Friday, February 29

Mark 9:14-29 Devotional | Rev. Bob Clark

In Mark 9:14-29, we encounter a poignant moment of desperation intertwined with profound liberation. As we delve into this passage with Janet Wolf, and a group of incarcerated men who find unexpected resonance within its depths, we uncover a powerful truth: liberation is intricately bound with agency.

In the midst of chaos and confusion, the disciples grapple with a daunting challenge—the inability to cast out a troubling demon afflicting a young boy. Their focus fixates on the problem, the external forces at play. Yet, when Jesus arrives on the scene, He diverges from their approach. He doesn’t immediately command the demon to leave; instead, He initiates a dialogue, asking questions that delve into the heart of the matter.

Similarly, in our own lives, when faced with overwhelming circumstances, Jesus invites us into a conversation. He seeks to understand our struggles, our fears, and our deepest desires. He doesn’t just offer a quick fix; He desires to empower us, to awaken our agency.

The father of the afflicted boy, in his plea to Jesus, inadvertently expresses a sentiment shared by many: “If you are able…” Yet, Jesus gently redirects the focus, challenging the man to recognize his own agency. “If you are able…” He echoes, reminding us that within us lies the potential for transformation, for healing, for liberation.

True liberation begins with reclaiming our agency. Whether we find ourselves trapped in the throes of personal struggles or grappling with societal injustices, the journey towards freedom starts with recognizing our own capacity to effect change. Jesus invites us to step into that empowerment, to partner with Him in the work of restoration and renewal.

As we meditate on Mark 9:14-29, let us ponder the profound truth it unveils: liberation is not merely an external deliverance, but a liberation of the soul—an awakening to our own agency in the hands of a loving Savior. May we embrace this truth wholeheartedly, knowing that with Christ, we are empowered to overcome every obstacle and step into the fullness of our calling.

The Healing of a Boy with a Spirit – Mark 9:14-29

14 When they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them and some scribes arguing with them. 15 When the whole crowd saw him, they were immediately overcome with awe, and they ran forward to greet him. 16 He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 Someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought you my son; he has a spirit that makes him unable to speak, 18 and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid, and I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so.” 19 He answered them, “You faithless generation, how much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.” 20 And they brought the boy[a] to him. When the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy,[b] and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 Jesus[c] asked the father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 It has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you are able to do anything, help us! Have compassion on us!” 23 Jesus said to him, “If you are able! All things can be done for the one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out,[d] “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You spirit that keeps this boy from speaking and hearing, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again!” 26 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 was able to stand. 28 When he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 He said to them, “This kind can come out only through prayer.”[e]

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