Coming down from a high.
Picture yourself please.
Maybe it was a sweet time away from the pressures of the workaday world;
perhaps it was a Christian retreat or journey to Israel where Jesus walked;
then again, maybe you got to go home for a few days. . . hmmm, home.
You did not want your experience to end… you really wanted the feeling to last.
Then you were like Peter. A little like James. Perhaps a lot like John. After all, the three had just gone up a high mountain with Jesus, only to see him as He really was—God. They had witnessed the one time in all of Jesus’ earthly life He showed his divine glory. Not to mention, Jesus was joined by Moses and Elijah who had been dead more than a thousand years (!) capped off by the voice of God himself speaking to them. Wow.1
The magnificent Transfiguration of Jesus was just days after he had told the disciples he was going to die, (last Morning Briefing https://conta.cc/3CByfqe), about three years into his three-and-a-half year ministry.
After being witness to the miraculous move of God on the mountain, imagine then going back down to everyday life…what a letdown. Immediately, the four are confronted by the struggle, the tension of the attacks from the arrogant naysayers and a boy desperately needing healing from Jesus. The boy's father explained that he had an unclean spirit that robbed him of speech, sometimes threw him to the ground in convulsions.
Before reading Jesus' handling of the situation, I pray:
"Heavenly Father, as I read scripture today, grant me understanding and wisdom,
guard me from distraction. Deposit the truths of your unchanging words into my mind and deep in my soul. Help me understand more about following and having faith in You. Amen."
Mark writes, “And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”2
Step a little closer please.
What is the context of this passage? The gospel writer Mark tells of a miraculous mountain top experience followed by the request of a loving father to heal his son.
What can we learn about Jesus? Jesus did not jump right in—he asked questions, he sought to understand. He listened, he was moved with compassion, and then he says something we do well to remember: All things are possible for one who believes.
What else do we notice? The simple response of the boy's father. I want it to be my prayer as well: “I believe; help my unbelief!” *We do well to ask God to strengthen our faith and daily trust in Him.*
Further application: When the disciples asked Jesus why they had not been able to cast out the evil spirit, in just a few words, he teaches them and us. -->Some things can only be accomplished by faith-filled prayer.
Huh, believing faith + the power of prayer to a mighty God renders results. The fact is we get tired of praying, and we lack self discipline too. Buck up, my friend! God is awake, he is alive and waiting to hear and answer your prayer! Oh, I know your faith gets weak at times, but ask God to increase your faith, just as this boy's father did. And remember, that just as Jesus' sweet mother said, "Nothing is impossible for God!"3
Believe for it, Cece Winans: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4ggKHAK_xk
Trusting in an Almighty, never-changing God~
following in the footsteps of Jesus in the gospel of Mark, 30
1 – Consider what Peter later wrote, For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain. 2 Peter 1.16-18
2 – Mark 9.21-29
3 - Luke 1.37