“And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. And he asked them, 'What are you arguing about with them?' And someone from the crowd answered him, 'Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 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.' 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.' 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. And Jesus asked his father, 'How long has this been happening to him?' And he said, 'From childhood. 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.' And Jesus said to him, "'If you can!' All things are possible for one who believes." Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, 'I believe; help my unbelief!'” Mark 9:14-24
"Morning by morning they gathered it (manna), each as much as he could eat; but when the sun grew hot, it melted."
"The people of Israel ate the manna forty years, till they came to a habitable land. They ate the manna till they came to the border of the land of Canaan." Exodus 16:21, 35
The most important aspect in the life of a disciple is to see the reality of Jesus in a comprehensive and clear fashion by the power of the Holy Spirit under the authority of the Word of God.
Having previously been able to exorcize demons and heal people (Mark 6:13) the disciples assumed they could do so whenever they wished. They failed however, because of their lack of faith. Spiritual power is not something which once possessed will always be available. It must be maintained and renewed. Disciples then and now must constantly learn and relearn this lesson.
1. Yesterday's manna will not do. The life of a disciple of Christ is the life of seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness on a daily basis (Matthew 6:33).
Q 125: What does the fourth petition mean?
A: “Give us this day our daily bread” means: Do take care of all our physical needs so that we come to know that you are the only source of everything good, and that neither our work and worry nor your gifts can do us any good without your blessing. And so help us to give up our trust in creatures and trust in you alone. Heidelberg Catechism, Question 125
…we pray for ourselves and others, that both they and we, waiting upon the providence of God from day to day in the use of lawful means, may, of his free gift, and as to his fatherly wisdom shall seem best, enjoy a competent portion of them; and have the same continued and blessed unto us in our holy and comfortable use of them, and contentment in them; and be kept from all things that are contrary to our temporal support and comfort. The Larger Catechism, Question 193
2. Human powerlessness (a recognition of need and dependence upon the Lord) and an understanding of Jesus’ power leads to a life of prayer and joyful seeking (Proverbs 2:1-8).
3. Do not so trust in giftedness (“it factor”) that utter dependence upon the reigning and interceding Christ is obscured.
4. We will all hit barriers where our faith is stretched and tested. We will all experience failure. Do we respond as the father responded by looking to Jesus or by blame shifting and arguing (scribes and pharisees)?
Q 38: What is prayer?
A: Prayer is pouring out our hearts to God in praise, petition, confession of sin, and thanksgiving. New City Catechism, Question 38
5. The locus of power comes from our knowledge of our union and security in Jesus. Faith germinates at the cross; belief, trust, boldness comes into our life as we trust in Christ and look to him.
"The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, 'Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!' And he said to them, 'I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.'” Luke 10:17-20
1. What is “borrowed glory”? What does “yesterday’s manna will not do” mean?
2. What are the two responses in this text when people hit barriers in their faith or personal failures?
3. Could you be best friends with someone who says “my biggest fault in life is I overthink”?