The Father in Mark 9 Sermon
The Father in Mark 9:17-24
(Outreach for reaching out) Be Careful when you do outreach and recognize when you are the one that needs to be reached.
There is a story…
A story from Michael Slater’s book Becoming a Stretcher Bearer (ink to his web site) The story is about boy drowning Michael met while at the beach one day. The boy was out in the water drowning and wasn’t calling for help because he was worried what his friend’s would think.
Sometimes we are the ones on the stretcher. We need to be lifted up.
Mark 9:17-24 (go to: NIV online)
See a father on stretcher suffering tremendous emotional pain. Loves his son. Sickness has affected the father because of its effect on his loved one.
Let’s put ourselves in the shoes of this father (It is always nice to try on another person’s shoes)
Consider with me
- What keeps us from coming to Jesus?
- What keeps us from asking for help?
- Why don’t we call or reach out for help but would rather do outreach to help others even when we are in need?
Think of yourself and think of this father…
Few reasons why we may not reach out when in need:
(from Michael Slater’s book Becoming A Stretcher Bearer)
1. Fear of being authentic & honest
2. Fear or rejection & non acceptance
3. Foolishness of pride
4. Guilt of faithlessness
5. Don’t want to be a burden
“River of denial runs deep”
1. Fear of being vulnerable because honest, true to self and others…authentic. If we are truly honest we expose ourselves, who we really are. Sometimes it is hard to come out of our comfort level and truly be ourselves.
Look at father in Mark 9:17
Was this father real, authentic and an honest man?
Did he speak honestly to the Lord about his feelings, about his faith, about his hurts and about his child?
Did he hide behind a mask or did he let himself be known?
He was open & laid himself before Jesus in his own need. He allowed Jesus to lift up his stretcher.
2. Fear of rejection
Look BACK at the father in Mark 9:14-16 …arguing and fighting broke out because this man came to the disciples 1st (the body, the Church) and they could not help. He and his problem was not resolved.
Had he risked rejection and non-acceptance by Jesus?
Mark 9:17&18. He gets to talk to Jesus about how “GOD’S PEOPLE” were not able to help him.
He spoke openly of himself & his son. He admitted his faith was not as strong as it should be. He also told Jesus that the disciples couldn’t do it! Like going to a boss of a company and saying the employees are not doing their job!
He expressed his hardship, didn’t sugar coat it.
He admits long term problem and speaks of duration of his son’s illness, the hurt for his child was overtaking even his faith. Years dealing with it! Sick of just trying to accept this pain and illness.
Read Mark 9:14-15 Note: this father went to disciples first, like going to a nurse before going to the doctor. People were overwhelmed with wonder and crowded Jesus to the point where you could not approach him without going through disciples 1st, even children were stopped by disciples before they could reach Jesus.
NOW A DAYS PEOPLE FEEL THEY NEED TO GO TO CHURCH TO GET CLOSE TO GOD AND IN SOME CASES THE CHURCH (institutions) AND RELIGION IS KEEPING THEM FROM A DIRECT RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM.
However, May we let and help people get closer to God though what we do here.
So Mark 9:17 the man steps out from the crowd and finally gets to talk to THE MASTER HIMSELF.
He shared these things with Jesus not knowing if Jesus would accept or reject him.
The boy’s father risked rejection. The Lord not only accepted him in his honesty and openness, but He also had compassion on him and his son and healed the boy as well as increased the father’s faith.
3. Foolishness of pride
Look at the father in Mark 9:22 he asks for pity. Verse 24 he asks for help –he was a humble, down to earth sort of man, not as a man of pride who says he can deal with this issue by himself because he is a strong father and head of the house. Remember, even the head needs a body!
On the contrary we see a man coming before God saying, “This is what I am, and at this moment I need you to work through me.” “I’ve come to ‘your people’, your ‘followers’ now I come to you!”
4.Guilt of faithlessness
Look at the father in Mark 9:21-24. Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” The answer was, “from childhood and often he throws him into the fire and into the water to kill him. But if you can do anything take pity on us and help us.”
“If I can?” Said Jesus “Everything is possible for him who believes.”
Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief”.
The father in Mark 9 showed faith by coming to the Lord and admitting his faith was not what it should be. Enough faith was not seen in disciples either. Some but not enough. Not what it should be.
Gotta go to the source of power!
Great to meet with other believers but gotta spend time directly with Christ personally or you’ll have no faith at all.
The father in Mark 9 could have wrapped himself in guilt and thought,
“how could I come before Jesus when my faith is not as strong as it can or should be?”
“how can I come before Jesus when this situation hasn’t changed in years?”
He could have said,
“God’s people didn’t help so God can’t help.”
The father couldn’t deal with the demons, even the disciples couldn’t help this father and son.
YET he came, with the faith he had. Offered what he had, overcoming and surpassing any guilty feelings, went to Jesus just as he was and just as things were.
We may find ourselves thinking, if it is true that we need help, prayer, support, someone to do something for us…
then what does this say about our personal relationship with God? Will my friends think or say, “don’t you trust God?” “Where is your faith?”
“WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?!?”
wE MAY THINK, people will not come to us for help if we are not Christ like, accepting, build trust and friendship.
Side note: People don’t care what church you go to. They don’t want to know who you know and who knows you until they know that you know and care about them on some type of personal level.
Christians often have feelings of guilt. Sometimes we are taught to believe that we should never sway and never feel less than mighty if we are truly walking close with Jesus. Other opinions and actions cause us to perhaps feel like we are not allow to feel or share our true feelings.
HOWEVER, we are human and we are still in constant need of healing, in constant need of our savior. We are in the same earth suits everyone else is in. Humility comes from the reality that we are weak but HE is strong. When we admit our own weaknesses it is only then we can help our family and those around us with their same weaknesses.
If we reach out for help and admit we need someone to do something for us
does this mean we are not trusting God and leaning on him?
The father in Mark 9 is real and allows himself the freedom from having the guilt of faithlessness. He admits the problem with his son. He admits he doesn’t have enough faith, confesses the disciples don’t have enough faith (Church not enough) but God is the source. We also, must
go to the source.
Now visualize this father as he is trying to express himself…
Make this our prayer:
Lord, there is a part of me that is hurting right now, it hinders me and I can’t totally believe as I should. Yet I believe in YOU, Lord, or I wouldn’t be here, but right now I am hurting so much for my son, my loved one, my situation. I believe in you, please help me overcome my unbelief and accept me for who I am.” Amen
And Jesus did respond to the father’s request and he healed the son of his illness as well as increased the father’s faith.
May HE increase ours.
5.Fear of being a burden to others?
You’re not heavy, you’re my brother! Let’s be there for each other more. Pray our faith will be enough so when people come to us with burdens we’ll have the faith in Christ that even the disciples were lacking.
Come now, claim faith from God our Father in heaven.
Sing “Just as I am” https://youtu.be/ovYPQl93zro (Whole playlist of songs in comments below)
During this time of commitment and seeking God keep in mind that after this recorded incident we read that Jesus’ disciples asked him why they couldn’t drive out the demon and he told them in Mark 9:29, “This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting.”
Let’s spend some time in prayer, loose track of time for a little bit, forget about anything else and ask God to increase our faith.
If you pick up vibes from this post like you would normally pick up a vibration from an incoming call or txt on your cell phone to to: Sermon jam
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