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Do You Have Faith?

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Introduction

I was going to go back to our sermon series on the 10 Commandments, but the Lord has led me in a different direction here after Easter, we will come back to the 10 Commandments soon.
But for today I want us to consider the topic of faith...
Consider this question.....
How is your faith? What do I mean by that question?
What do I mean by that question?
Is your faith strong, is it steady, unshakeable?
Or does your faith change at times due to the circumstances around you....
Honestly, I think we fluctuate, I think at times our faith is strong, but there are events, problems, circumstances that challenge our faith....
At times our faith is so strong we soar.... and at times we stumble....
So lets talk about faith, our faith as we examine the events that happen around a miracle that Jesus preforms after the disciples have failed....
And lets see if we can investigate the topic of faith and grow in our faith
So let me lead you to this passage...
Lets find the Gospel of Mark, chapter 9… verses 14-29
In this passage you see the need of a father to see his son healed and the disappointment of the disciples as they cannot accomplish the task that is set before them....
So Mark 9......
Mark 9:14–29 ESV
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.”
Man what a passage… so many things happen in this passage and we will do our best to look at each of them.
So what can we discover from this passage and from its parallel passages that speak to this event....well it starts with failure....
So consider this first point....
So consider this first point....

1. The Disciples Experienced Failure......

So what is happening here?
We know some things about the events here; first off at the beginning of he event Jesus and three of the disciples, Peter, James and John were not there. They had been with Jesus up on the mountain top.
Peter, James and John had literally and figuratively had been on the mountain top, they had witnessed Jesus as he was transfigured before them...
So on the Mount of Transfiguration they have seen Jesus in His glory, and they have seen Elijah and Moses with him, talking to Jesus.
Folks this is one of the greatest pictures you can ever hope to see in the gospels.... You see Jesus, who is the Gospel himself, and with him is Moses who represents the Law of God and then Elijah, who represents the Prophets of God…
So all that is the Old Testament is meeting with Jesus, and speaking about His upcoming passion...
Man, what a wonderful day
As Jesus and the disciples come of the mountain they find a problem.......
** Note - ** Now lets stop there and lets address the disciples who stayed near the bottom of the mountain… waiting on Jesus and the other three....
Now, as Jesus and those three are up on the mountain, a crowd as gathered around the other disciples, there are religious leaders there, Scribes who are the masters of the law, lawyers if you will, they are looking, observing and waiting for a chance to inquire, argue and honestly condemn something that is done.
Also we know a father who is desperate for help brings his son to the disciples for help… The Father asks the disciples for help, cast the unclean out of my son...
But they failed....
They are stunned, they are belittled by the scribes and they do not understand what has happened....
The disciples had done many signs and wonders in the past, they had served Jesus and others well
Luke 10:17 ESV
17 The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!”
But this day, nothing seemed to happen, nothing seemed to be going right after all....
What happened?
Why did they experience no power? Why was the boy not healed?
And with their inability to heal, an argument insures from the religious leaders present and this is the sad state of affairs that Jesus finds when coming down from the mountain.
So consider with me, ask God to give you a faith report card.... have you been able to do all that God desired because of your good faith???
Now this sets us up for a second thought today......

