I was so amazed with our pastor’s preaching earlier that I’ll write about what he’s shared to us in this post. I hope you’ll be blessed with this as much as I’ve been. It’s a timely message about faith, hope and miracles. The passage was taken from Mark 9:14-29.
The account was about a man who had a sick son. He wanted his son to get well and so he takes his son to Jesus.
Our pastor discussed with us in detail the passage. He starts by enumerating the cast of characters in the story – the crowd, the disciples, the father, the sick son and Jesus.
1. The crowd – The crowd was just there to satisfy their curiosity. They were present to be entertained. They never participated.
Challenge: Come out of the crowd and be part of what God is doing.
2. The disciples – They have experienced the power of God. In chapter 6 of Mark, they have even driven out demons and healed the sick in Jesus’ mighty name. But what went wrong? Why weren’t they able to heal the man’s son?
Jesus pointed out in verse 29 that “healing can only come through prayer”. This means connecting to God each moment of our lives. What went wrong was that the disciples depended on their past victories rather than God’s power. They were connected to the wrong source. Everything was in vain as a result.
Challenge: We should connect to God on a daily basis. The secret to achieving success everyday is daily dependence on God.
3. Father – He was desperate enough. His son was so important to him that he’ll do whatever it takes for him to be well. And so knowing and hearing who Jesus was, the man takes his son to Jesus and hopes for a miracle. For the man, Jesus was that ray of hope.
But along the way, he got frustrated and experienced a roller coaster of different emotions. He would like to believe but there’s doubt in his heart. Jesus even tested him when He asked the man on how long his son had been sick. It would also leave us wondering why Jesus would question the man even if He already knew the answer. And on why Jesus didn’t heal the man’s son right away.
Lesson: Jesus is more concerned about the condition of our heart than the situation we are in. He’s more concerned with what’s happening inside of us rather than with what’s happening around us.
Challenge: We must be humble enough to cry out to God for help. Most of the time, when we lose hope and our faith wavers, we shrink back or conceal the truth rather than run to God. We would act as if everything’s well but the truth is we’re struggling. We must be reminded that even though our faith is not that strong enough, we have a God who is the strongest of all. As what our pastor said and I quote, “You may not have a perfect faith but it sure helps to know that you have a perfect Savior.” Tim Keller also perfectly put it, “Through Jesus we don’t need perfect righteousness, just repentant helplessness to access the presence of God.”
4. Sick son – His sickness was beyond he physical. It primarily involves spiritual warfare. Jesus knew about it and He knew what to do about it. In the case of the sick son, Jesus knew what evil spirit was enslaving him and so Jesus called the certain spirit to come out of the man and never come back. When the evil spirit came out of the man, he was thought to be dead.
Lesson: Once we surrender everything to Jesus, there’s no turning back for the saving grace that comes from the gospel lasts and even echoes to eternity.
There is also a ‘spiritual reset’ wherein Jesus, by His death and resurrection, saves us and gives us a new life. When we encounter Jesus and develop a personal relationship with Him, “He’ll take us by the hand, lift us up to our feet and enable us to stand”.
5. Jesus Christ – He is our ultimate hope. He is the answer. People may become symbols of hope but only for a moment. In Christ, there is hope in this life amidst the uncertainty. Placing our hope in Him is like seeing through the lens of eternity. Problems may come but having Him enables us to endure, to persevere, knowing that something more awaits for us. And that hope in Christ is anchored on His unfailing, unending and unconditional love that even while we’re still sinners, He died for us.
That is the greatest miracle one can experience, more than the material gifts from Him. Once we experience His love, we’ll never be the same.