Mark 9 - Moses & Elijah and a Convulsing Boy

Mark 9:4 - How did they know it was Moses and Elijah? Did they hear Jesus call them by name? Did Jesus introduce them? "Moses, I'd like you to meet my friends Peter, James and John. Elijah, come over here ..." No wonder Peter was a little frazzled.

Mark 9:10 - Imagine the conversation here - "What did he mean 'rise from the dead'? I mean, if he's going to rise then he's got to ... no way, he's the savior!" :-D

Mark 9:19 - I can imagine Jesus' frustration. He goes up to get some encouragement, from old friends and from his father, leaving the disciples for just a little while. And while he's gone, they haven't learned enough after these years with him to heal one boy. Sheesh, people, come on!

Then again, I've been with Jesus for more than a few years. Could I heal one boy? When will my faith mature?

Mark 9:20-24 - To me, this is one of the funniest scenes in the gospels. Here's this father, brought a boy to be healed and got nowhere with the disciples. But now Jesus is here, and the evil spirit gives them a show, throwing the boy down right there. He's convulsing and foaming at the mouth. While the boy is in the throws of the seizure, Jesus turns and calmly asks "How long has he been like this?" I can see the Dad, turning from his boy, thrashing on he ground, and Jesus. "Uh, from childhood ... " No wonder he says "If you can do anything ..." The disciples couldn't do it and now Jesus seems oblivious.

I wonder if this doesn't' teach us something about Jesus. That he doesn't get freaked out when the situation turns on him. He knows the outcome, who cares if it's out of control for now. He knows it's going to be fine. Perhaps he's testing the father's faith a bit too, revealing the cracks in his convictions. When those cracks come to light, Jesus calls him on it and the father cries out a single statement that proclaims both his faith and his need for help with it at once.

Mark 9:29 - So, if it can only come out by prayer - when in the story did Jesus pray? The time line doesn't show any gaps, certainly no time for "I'm going to the mountain to beseech the father on your behalf. Await patiently for my return and you shall be delivered!" There's a seizure, a conversation with dad, a statement of faith, a command and the spirit comes out. No pauses, but somewhere in there, Jesus prayed. He prayed the prayer that made all the difference, a prayer than could only possibly be a single, maybe two, short sentences.

So, our prayers, even the most critical, need only be a sentence or two to be effective.

Mark 9:38-41 - There's a lesson in there when folks who we think aren't 'of Jesus' are doing good works in his name.

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1 Comment

Hi salguod,

I really like your insight about the two sentence prayer. It's all about faith... not the number of words.

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