Summary: Show that many times God measures our faith by what He does.
Title: Unlimiting God’s Power in Our Lives
Theme: Show that many times God measures our faith by what He does.
Text: Mark 9:2-29, Read 14 - 29
Introduction – Disciples sent out
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.
Our Promise as Believers
Mark 16:15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. (16) "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. (17) "And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; (18) "they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."
Mount of Transfiguration
We come to Mark 9 we find a different story. Jesus took James, Peter and John up into the mountain. Here they had a true God encounter as they saw Jesus in all His glory.
While they were on the mountain top the disciples were down at the bottom of the mountain. A desperate father had brought his demon possessed son to the other disciples. This proved too much for them. They could do nothing with the boy.
When Jesus arrived they were in this big debate with the scribes. Jesus asked what was going on. No one answered. The scribes said nothing and the disciples just kept quiet. Finally the desperate father spoke up.
The Young Boy – Mark 9
(14) And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them. (15) Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him. (16) And He asked the scribes, "What are you discussing with them?" (17) Then one of the crowd answered and said, "Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. (18) "And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not."
This had to ring in the ears of the disciples. They had seen many things happen but they could do nothing with the boy.
Look at Jesus’ answer
(19) He answered him and said, "O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me."
Jesus promptly se the boy free.
Alone with the Disciples
Later on as they were alone with the disciples
(28) And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, "Why could we not cast it out?" (29) So He said to them, "This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting."
I am so thankful that Jesus acknowledges that there are some things that some things are more challenging than others. Sometimes we get the impression that things are so easy if we just have more faith yet Jesus says here that some things only happen through prayer and fasting.
This event revealed what the disciples were not doing. They were not praying. This is where problems begin. Having a weak prayer life, we can name it and claim all we won’t but we must have a relationship of prayer.
I can tell you even more not only prayer alone but prayer as a corporate body. This is so important.
Jesus also recommended fasting. “Fasting involves setting aside normal routines and focusing on God and His answer for your situation. It entails sacrifice. It means that business as usual is insufficient for the situtaiton.” Richard Blackaby in Unlimiting God pp 107