St. Mark 9: 14 – 29

Out of order

Feb. 26, 2022

14 And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them.

15 And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him.

16 And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them?

17 And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;

18 And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.

19 He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.

20 And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.

21 And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.

22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.

23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.

26 And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.

27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.

28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?

29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.

My apologies, once again. It seems no matter how diligently I double check myself as I prepare an entry, I still make mistakes. When it comes to finding the day’s New Testament reading in the Lectionary of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, it doesn’t seem to matter that I don’t trust to my eyes, my glasses, nor the bright overhead light in my office but use a magnifying glass as well to ‘make sure’ I’ve got the right reading for the right day. Sigh. This reading should have been yesterday’s and yesterday’s was meant for today. Sigh. I beg your forgiveness.

Verse 19 is a rather scathing indictment against the disciples; had they been doing their fastings and prayers, they would have been able to cast out the foul spirit. Jesus just casts it out. Yes; He’s Jesus, Emmanuel – God with us. But more than that, Jesus has been modeling the behavior the disciples should have been following – we often read how He went aside somewhere to pray and although nothing in the Bible specifically says so, I’m certain that Jesus fasted regularly. He was able to immediately cast out the spirit because He was always praying and fasting.

‘O faithless generation …’ isn’t directed at the people around Jesus – it is directed at the disciples. Consider this, “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt 25:21). In both these verses, Mark 9:19 and Matt 25:21, ‘faithful’ means being constant in one’s work or endeavors, not about faith in Jesus. The disciples convicted themselves when they weren’t able to do the exorcism; Jesus knew exactly why and He makes it very plain to them in verse 29, pretty much telling them if they’d done as they are supposed to do, they could have cast out the foul spirit.

How constant am I in my work? In my prayer life? In fasting? In living my life in the manner directed by Jesus? These are things we must judge for ourselves. If Jesus were a thermometer, would I be on the cold end or the hot end? Where should I be? Where do I want to be?

How constant are you?


6 thoughts on “St. Mark 9: 14 – 29”

  1. I, of course had not noticed that you had got the readings the wrong way round Audre so have nothing for which to forgive you. As for which end of the scale of the thermometer I find myself, I am sometimes a creature of extremes even though I try to keep on an even keel so I do go up and down….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We all do, Alys. I can tell when I’m on the cold end when I have this difficult to explain feeling of emptiness in my chest. But sister … when I’m on the hot end, I’m lifted up. It all depends on me because He never changes – but I do. When that feeling starts in my chest, time to get back to my devotionals and additional readings and quiet time to speak to Him one on One.


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