Mark’s nineth chapter opens with Jesus on the mountain-top! His three inner-circle disciples had joined Him on this retreat.
Suddenly, pow! Jesus was “transfigured in front of them, and his clothes became dazzling — extremely white as no launderer on earth could whiten them” (Mark 9:2, CSB). Then, as if that wasn’t enough, Moses and Elijah, straight off the pages of the Old Testament, appeared before Jesus!
Do you know what happens at the end of every “mountain-top” encounter with God? Next comes the valley. The real world. Life.
Jesus, Peter, James and John came down from the mountain-top to find the other disciples and a large crowd fussing with them. A father had brought his son to the disciples asking for a miraculous healing. Apparently, the disciples had done all they could, but the boy remained sick.
The daddy shared his broken heart. “Teacher, I brought my son to you. He has a spirit that makes him unable to speak. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive it out, but they couldn’t” (Mark 9:17-18, CSB). “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 9:22, CSB).
“If you can do anything...” That sounds like some of my prayers. You too?
Jesus’ response to the unsure father was, “If you can? Everything is possible for the one who believes” (Mark 9:23, CSB). I wonder if Jesus was thinking, “If I can... hey buster, don’t you know I created the world in six days? Of course I can! ... But can you muster the courage and the faith to believe that I can?”
The Bible tells us what the daddy said next. “Immediately the father of the boy cried out, ‘I do believe; help my unbelief!’ ” (Mark 9:24, CSB). That’s a prayer that God loves to hear!
The broken-hearted daddy came to the right person. He came to Jesus to ask for grace and mercy!
Life is rarely lived on the mountain-top ... Life in the valley is often hard. But life in the valley can still be life with hope!
Follow the daddy’s example. When the going gets tough, go to Jesus!
South Georgia Baptist Church
Mike Martin, Pastor