Summary: A message about how prayer and fasting helps increase our faith.
Title: Only By Prayer and Fasting
Theme: Show the importance of Prayer and Fasting
Text: Mark 9:9 -29
Mark 9:9 Now as they came down from the mountain, He commanded them that they should tell no one the things they had seen, till the Son of Man had risen from the dead. (10) So they kept this word to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant. (11) And they asked Him, saying, "Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?" (12) Then He answered and told them, "Indeed, Elijah is coming first and restores all things. And how is it written concerning the Son of Man, that He must suffer many things and be treated with contempt? (13) But I say to you that Elijah has also come, and they did to him whatever they wished, as it is written of him."
In Mark 9 we are introduced to what we call the transfiguration. Jesus took three of his disciples to the top of a high mountain (Mt. Hermon). As they are there, probably in prayer, Jesus is transfigured. His true essence as God begins to show. Mark 9:3 His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them.
After this Elijah and Moses appeared and then the cloud. The glory of the Lord. All this to show them Christ’s true essence.
When we arrive at verse 14 we see that Jesus is reunited with the rest of the disciples. This is where I want to begin.
(14) And when He came to the disciples,(this was the rest of the 9) He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them. (they were discussing, usually where the scribes are there is debating and auguring. It seems that the disciples were in a circle and being challenged by the people. In a moment we will see what the challenge is.) (15) Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him. (I believe they could tell that he had been on the mountain.)
(16) And He asked the scribes, "What are you discussing with them?" (Jesus confronts the scribes, he already knew what had been going on, He is God, but this is His way of bringing up the subject)
(17) Then one of the crowd answered and said, "Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. (This is interesting how he says that he brought Jesus his son. Although Jesus was not there he made the direct connection. These were Jesus’ disciples, they represented His teaching and also His power.)(Notice this man’s diagnosis, “he has a mute spirit. This spirit had caused the boy not to talk. He could not answer for himself.) (18) And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. (Here is some more description of the young boy. 1) it seizes him (takes control) 2) throws him down (pushes him around) 3) he foams at the mouth (spouting out useless information) 4) gnashes his teeth (frustration)
So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not." (He brought them to the disciples and they could do nothing.)
This had to be real surprising to the disciples. They had been sent out with power earlier in Mark 6.
Disciples Sent Out
Mark 6:7-13 And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits. (8) He commanded them to take nothing for the journey except a staff; no bag, no bread, no copper in their money belts; (9) but to wear sandals, and not to put on two tunics. (10) Also He said to them, "In whatever place you enter a house, stay there till you depart from that place. (11) "And whoever will not receive you nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet as a testimony against them. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!" (12) So they went out and preached that people should repent. (13) And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them.
In Mark chapter 6 we are told that Jesus gathered the 12 disciples together and sent them out 2 X 2. Jesus gave them power over unclean spirits and power to heal. This was an exciting time for the disciples. They had often seen Jesus heal and cast out demons now they were participators.
This is too much like the powerless church.
The Work of the enemy on the church.