Mark 9:14-29 Preparation for Warfare

Mark 1_12-13

Mark 9:14-29

14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. 15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. 16 And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.”

In this story, we see that the disciples encountered a new challenge in their faith that would require them to do something different than what they were used to. They could not understand why this demon-possessed man could not be delivered.

19 And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.”

Even if this was new to the disciples, it seems that Jesus got frustrated because He has been telling the disciples that they will encounter things like these and they must be prepared once it happened.

20 And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”

The power encounter happened once the demon saw Jesus and immediately the demons went to panic mode, manifesting themselves in the boy’s body. When Jesus asked about this condition, you would feel the Father’s helplessness since he has almost lost his son every time something like these happens.

23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.

“I believe, help my unbelief!”

The father of the son had found new hope in what was once a hopeless case. He found Jesus who could make all things possible to those who believe. So, in the midst of his unbelief, he made a decision to believe that Jesus can. And what followed was a demonstration of the power of God when Jesus commanded for the unclean spirit to leave this boy alone!

28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”

After the time of ministry, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, what happened? why can’t we cast it out? And Jesus taking advantage of the situation told the disciples that this kind cannot be just driven out without prayer. What did that statement mean? If you look back at the text, Jesus did not pray but commanded the demons to leave. The disciples must have done the same, but why where the results different.

Let me make some suggestions. When Jesus said, this kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer, he means that the disciple’s time in asking the Lord for strength in private would help them win the battles publicly. Jesus would wake up every morning in prayer before God because He knew He needed to draw strength from the source and not the form. It could be the disciples were so confident on the patterns of casting out demons that they forgot that the main source why demons leave is not the patterns or the how to’s of casting out demons but by the power that comes from God.

It should remind us that even as we live life, we cannot just rely on the practices of the past to make us strong today. We need to come with thirst and freshness before the Lord. As what they would say in business, it shouldn’t be business as usual. Our spiritual disciplines should be our backbone of Christian growth. The spirit of wanting to know God more and wanting more of His impartation and presence should be the top priority for every believer.

Below is a short video of the importance of spiritual discipline

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