Summary: This was one of my favorite recent sermons, it deals with the aspect of Jesus meeting a person who is strugling with belief.
Mark 9:14-27 A reason to believe
Eric A. Snyder, Farwell Church of Christ
September 9. 2001
Everyone walks by faith
The rationalist puts his faith in science and reason
Humanist puts his faith in humanity
Atheist puts his faith in himself
Agnostic puts his faith on hold
Evolutionist puts his faith in time and chance
Fascist puts his faith in the master race
The Setting - returning from the mount of transfiguration. The mob - pushing and shoving
The disciples - embarrassed, confused, and defensive over their inability to perform a miracle.
The boy - demon possessed (shows Satan’s real intent - hatred, hurt, murder)
14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.
16 are you arguing with them about?“he asked. 17 A man in the crowd answered, , I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.“ 19 unbelieving generation,“Jesus replied, long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.“ 20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. 21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, long has he been like this?“childhood,“he answered. 22 has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.“ 23 “‘If you can’?“said Jesus. is possible for him who believes.“
24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!“ 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. deaf and mute spirit,“he said, command you, come out of him and never enter him again.“ 26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, ’s dead.“ 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
1. Jesus sees the turmoil of the crowd
2. The crowd sees the possibility of a miracle
3. The father sees an opportunity for help
Even though there is an argument going on and Christians looked unimpressive, the man still went to Jesus.
People say I don’t go to church because of the people. Balogna
If you had the slightest inkling that Jesus could help you, you would realize it’s not about the people. It’s about Jesus and making your relationship right with Him.
A man lives by believing something, not by debating and arguing about many things.
They came to Jesus with
Who was this father. He was a man who was only there as a last resort. He had tried everything else.
The Pharisees were excited about their doubt because the disciples had failed.
They thought they had it right. See we told you this guy isn’t good news and we were right
The Disciples began to doubt the authority that they had recieved
If you can I just tried these guys and they couldn’t help
There is doubt
I do believe but help my unbelief
Give me a reason to believe
The Jewish leaders are defensive because they never had the opportunity to offer the kind of help Jesus was giving
The disciples were defensive because they thought they should have been able to handle this problem.
The father is defensive because he doesn’t want his son to be anymore of a public spectacle than he already is.
He is defensive because Jesus Challenges his faith.
3. Dire Circumstances
Jesus was His last Hope. He had been everywhere. Tried everything. This was a demon possession.
What do you come to God with
Are you a disciple who is arguing with everyone?
Are you part of the Crowd that just wants to see a show?
Or have you come to God wit a Legitimate need?
There is an old poem that talks about the conviction that we have to Love God and I ends with the classic lines
“so I asked God how much He loved me”
And he stretched out His arms and died for me”
Well this morning those arms are stretches out in love again.
Faith is not a distant view but a warm embrace of Christ.
In April 1988 the evening news reported on a photographer who was a skydiver. He had jumped from a plane along with numerous other skydivers and filmed the group as they fell and opened their parachutes. On the film shown on the telecast, as the final skydiver opened his chute, the picture went berserk. The announcer reported that the cameraman had fallen to his death, having jumped out of the plane without his parachute. It wasn’t until he reached for the absent ripcord that he realized he was free falling without a parachute. Until that point, the jump probably seemed exciting and fun. But tragically, he had acted with thoughtless haste and deadly foolishness. Nothing could save him, for his faith was in a parachute never buckled on.
There are those of you who are caught up in living the excitement of life but the only thing that can save you is Jesus. I pray you don’t reach for Him when it’s too late.