Friday, March 4, 2016

An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday March 6, 2016

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(JESUS can help us overcome our unbelief)
(Mark 9:14-29)

   It was A. Victor Murry who wrote, “It doesn’t matter how high a man’s profession may be, it is by his actions that people judge him, and in judging him, they also judge his mentor”. In Mark chapter 9, verses 14-18, John Mark gives us an account of an argument involving the Scribes and some of JESUS’ disciples, as the Scribes take advantage of the disciple’s inability to cast out a Demon from a little boy. The Scribes, no doubt, were seeking to use this incident to try and deflect the ineptitude of JESUS’ Disciples, onto JESUS HIMSELF, as their leader.
    Here we see that, no sooner than JESUS, Peter, James, and John had come down from Mt. Hermon following JESUS’, now famous, Transfiguration, that they encounter this embarrassing controversy brewing between the Disciples and the Scribes. Here we get an opportunity to see how JESUS is not only ready to face HIS OWN impending death on the cross, but HE also shows us how HE remained ready to tackle the everyday problems of the World, that lay all along HIS journey, before, HE even got to the cross. We see here also, that, JESUS possessed a characteristic that allowed HIM to be able to give 100% of HIMSELF to each individual that HE happened to come in contact with.
    In this passage of the book of Mark (Vs. 19-29), we see just how JESUS chose to handle this heated debate. First, HE tells them in verse 19 to “Bring the boy unto me”. Then, JESUS states to the boy’s father, the condition, upon which all miracles must hinge. HE tells him in verse 23 that, “To him that believes, all things, are possible”.   
    In the Greek, the word used for faith is “pistis”, and it means to “rely upon with an “inward certainty”, and to “assent” to evidence of authority”. We see here that these people, including the Disciples, had not yet began to rely upon JESUS, with an inward certainty, and had not yet assented to all the evidence they had seen of JESUS’ authority from Heaven.
    Nevertheless, they brought the boy to JESUS, and when the evil spirit saw HIM, it threw the boy into a violent convulsion and made him fall to the ground writhing and foaming at the mouth. When JESUS asked the boy’s father how long this had been happening, the father said that it had been going on since he was a very small child. The demon often made the boy fall into water and fire, trying to kill him.
      We see throughout New Testament Scripture that JESUS never healed or removed demons from anyone who didn’t show that wanted to be made whole, through their faith. And in the case of children who had not yet reached an “age of accountability”, their parents always provided the “saving faith” that was needed to cure them. In verse the father provided the small measure of faith in JESUS that was needed to cure his son, when he told JESUS, “I do believe, but help me not to doubt”.
    And so we see that, based on that small measure of faith that was exhibited by the father, JESUS chose to go ahead and deal with the situation of healing the child right away, and thereby, HE removed all doubt that the boy’s father may have had about HIM, probably because of the ineptitude of HIS disciples, who had failed him earlier. JESUS then commanded the “spirit of deafness and muteness” to come out of the child and never return, and the evil spirit obeyed, even though he left the lad kicking and screaming.
    The boy lay motionless for a moment and even appeared to be dead, and many in the crowd even expressed as much openly. But JESUS took the boy by the hand and helped him to his feet, and he then stood under his own power. Afterwards when JESUS was alone with HIS disciples they asked HIM why couldn’t they cast out the demon that possessed the boy most of his young life. JESUS replied, this kind of exorcism can only be accomplished through prayer.
    Sometimes, as in the case of the boy’s father, we tend to get less than we expect from professed Christians in the Church, or from pastors and other leaders in the Church. However, when we call on CHRIST JESUS, WHO is the MASTER of the True Church, HE will never disappoint us, and will always upgrade our position and condition under GOD.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website

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