Daily Bible Reading – 2.17.2021

Rev. Ben Lovell   -  
Daily Bible Reading – 2.17.2021:
Mark 9:14-29 (NIV) – 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.”
Pastor Doug’s Comments:
After Jesus’ descent from the mountaintop, there was a great commotion below. Jesus discovered again that the joy of mountaintop experiences does not last long! The disciples, the crowd, and religious leaders were arguing. When they saw Jesus, they stopped and ran to meet him. Jesus asked them about the argument and discovered that the disciples were unable to deliver a boy possessed by a violent demon.
Jesus was not happy with their inability to do so. He called them unbelieving. Ouch! That had to hurt! It reminds us of Moses’ descent from the mountain to find Aaron and all of Israel worshiping a golden calf.
Since the disciples’ authority was always dependent on Jesus, this spiritual breakdown implied that their relationship with him had been seriously compromised by their failure to fully embrace the freshly revealed cross-bearing path of true discipleship.
Jesus questioned the father’s statement “if you can do anything.” By saying, “everything is possible for the one who believes.” In a most honest response, the father replied, “I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief.”
In admitting his own inadequacy and his dependence on Jesus, he served as an example to the disciples of what honest faith looks like. Believing and not believing, and asking for help.
In removing the most difficult demons, Jesus said prayer was the key. There is unequalled power found in prayer. Even though they had been successful before, for some reason they were not aligned with the power of God in this instance. Just as the man’s honest plea for help was a prayer, the disciples needed to learn the tremendous power in aligning with God’s will in prayer.
Questions To Consider/Discuss:
Are you honest with God in prayer? How have you experienced the power of prayer at work?