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53: Taking Charge

May 14, 2009

Major Text: Mark 9:14-29

Harmony Texts:

Matt. 17:14-20      Mark 9:14-29      Luke 9:37-43a

Outline:

  1. The Problem Mark 9:14-22
  2. The Solution Mark 9:23-27
  3. The Power Mark 9:28-29

Context/Discussion/Comments:

Jesus and His three disciples [Peter, James, and John] come off the mountain and meet the other nine disciples who were surrounded by a crowd of people and arguing with the teachers of the Law [scribes] over a boy they could not heal. The disciples had healing power when they were sent out alone to minister [see Lesson 41]. Whether that power continued from that day on or whether that power was temporary is unknown. Since they were always with Jesus, I assume they hadn’t tried or needed to use that power. They evidently thought they still possessed that power. Obviously, they didn’t. They did have it after Jesus’ ascension and the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

We don’t know what the argument was about but it probably centered on the validity of Jesus’ disciples to heal and whether or not they healed in the name of God or in the name of Beelzebub. We have much dialog concerning the boy’s condition. Jesus really questions the father concerning the background. Perhaps He wanted to sort out if this situation was a set-up or real. The father comes with very little, if any, faith in that he calls Jesus “Teacher”. But Jesus verifies that the boy does indeed suffer and has suffered for some time. Jesus chides the people for their unbelief and asks to see the boy. Upon seeing Jesus, the boy immediately has a severe seizure caused by the presence of an evil spirit within him. Now the father asks Jesus for pity and help.

“If you can” expresses the shallowness of the father’s faith. Jesus responds telling him “everything is possible for him who believes”. Jesus doesn’t say “if you believe” but “who believes”. A pastor once said “It isn’t the quantity of faith that’s important but the quality of one’s faith”. The father says he believes but recognizes his lack of faith and asks Jesus to remedy that situation.

Jesus heals the boy and later on His disciples ask Jesus why they could not heal the boy. Jesus simple says that this kind of evil spirit can only be healed through prayer.

Lessons/Applications:

1. Avoid all arguments and confrontations. Do not cower to intimidation. But run to the Lord with all your problems.

2. Have your “facts” correct when coming before the Lord. Be honest. Don’t hide the truth and don’t exaggerate the problem.

3. The Lord values our requests when accompanied with a request for His mercy and love.

4. Focus on what you believe and in whom you believe. Express the faith you have and ask for more. The Lord will take what you have and increase it. Just reach out to Him [like the father did] and let Him take your hand [like the son did] and lift you up.

5. Prayer is required to overcome evil. Evil comes in many disguises; arguing, confrontation, conflict, seizures etc. Rely on God and not yourself. Forgetting to pray is a sure bet for failure.

6. Don’t ever let your unbelief stand in the way of your believing.

7. Remember, one must pray to the Lord before “taking charge”.

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