June 16, 2009

The Power of Jesus

Mark 9:14-32

“Bring the boy to me.”
Mark 9:19


Jesus had just been encouraged by God on a mountaintop, and three of his disciples—Peter, James, and John—had been allowed to watch. The disciples saw the power and glory of God in Jesus as never before. They saw Jesus’ clothing become dazzling white. They saw Moses and Elijah, prophets of Israel from ancient times, talking with Jesus. They heard words from heaven: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” (Mark 9:7). The impact of all this was overwhelming.

But when they came down the mountain, the disciples faced a problem. A troubled father had brought his demon-possessed son for healing, but the disciples who had stayed behind were powerless. The evil spirit made the boy unable to hear or speak, and it threw him to the ground gnashing his teeth. The father was desperate. The disciples couldn’t help, but could Jesus?

“Bring the boy to me,” said Jesus, and he commanded the spirit to leave and never return. The spirit shrieked, shook the boy violently, and came out. Jesus lifted the boy to his feet, and the boy stood up.

“Why couldn’t we do that?” the disciples later asked. Then Jesus taught them a great lesson about prayer, which calls for faith in the power of God. Power doesn’t reside in the person praying or in the act of praying itself. Power comes from God through faith in Jesus.

Father, increase our faith in your power. Teach us to pray, knowing that you always hear us. And help us trust in your power to do your will. For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

About the author — R. Scott Greenway

R. Scott Greenway was born in Mexico City in 1964, the fourth child of missionary parents. He graduated from Calvin College in 1986, Calvin Theological Seminary in 1991, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 2002. He and his wife, Kelly, have four children. He pastored the Irving Park Christian Reformed Church in Midland Park, New Jersey, and currently serves as pastor of Caledonia Christian Reformed Church in Michigan. He enjoys a variety of outdoor sports, including hunting and fishing.

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