Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 9:14-29, Matthew 17:14-21, Luke 9:37-43a, Mark 9:30-32, Matthew 17:22-23, Luke 9:43b-45, Matthew 17:24-27, Mark 9:33-37, Matthew 18:1-6, Luke 9:46-48, Mark 9:38-41, Luke 9:49-50, Mark 9:42-50, Matthew 18:7-35
I am so sick of turning on the T.V. and seeing two people with opposing views screaming at each other…
The same kind of thing went on in Jesus’ day; they just didn’t have the media to show it to the world a hundred times a day.
In today’s world we call that entertainment. From today’s reading we see that the crowd was entertained by a good argument in Jesus’ day as well.
In Mark 9, Jesus and three of His disciples walked up on an argument between a huge crowd of people, the local religious leaders, and nine of His disciples. Jesus immediately asked what all the arguing was about (Mark 9:16).
Most likely the religious leaders were pointing out to the crowd that the Jesus’ disciples weren’t able to heal the demon-possessed boy. They were probably getting louder and louder, with the noise of the crowd adding fuel to the fire. If I were one of the disciples I would have definitely felt the need to defend the healing power of Jesus.
Can you just imagine the shouting match that must have gone on?
Jesus, Peter, James, and John had just come down from the mountain where they had heard the voice of God…
Talk about going “back to the real world!”
What happened next will probably be a surprise, if you think Jesus would have run away from an argument!
Jesus got right in the middle of mix, raised His voice and addressed all of them, including His disciples:
Jesus said to them, “You faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” –Mark 9:19
It seems that lack of faith is one of the few things that frustrated our Savior to the point of asking, “How long must I put up with you?”
In almost every miracle Jesus did He either praised great faith or corrected the lack of faith.
Faith is important to God:
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. –Hebrews 11:6
How do we get more faith?
That’s where the problem lies. There’s a price to pay for great faith.
The disciples asked this same question when they talked after Jesus healed the boy.
Afterward, when Jesus was alone in the house with his disciples, they asked him, “Why couldn’t we cast out that evil spirit?”
Jesus replied, “This kind can be cast out only by prayer. –Mark 9:28-29
Most versions of the Bible say it can only be cast out by prayer AND fasting.
The spiritual disciplines of prayer and fasting are crucial to live a life of faith in this fallen world.
Can you see why your humanness fights so hard when you set aside time to fast and pray?
I’m sure if Jesus were here He would be frustrated by our lack of faith.
I challenge you to find some time right now to spend with God in prayer!
Heavenly Father, help us to see the importance in doing our part to strengthen our faith. Lord, we say with the father of the demon-possessed boy, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: John 7:1-9, Luke 9:51-56, Matthew 8:18-22, Luke 9:57-62, John 7:10-8:20