Series: Jesus Encounters
Message: Thy Olympic Wannabe
Preacher: Karl Haffner
Daily Walk: Karl Haffner
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 89:19-26.
Read: Mark 9:17-27 (NLT). As you read the New Living Translation, note 1-3 insights/questions.
Reflect: In verse 19, it seems as if Jesus is frustrated. He asks, “… how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?”
Max Lucado comments, “Where is the faith in this picture? The disciples have failed, the scribes are amused, the demon is victorious, and the father is desperate. You’d be hard-pressed to find a needle of belief in that haystack” (100).
William Barclay adds,
It sometimes happens that people get less than they hoped for from some church or from some servant of the Church. When that happens, they ought to press beyond the Church to the Master of the Church, beyond the servant of Christ to Christ himself. The Church may at times disappoint us, and God’s servants on earth may disappoint us. But when we battle our way face to face with Jesus Christ, he never disappoints us (253).
Have you ever been disappointed by the church? Has a Christian ever let you down? How might this story help you to process these inevitable failures of God’s church and his children? When you fail others in God’s name, how might you point people directly to Jesus?
Respond: Pray to remember that you do not need a mountain of faith, only a mustard seed. All you need is enough faith to come to Jesus. As Max Lucado reminds us, “The power is not in the prayer; it’s in the one who hears it” (98).
Research: Read the shorter version of this story in Matthew 17:14-21.