2. Jesus Interrupts the Scene...

It always gets a bit more interesting when Jesus arrives at the scene.... doesn’t it.
Jesus and those three disciples come down from the mountain and find this scene that appears to be almost out of control.
The disciples have failed, the father is hurting, wondering and the religious leaders are making things difficult to say the least.
What happened....
Look at the text again
Mark 9:16–19 ESV
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.”
:
So as Jesus arrives and takes control of the situation, Jesus asks “what are you arguing about with them?”
A man comes forward, the of the father of the afflicted boy… And he begins to explain what has taken place… he brought his son, who is possessed by a unclean spirit that sees to harm the boy. It would throw him down in the hope of destroying the boy who was made in the image of God the Father.
You see in that day in age, there were open fires that people used in the course of theirs day to cook, heat water and so forth. There are also cisterns that held water around the city and being open could be a dangerous place for a person who was afflicted by an evil spirit.
You see in that day in age, there were open fires that people used in the course of theirs day to cook, heat water and so forth. There are also cisterns that held water around the city and being open could
The father is caring, worried, hurting and on this day he reached out in faith, to the men who walked with Jesus asking for their help. Heal my son…
They prayed but nothing happened, they could not heal the boy....
**** Have you ever failed in your spiritual walk..
**** I’m not asking if you ever failed trying to reach out and cast our a unclean spirit. But you reached out by faith, in some way and nothing happened.... and you felt like a failure...
***** Did you have faith?
Now lets move on....
Then Jesus speaks....
Mark 9:19 ESV
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.”
Man, its tough, Jesus offers a rebuke to them in this matter.... but what is Jesus saying and what does it mean to us today....
The rebuke is two fold my friends… Jesus is not only addressing the future apostles, but also the crowd and the scribes who are present as well.
Lets examine the scene a little closer...
A. The boy has been brought to the 9 disciples and they tried to cast the unclean spirit. But they were not able.... Augustine, one of our early church fathers reminds us they have done these things already… they have worked in the power of Holy Spirit by the authority of Jesus....
But the unclean spirit resists them., it pushes back and as such the delay cause their faith to wain...
Listen my friends when we pray and do not see an immediate answer doesn’t mean we stop praying… no! it means we push, continue in prayer whole hardheartedly. You do not give up!
What are you praying for today… do not give up!
I am thankful for some past events that we have continued to pray for and we saw the answer....
B. But then there are the people around the disciples...
Here is something I want you to consider, as much as faith is a personal event in our lives, it is a corporal event as well.
You have a father who desires to believe but his faith is some what hindered as well… and then you have these religious leaders, the Scribes the lawyers of the faith.. they were here, but they are not believers, they are scoffers, they are here to see Jesus, to keep a watch and bring accusations against Him..
The phrase “o faithless generation” has a rich meaning to it. It speaks somewhat at the fact that the disciples could not cast this unclean spirit out… (we will address the disciples questions to Jesus later…) but no this.. they has already done these things… they should have prevailed here....
And I know some
To lay it out in simple terms, consider this… have you ever walked in victory to only stumble backwards days later… same thing here...
I think the rebuke of Jesus falls around the idea of you have walked in victory.. why have you fall back....
Now the main force of the rebuke I think comes to the people and those religious leaders.... Consider this.... the children of Israel have turned away from the words of the God in the Old Testament time and time again, they turned away from the Lord and did not hear his words concerning repentance, concerning the coming of the Messiah, the promised one of the Lord.....
They had not faith, they did not see what God is doing, they haven’t been looking simply because their faith is limited.
Jesus, the second person of the Trinity, God himself is so disappointed in how those who should have known Him did not even recognize Him or the work He was doing...
How sad....
Jesus interrupts the scene, but He finds something He is all to familiar with… a lack of faith.
Now here is my last thought for today.......

3. Jesus takes Control....

Here is a challenge for you today…
If you are struggling with your faith, it is nor growing, it is hindered.... Let Jesus take control
Lets walk back to our text again....
Mark 9:20–29 ESV
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 called for the boy to be brought to Him… Now Jesus knows everything about the situation, no one has to tell Him.
Upon coming into the presence of Jesus the unclean spirit convulsed the boy, contorted him and threw the child on the ground. It is a sight to behold.......
Jesus then asks the Father, - “...How long as this been happening?”
Emotionally the father tells Jesus of all that has happened, that the unclean spirit had tired time and time again to kill the boy…
Man that is no surprise, Jesus has told us of the devils desire to Kill, Steal and Destroy all...
But listen to the father...
Here is the verse, Mark 9:22b-24
“...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!”
The father doubts, his heart is conflicted… the disciples have already failed and the Father doesn’t know what to except… But his plea to Jesus is clear… if you can do anything please help.
Listen my friends.... How often do we turn to our heavenly Father with a conflicted heart, we are asking, but we are not necessarily expecting..
IMP And then we wonder why we do not receive and answer from heaven when we don’t believe God is able to start with my friends.... my gracious...
Are we then a faithless generation....
Jesus must be in control if we want to see great things happening in and through our life.
Now we know the father confesses his failure, I believe, help me to not stop doubting!!!! verse 24b.....
That is the number one point that robs people of experiencing God’s touch,.... doubt. Do you realize doubt robs us of all the blessings God would like to extend to our lives today.
You want to hear from God… ask and believe,
You want to know God’s will ask and believe
You are praying for revival, ask and believe.
Jesus healed the boy… He made him whole and well.....
Jesus healed the boy… He made him whole and well.....
Now let me ad this one last thought…
Later on the disciples ask why they failed??? Listnen to Jesus
I want to share this passage and other parallel passage, so you can hear what Jesus says...
Mark 9:28–29 ESV
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.”
And now
Matthew 17:19–20 ESV
19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
Now I know in the KJV version it says here in , this kind comes out only by prayer and fasting, and in others it says only prayer.... The word fasting is one that is debated in all the texts… I can tell you more but lets not get into textual thoughts right here and now...
The fact still remains for us to not get lost in this thought, I want you to pay attention to
Matthew 17:20 ESV
20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
Faith is the issue…
They did not have the faith necessary to drive this unclean spirit out of the boy. The group around them doubted ( remember the corporate response of the event), they argued with them and kept them distracted and when the unclean spirit resisted in the scope of all that is happening…their faith waned and they doubted!
And they saw no answer to the boy until Jesus showed up....
They didn’t have the faith necessary to drive the unclean spirit out....
and what about you… do you have faith?
_______________
Are you praying for faith, are you looking for faith?
You see faith is necessary if we hope to see God move and work in our life.
Are you praying for faith, are you looking for faith?
what are you praying for?
Revival is coming soon....
I am
Matthew 17:14–21 ESV
14 And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, 15 said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he has seizures and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. 16 And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” 17 And Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
Matthew 17:14-
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