Mark 9:17-29

Throughout the season of Lent our daily devotions have been written by members of the Faith Lutheran community. Our theme this Lent is “Jesus Our Healer.” Today’s devotion comes from Don Hodde.

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.” And they brought the boy to him.

When the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. Jesus asked the father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. It has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “If you are able! —All things can be done for the one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!”

When Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You spirit that keeps this boy from speaking and hearing, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again!” 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 was able to stand. When he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “This kind can come out only through prayer.” Mark 9:17-29

Wow! There is so much in this text, where does one start? Start by rereading the verses above. How is God speaking to you through these words?

For me, God is reminding me first and foremost, to trust Him in all things, because with God anything is possible. No if’s, and’s, or but’s. Sometimes our challenges seem so extreme! Physically, emotionally, the stress and pain seem too much to bear. Our faith runs weak. In these situations, Jesus says sometimes the only thing one can do is pray, because there is simply nothing we as humans can do overcome the burden ourselves.

Jesus taught us how to pray, many of us have been taught through life to pray, to trust God, to turn over our challenges to Him. Yet just as Jesus was clearly annoyed by the lack of faith in the people of his day, their willingness to trust Him, I imagine his confidence in us today is not much better. “How long am I to bear with you?” he tells the crowd. Don’t feel too bad; the disciples didn’t get it either!

Do you rely on God, through prayer? Sometimes that’s all you can do. And that will be enough.

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, we are taught to be independent, self-reliant, strong, courageous. But we are human. Many times those things just will not be enough. Give us the faith and confidence in You that we need to take our trials to you in prayer. “Help my unbelief”. Because You will always be enough. In Jesus name, Amen.

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One Response to “Mark 9:17-29”

  1. Carolee Groux Says:

    Proverbs 3: 5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    And lean not on your own understanding;
    In all your ways acknowledge Him,
    And He shall direct your paths.”

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