Mark 9: 9-29
Mark 9:9-29 9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant.
11 And they asked him, “Why do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”
12 Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah does come first, and restores all things. Why then is it written that the Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected? 13 But I tell you, Elijah has come, and they have done to him everything they wished, just as it is written about him.”
14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.
16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked.
17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 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.”
19 “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.”
20 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.
21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
“From childhood,” he answered. 22 “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.”
23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
25 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.”
26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?
29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.
What we believe about Jesus Christ matters in every part of our life. Faith is important! Without faith there can be no approach to God.
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Luke 7:50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Acts 15:9 He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.
1Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
2 Corinthians 1:24 Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm.
Romans 1:5 Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake.
We either have faith in ourselves or faith in God. God wants us to have faith in Him.
There are 6 ways we can fortify our faith:
1. From verses 9 -13 we see we need to avoid spiritual distraction. Jesus, John, James and Peter were coming down the mountain from the Transfiguration and the disciples started talking about rising from the dead. And they talked about Elijah! Jesus had just been glorified before their eyes and they were focused on Elijah! Spiritual ADHD – we all have it! Just pay attention to your mind during a sermon! To purify our faith we need to always put Jesus in the center of our thinking and fight off distraction.
Colossians 3:1-2 1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
This is how we avoid spiritual distraction.
The second way to fortify our faith is:
2. From verses 14-19: we see we need to admit our faith’s frailty. Everyone in this story except Jesus had frail faith. Not all Christians have the same amount of faith. Faith is a gift from God. He gives us saving Grace, but then He expects us to grow our faith. He wants us to abound in Grace for His Glory! What He says in verse 19 tells us that our doubts and disbeliefs burden Him. “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?” Our faith gladdens Him! Whenever we have doubt or anxiety we need to turn it over to Him.
3. From verses 20-22 we learn we need to appreciate our relationship with Christ. The goal of the demon in this story was to kill the boy! He ravaged him for many years. The father must have been beside himself. The Luke passage of this story said it was the man’s only child. The man was desperate. And Jesus entered into his pain with compassion by asking “How long has he been this way?” Jesus wanted his faith to be strengthened. But the father almost blew it. He said “if you can”! He had weak faith.
4. From verse 23 we see we need to access the potency of faith. Jesus responded “if you can”? “All things are possible to him who believes.” John 14:13-14 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. This is misunderstood by some today. Believing a Mercedes will appear won’t make it happen. What it’s saying is the power of our faith is based on the power of the one in whom we believe. If you place faith in something that doesn’t exist it doesn’t mean anything. “In His name” - when we give God all our belief He will make it happen in His will. His best for our life. His purpose will unfold. As believers we can expect it to be filled with kindness and mercy. God allows for desperation to occur so that we are drawn closer to Him. There is a blessing in desperation. If it brings Christ to us it’s worth it!
5. From verses 24-27 we see we must appropriate Christ’s healing. Verse 23 was Christ’s pointing out the man’s wrong thinking and now in verse 24 the man immediately repents. And the reward for his faith is Jesus delivers the son from the demon.
6. Verses 28-29 tell us to apply the potency of prayer. Again it’s not that our prayer is powerful, but the one we pray to is. The disciples who had been trying to get rid of the demon had been relying on their own power, not God’s. Trust God. Depend on Him!
Romans 10:11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”