Jesus took Peter, James and John to the top of a “high mountain” (Mark 9:2), possibly the nine-thousand-foot Mount Hermon, the highest peak in Palestine, where Jesus was transfigured. “His clothes became dazzling—extremely white as no launderer on earth could whiten them. Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus” (Mark 9:3–4). “They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish in Jerusalem” (Luke 9:31). The disciples worshipped in amazement as “a cloud appeared, overshadowing them, and a voice came from the cloud: ‘This is my beloved Son; listen to him!’ ” (Mark 9:7).
Always the first to speak, “Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it’s good for us to be here. If you want, I will set up three shelters here: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah’ ” (Matthew 17:4). Peter wanted to camp out, to stay at the top of the mountain, to remain in the presence of the two Old Testament heroes and the glorified Jesus.
That would be nice. We’d all like to hang out on the mountaintops, but unfortunately, there is always business to do in the valley. On that particular day, there was a father and son who needed Jesus’ attention. The father seemed distraught. Desperate. Heart-broken. Hopeless. The boy was pitiful. Withdrawn. Weak. Fearful.
“Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, because he’s my only child. A spirit seizes him; suddenly he shrieks, and it throws him into convulsions until he foams at the mouth; severely bruising him, it scarcely ever leaves him” (Luke 9:38-40). “Lord, have mercy on my son, because he has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire and often into the water” (Matthew 17:15).
“ ‘So they brought the boy to him. When the spirit saw (Jesus), it immediately threw the boy into convulsions. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. ‘How long has this been happening to him?’ Jesus asked his father. ‘From childhood,’ he said. ‘And many times it has thrown him into fire or water to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us’ ” (Mark 9:20-22).
Did you catch that? “If you can...” If you aren’t too busy. If you don’t mind. If you’re bigger than this evil spirit. “If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
“Jesus said to him, ‘If you can’? Everything is possible for the one who believes’ ” (Mark 9:24). Of course, Jesus can. He’s ready. He’s able. The father’s prayer was remarkable. “I do believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24).
Jesus “rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, ‘You mute and deaf spirit, I command you: Come out of him and never enter him again.’ Then it came out, shrieking and throwing him into terrible convulsions. The boy became like a corpse, so that many said, ‘He’s dead.’ But Jesus, taking him by the hand, raised him, and he stood up” (Mark 9:25-27).
As Jesus healed the desperate need of the son, He also healed the hurting daddy. Jesus can meet your greatest need. He can heal your deepest wound. He can help you develop a stronger, more vibrant faith. He will take you by the hand, raise you up, and help you to stand!
All Scripture quotations, except as otherwise noted, are from
Holman Bible Publishers’ Christian Standard Bible.