Lesson on Faith
Text: Mark 9:14-29 | February 9, 2020
The cross was less than a year away, and it was time for the disciples to learn some crucial lessons to prepare them for the time when Jesus departed. The first lesson was a lesson on faith. For over two years, the disciples had walked by sight, seeing, hearing, and touching Jesus, but soon they needed to live by faith.
Second Corinthians 5:7 says, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” The disciples learned this lesson through their failure in trying to cast out a demon (9:18). This was a good illustration of living by faith because Jesus was not physically present with the nine disciples as they tried to cast out this demon (Jesus was coming down the mountain with Peter, James, and John [9:14]).
The disciples failed because they relied on their own power and ability. After all, they had cast out demons before (6:7-13), so perhaps they were confident in themselves. However, they should have been confident in the power of God and not in their own abilities. Jesus said in Mark 9:29, “This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer,” and in Matthew’s account of this incident, Jesus pointed to the “littleness” of their faith (Mt. 17:20). Both statements point to the fact that they should have relied on God.
We, like the disciples, must place our faith and confidence in God alone. We are often confident in our own abilities and forget to rely on God. We demonstrate our faith in God when we pray. In prayer, we show our dependence and reliance on God and not in self. While we are called to walk by faith and not by sight, our faith will always be imperfect and mixed with doubt, but we should remember that God is the object of our faith. We must trust in God and not in ourselves.
For the entirety of the lesson, please see the attached manuscript of the message. Mk9.14-29_LessonOnFaith
There are many verses in the Bible that are misused. One of which is in our text today, where Jesus tells the father of the demon-possessed man: “All things are possible to him who believes.” Some think that we can accomplish anything we want. That is clearly not the intention of this verse, and this verse is not a blank check. In 1 John 5:14, we are told that “if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” In prayer, we align our will with His. We desire what He desires. We seek for that which glorifies God. Thus, all things in line with God’s will is possible.
We must learn to pray according to His will, and the way we do so is through knowing the Bible. God’s will is revealed in the Bible.