler: such spiritual power is only available through faith, acquired by prayer.
What big challenges do you face? How does this story help you? Are you praying for faith and power?
Lord Jesus, You have power over all! Strengthen my faith to trust in Your power when the challenges seem great.
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