Read Mark 9:14-29
It is hard to come down from a mountaintop experience. At the beginning of this year, Miranda and I were able to get away for a week to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. We did our best to ease back into the daily grind, and our efforts were rewarded. Our reentry into work and ministry was relatively smooth. Jesus and His three disciples did not have that grace. They came down the mountain and were immediately faced with a most difficult ministry issue. There was a crowd, Pharisees, and confusion.
We can hear in our Lord’s words His disappointment and frustration: “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you?” Jesus knows what is ahead, and He knows that the Father will entrust the work of the Kingdom to the disciples whom He is preparing. But they seem a little dense. After Jesus successfully casts out the demon from the young boy, His disciples ask Him, “Why could we not cast it out?” Our Lord’s response is key to Mark’s inclusion of this story in his gospel. “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
There is no indication that Jesus stopped and prayed when the father brought his son to Jesus. Our Lord’s prescription for exorcism given above indicates a lifestyle, not a momentary petition. The prayer that Jesus describes here is a moment by moment dialog with God. It is an invitation to be in Christ. For when we are in Him, we “can do all things in him who strengthens us” (Phil. 4:13). And though we may be frustrated, disappointed, or even angry about a situation, as Jesus was here, because of His relationship with the Father, He was able to overcome the emotion and move in the Spirit to exorcise the demon. His prayerful relationship with God the Father carried Him through the moment. Our prayerful relationship, moment by moment, with Him will equip us and comfort us to deal with all the challenges of life.
One thought on “Saturday of 4 Lent – March 28, 2020”
Well said!!! I have frequently shared the same truth about this particular event. Our Master was obviously talking about an ongoing, daily, moment-by-moment relationship. That’s where the power of the Holy Spirit abides. When we are connected to Him, we’ll know exactly how to act in any given situation and those actions will be backed up by the creative power of the One Who is, was, and will be.
Sadly, far too often, we treat the LORD of Hosts like “God-in-the-Box”… drive by on Sunday morning, “Hey God, it’s me. I need a healing for my daughter, help with this stupid job, and could you throw some cash? I’m really strapped this month”. No wonder our prayers aren’t answered. (I can almost see the King of Glory sitting on the throne [and this is intentionally facetious] with a quizzical look, shrugging His shoulders and saying, “Ummm…. who are you again? Do I know you?”)
Thank you for the reminder!
“Father help me to strive for that ‘in Christ’ relationship with You, so I may be a vessel of honor in Your kingdom! Amen”