Unbelief, Confusion, And Sin

Unbelief, Confusion, And Sin

Jesus Heals a Boy with an Unclean Spirit
14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. 15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. 16 And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” 19 And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” 20 And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “ ‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”

Jesus Again Foretells Death, Resurrection
30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, 31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.

Who Is the Greatest?
33 And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”

Anyone Not Against Us Is for Us
38 John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. 40 For the one who is not against us is for us. 41 For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.

Temptations to Sin
42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. 43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ 49 For everyone will be salted with fire. 50 Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”

Help My Unbelief

The people in the crowd were amazed when they saw Jesus. His appearance may have been different after his transfiguration, but he was back in the world with all its brokenness and suffering. One person had brought his son to the disciples, suffering from demon possession, but they could not expel the entity, so they asked Jesus for help. Jesus explained that the inability of the disciples to free a boy from an evil spirit was due to their insufficient faith. They have overlooked that this was God's mission and instead focused on accomplishing it on their own. The boy's father implored Jesus to enable him to overcome the difficulty of unbelief. Jesus drove away the evil spirit, leaving the boy seemingly lifeless. Nevertheless, he took his hand and raised him up just like He did with Jairus' daughter. When His disciples asked why they had failed, Jesus replied that prayer was the solution.

Not Getting It...

Despite hearing Jesus' teachings on his suffering, the disciples had difficulty understanding the concept and failed to accept it. As the Son of Man, His path involved suffering and death, something that the disciples couldn't comprehend. Mark's Gospel is quite open about the disciples' struggles. These disciples seemed oblivious to the ways of the Kingdom of God and argued about power. On the way to Capernaum, they debated who among them would be the greatest. Humility and servanthood are essential to genuinely being great in the Kingdom. Jesus used a child as an example, showing that these traits are necessary because the first must be last (36).

Stop That!

The disciples were worried when they saw someone utilizing Jesus' name to cast out demons, yet Jesus seemed unconcerned about it. John tells Jesus they tried to stop someone from using Jesus' name simply because he isn't part of their company. The man's casting out demons in Jesus' name demonstrated his faith in Jesus, even if he wasn't a part of their group. They failed to see that what matters most is that the work of God's kingdom was being done. The disciples should rejoice as Paul did in Philippians 1:18.

Causing Little Ones To Sin...

Jesus warned His disciples that offenses against "His little ones" were to be taken very seriously, adding that they could send people to hell (9:42–50). He further highlights the importance of avoiding wrongdoing, even going so far as to suggest amputation is preferable to sinning against his little ones and thus being excluded from the kingdom of God. Jesus compared hell to the valley of Gehenna—the dump outside Jerusalem where garbage was burned. He encouraged his followers to be like useful salt: flavorful, healing, and desirable instead of corrupt.





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