Mark 9b Notes

Mark9b (vs14-29)                                      Notes



14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great   crowd around them,


As the Lord returns to his group, thing are in quite in   disarray...


and scribes arguing with them


Ever antagonists of truth present to disrupt the growing   faith of followers.           Note1


15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw Him, were   greatly amazed and ran up to Him and greeted Him.


The Lord is welcomed with an enthusiasm that shows He was   missed and needed. Esteemed leaders are always in short supply.


16 And He asked them, "What are you arguing about with   them?"


Perhaps the scribes used this occasion to accuse the   disciples of weakness.


17 And someone from the crowd answered Him, "Teacher, I   brought my son to you,


The chief witness at the heart of this recent issue:   father of a poor possessed boy.


for he has a spirit that makes him mute.


Special case: demon possession of a special sort.                                                     Note2


18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he   foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid.


Symptoms might be interpreted as epilepsy, Jesus knows these   have a spiritual cause.


So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were   not able."


Problem: disciples failure. Side Q: why did the orthodox   scribes not take over and succeed?


19 And He answered them, "O faithless generation,


The real illness of the time: unbelief. As it is today.


how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with   you?


Cry of frustration and reproof. Not seeking answer in   time. A day is too long.


Bring him to me."


Turning directly to the challenge at hand. Claiming   ability to help in prospect.


20 And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit   saw him,


Still very much in the clutches of the demon, who responds   to the Lord.


immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the   ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth.


Spirit recognizes Jesus and knows his time is short. Does   all he can up to the last. Will not give up easily.


21 And Jesus asked his father, "How long has this been   happening to him?"


Same form of previous question, this time as inquiry.


And he said, "from childhood...


Long time experience fixes this condition firmly in the   father's mind.


22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to   destroy him.


Severe in degree: imperiled son's life greatly. Torment   worse than losing him.


But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help   us."


Overcome with grief, seeing his son suffer as often   before, his plaintiff cry, "Please!" Doubt from fear to raise hope.


23 And Jesus said to him, "If you can!


Quoting father whose conditional request seems to question   His ability.


All things are possible for one who believes."


The 'IF' is in the faith of man. What power is available   on condition of faith!       Note3


24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said,   "I believe; help my unbelief!"


Seeing essentially of faith & our own weakness in it --   pleads for more faith.                                                             Note4


25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together,   He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it,


Their personal dialogue interrupted by spectators.


"You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him   and never enter him again."


Authority demands action of this demon: "Leave and never   return." Certain and final orders to cease from this boy's life.


26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it   came out,


The demon did make one final display while in possession   of the boy...


and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said,   "He is dead."


left lifeless. Energy of motion consumed from the boy's   own frame. Mis-read.


27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and   he arose.


With the Lord's kind assistance, able to arise.


28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked   Him privately,


As contrast settled into their minds, the question of Why?


"Why could we not cast it out?"


The disciple did make attempt at dispelling this demon.   Failure was difficult.       Note5


29 And He said to them, "This kind cannot be driven out by   anything but prayer."


Not all demons are equal. Some stronger or more   intimidating. Require deeper dependence on God.                           Note6



Note1: "Arguing" from Greek suzeteto = joint investigation, interrogation. As in 8.11 and later in v16. Would seem skeptics were using this opportunity of Jesus' absence and the disciples difficulty with the demon to find fault with the movement.


Note2: By tradition, a mute spirit is the hardest kind to exorcise. If you cannot learn the demon's name, then you have no power over it.


Note3: Faith makes all things possible. Not that infinite power is in the believer, but in God who responds to his faith. Trust in God opens the gates of heaven.


Note4: Only faith can cry out for more. Those who have none are unconscious of it. As when the more we learn, the more we realize who much we have to learn. We bring to Him our 'seed faith' and beg Him to help it grow.


Note5: Power given to exorcise demons was already given (Mk3.14,15). This gift "was effective only if exercised by faith, but faith must be cultivated through spiritual discipline and devotion." (Wiersbe)


Note6: Noble attempts at great deeds are commendable. Failure may well indicate that we are relying too much on ourselves. If this is disappointing, we must go about it another way: by depending more on the will and the power of God (Phil2.12&13)


notes by David Teel Friday, June 20, 2014