And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”  And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
(Mark 9:28-29 ESV)
Mark 9:14-29; Jesus healing a boy with an unclean spirit, is the sermon text for this week. Last week I preached on the transfiguration of Jesus in verses 1 – 13; where Peter, James and John had an amazing mountain top experience; one that definitely tops anything I have ever had.
But following this mountain top experience, Jesus and the boys head back down the mountain; back to reality; into the valley, where life happens. Because lets face it, as awesome as mountain top experiences are, we aren’t meant to live on the mountain top.
The battle is in the valley and it’s into the valley that God sends you. So as I reflect on this reality and ponder this text there are three truths that are ruminating in my head and heart as I ponder preaching this text. So I share them with you here to ponder and reflect on:
(1) When Satan confronts you; turn to Jesus.
(2) When in “darkness”; turn to Jesus.
(3) When Satan is turned away; turn to Jesus.
It seems to me that the disciples were struggling with these while Jesus, Peter, James and John were on that mountain. Those disciple were confronted by Satan but tried to cast the demon out without their eyes on Jesus. The disciples were in the “dark valley” but they failed to look at Jesus. And earlier in this Gospel account, the disciples were successful in casting out demons but have now failed to turn back to Jesus.
As Christians, we are called to the valley, but don’t forget to turn to Jesus.
Dear Lord, you have called us to proclaim the Gospel, announce forgiveness and do battle with Satan and his forces. But as we confront that which we have no power to defeat, may we look to Jesus. May we have the faith the size of mustard seed that sends Satan running away as You, oh God, are glorified. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
The Pastor -|—