Summary: Being greatest in the Kingdom of God is measured by how we serve one another, in our service to God. This is why Jesus is adamant about welcoming even the LEAST of those around us who need to experience Christ's mercy and grace.

Lord, help my unbelief

Mark 9:14-37

- Jesus is demonstrated in this book as a “servant”

-- Key verse: Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

- IMP: What God says to us here is critical application for living for Him

- Encouragement: When we encounter God’s truth, it should cause a change

-- We should feel uncomfortable in some areas of our life

-- The Gospel is not for the weak at heart, so count it an honor to be included

- Continuing in our study, we see Jesus performing more miracles/healings

-- His approach is direct, but sometimes the “why” is hidden from us

-- Let’s explore these passages and see if we can discover the “why” for ourselves

- Today we continue to see something very unique to Mark’s Gospel

-- The glory of God is revealed; as is the Christian’s glory in Him

-- In our service to God is where we SEE His glory revealed

- Read Mark 9:14-29

∆ Point 1 – Sickness is not always Possession (14-22)

- Following the experience of the mountain-top, Jesus shows us what’s next

-- To continue going forward! Most want to “live” on the mountain top

-- Jesus however shows us that there is still work to be done and to keep going

- The appearance of Jesus and their response was because of what He’d done

-- They knew He would have the answer to what ails them (v15)

-- So, in knowing this they approached Him as one who had their answers

-- APP: Great lesson for us to see that He has everything even strangers need

- In v16 Jesus is looking for the one who is in need of His help

-- This moves the father with the possessed son to respond TO Jesus

- Take a side note here to examine this boy’s condition (v25); deaf/mute

-- He is possessed, which is very different from having a disease

-- Often times, when someone had a disease (like epilepsy) they thought it demonic

- Couple of things here to note which is very important:

-- 1) Not all sickness is demonic nor indicates demonic possession

-- 2) The seizures this boy was having were a result of demonic possession

-- APP: What results is people who are well-meaning, but misdiagnosing

- Back to where we are, (v19) Jesus identifies the condition of the generation

-- It is our condition that we should see here as well: unbelieving

-- We seek signs, we test God, and we don’t believe Him unless we prosper

-- IMP: Prosperity is NOT a sign of God’s pleasure (name it/claim it nonsense)

- “How long shall I put up with you?” (v19)

-- Jesus’ identification of them is a warning that repentance is needed

-- His patience will not last forever; and at some point we need to see this also

- When the boy was brought before Jesus, his reaction is typical (v20)

-- APP: When we confront Jesus today, it’s in humbleness we react to Him in awe

-- APP: When a demonic being approaches Jesus, it’s in revolt at His purity

- The man’s remark of “if” shows where he lies -- spiritually (v22)

-- He isn’t fully convinced, but: “Hey, nothing else has worked so far … so …”

-- This also shows where we are when we deny God and rely on ourselves

- TRANS: Jesus then challenges this man, right where he stands!

∆ Point 2 – Lord, Help my Unbelief (23-29)

- This man has a real problem when he doubts Jesus to His face (v23)

-- Jesus tells him “everything is possible for one who believes” – but why?

-- Jesus was not saying that miracles can happen based on our strength

-- APP: What He says is that our belief in God to deliver is when things happen

- These are unique and different aspects of the same theology

-- Often however it translates into: God didn’t answer me so I’m not strong enough

-- But what is normally missed is: God didn’t answer me as I expected

-- IMP: Same thing happening here with Pharisees denying Jesus is the Christ

- So what this father does is amazing … He asks Jesus to heal him first (v24)

-- Challenge: Help me Lord, clear out the doubt and allow me to see you fully

- Jesus then turns his attention to the son and rebukes this unclean Spirit (v25)

-- What’s more Jesus rebukes the spirit and orders him to never return again

-- The spirit’s response is instantaneous (he obeys Jesus’ command)

- Out of exhaustion the boy falls to the ground, and Jesus raised him up

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