Wednesday, May 23rd.

When they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and some scribes arguing with them. When the whole crowd saw him, they were immediately overcome with awe, and they ran forward to greet him. He asked them, ‘What are you arguing about with them?’ Someone from the crowd answered him, ‘Teacher, I brought you my son; he has a spirit that makes him unable to speak; and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so.’ He answered them, ‘You faithless generation, how much longer must I be among you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.’ Mark 9:14-19


So much for the mountain tops.  Cut the celestial angel chorus soundtrack.  Visions and vacations behind him, it’s time for Jesus to go back to work.


Earlier this spring there was a golf tournament in Houston.  At the last second, I was invited to go.  I was sitting near the 18th green and I got to watch each player finish his round.  Once they headed off the green to turn in their score, you didn’t see them again.  Except for Phil Mickelson.  He came down to a specially roped off area and signed autographs for a whole lot longer than I was willing to watch him do it.  No matter how his round went, Phil finds time for people and for that, they love him.


I remembered that scene upon reading how the crowds gathered around Jesus as he came back into their midst.  But they aren’t there for an autograph session.  There is a problem.


Actually there are two things going on when Jesus approaches.  In one corner, there is a man with a suffering child who has been seeking the help of the disciples.  In the other corner, the disciples are arguing with the scribes.  Since we have just come upon this scene with Jesus, we don’t know for sure how the argument started or what exactly they are arguing about.


Here I could imagine a parent with a desperately ill child in a hospital emergency room.  Two doctors, both with egos the size of their student loans, are arguing with one another about the appropriate treatment while the child is being ignored.  I could imagine how their argument could quickly become about them and who is going to win rather than about what is best for the child.  I could imagine how the child disappears upon becoming “a case” and it all being about which doctor would win.


Something like that is going on and Jesus has no patience for it.  Jesus seems far less interested, even irritated, by the religious squabble going on.  His focus is on the child.  “Bring him to me,” he says.


Oh that we might have the same capacity to put first things first in the church.


Let us pray:  Gracious Lord, you saw an anxious parent and a suffering child and you welcomed them.  Far too often we get caught up in trivial arguments and religious puffery and we forget the heart of the matter…we forget that we are not here to win theological arguments but to share your healing love in the lives of those who suffer.  Help us keep first things first.  In Jesus’ name.


One Response to “Wednesday, May 23rd.”

  1. Dean B Says:

    Healing Love is for me. Great point. Have a great day.

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