Series: Jesus Encounters
Message: Thy Olympic Wannabe
Preacher: Karl Haffner
Daily Walk: Karl Haffner
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 89:38-45.
Read: Mark 9:17-27 (ESV). Re-read in the English Standard Version for new insights/questions.
Reflect: Consider the lessons from this story that Lawrence Richards highlights in The Teacher’s Commentary:
Perhaps the first lesson for us in this story is that God does not demand perfect faith in people. We do believe. But we still need help for our unbelief. Jesus accepts even imperfect faith and generously works His miracles in our lives. As we continue to grow in our relationships with Him, He does indeed “help our unbelief,” gradually replacing it with a more perfect trust in Him.
But there is another lesson as well. The disciples who had been unable to help were troubled by their powerlessness. Afterward they asked Jesus privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
Jesus answered, “This kind can come out only by prayer.” (The Teacher’s Commentary, p. 620).
For the challenges of our lives as Jesus’ disciples we must rely, not on our own strength, but completely on God’s. And we express that dependence most perfectly in prayer.
How might you apply each of these lessons in your life today? What other lessons would you extract from this Bible story?
Respond: Pray for God to increase your faith.
Research: Read one of the recommended commentaries on this story.