Summary: Keeping in touch with our reality will eventually have to lead us to keep in touch with God, cause everything is possible to him who believes.
The title of my message is “Keep in Touch,” I am sure this is one of the key phrase we always use in our everyday affair. But more than the simplest idea known it is important to be in touch with the reality around and also with the reality within us.
Sometime ago when I was in college, our department arranged for a study tour to one of the natural forest where we could see animals in the wild in order that we could understand animal behavior – a course that I was undergoing. One of my friends who hardly knows things around him was with me, the bus that we boarded wouldn’t start and there was a big confusion, it was settled once the new driver knew that it was the hand break that was put on and the bus began to move; one of our professors who panicked over the situation suggested that we pray in the bus so that we would have a safe journey. The best part was he asked my disoriented friend to pray and he began praying like this – “Dear Jesus, I don’t know where we are going but be with us in the journey till we reach our planned destination, In Jesus name, Amen.” Everybody burst into a big laughter. What I wanted to bring to your light is, my friend lost touch with what was happening around and also lost touch within.
In this sermon I want to bring to your mind that we need to be in touch with our needs so that we will surely be in touch with the master creator our God for our needs and would not run anywhere for help. To bring this concept clear to us I want to explain to you from the gospel according to Mark chapter 9 verses 14 to 29.
The Healing of a Boy with an Evil Spirit
14When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15As soon as all the people saw Jesus; they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.
16"What are you arguing with them about?" he asked.
17A man in the crowd answered, "Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18Whenever 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"O unbelieving generation," Jesus replied, "how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me."
20So 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.
21Jesus asked the boy’s father, "How long has he been like this?"
"From childhood," he answered. 22"It 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. "Everything is possible for him who believes."
24Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"
25When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. "You deaf and mute spirit," he said, "I command you, come out of him and never enter him again."
26The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, "He’s dead." 27But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
28After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, "Why couldn’t we drive it out?"
29He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer.
I am sure after reading the scripture one of the key things that had come to our mind would be the unbelief of the father, he was in touch with his problem. My concern this day is to analyze what led to the father’s unbelief. I want to at least draw three reasons for his unbelief.
If you read the beginning of the passage in v.14 the bible tells us that this father brought his son to the other disciples, this would mean that only 9 of them were there but the other 3 key disciples were with Jesus in the mount of transfiguration. The INABILITY of the DISCIPLES was the first reason for the man’s unbelief. Everybody knew if they go to Jesus they could receive solutions to their problems, it is natural to think that it would be good if they could go to the disciples who go along with Jesus always, would also have similar power. But it was not so, the disciples were caught unawares. The reason for the disciples inability were most probably – all along they were only spectators to the miracles and healings, they had no personal experience in performing one; another reason would be that they were not aware of the name in which the demons could run away cause Jesus was still with them; or may be they themselves were scared over the situation and had doubts, because v.18 says ‘…the disciples could not drive out’. The father who wanted to see a miracle is turned down now and this surely led to his unbelief.