Notes: September 30, 2009

Powerless Apostles

While Jesus was on the mountain with Peter, James and John, the other nine apostles were proving that without Jesus they (and we) can do nothing.

Mark 9:14-29

  • As Jesus arrived, he was quickly surrounded by the nine and a multitude of inquirers and inquisitors.
  • A man from the crowd advanced to elicit Jesus’ help with a demon-possessed son. The evil spirit not only kept the boy from speaking, it also brought on convulsions and self-destructive tendencies. The disciples were not able to help.
  • “Faithless and perverse generation.” Was Jesus speaking of the crowd or of the nine?
  • Jesus pointedly asked the father if he believed. “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief” was his reply.
  • Meanwhile the people were bringing the boy. As they approached, the demon tormented the boy. Jesus rebuked the evil spirit. The spirit left the boy lifeless; but Jesus lifted him up.
  • Why couldn’t the disciples cast out the spirit? They had cast out spirits in the past, why not now? In a word, unbelief.
  • They couldn’t muster enough faith to cast out the demon. And only a seed-sized quantity of faith would move a whole mountain. How pitiful their unbelief!