Let us not move too far past these three little words in verse 2.
“After six days…”
I want to pause here because I believe it is significant. Significant because I believe as a society we have lost sight of the command to keep the Sabbath and thus miss out on so many of the blessings and beauty God desires to share with us. It is a holy day ordained by God (Genesis 2:2-3).
The whole chapter of Isaiah 56 reveals how happy the man is who keeps the Sabbath and we have already visited briefly Jesus’ mandate that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath in Moment 5: Sabbath for Who? so I do not want to take a whole lot of time on the subject of why we should keep the Sabbath. However, I just want to note that is it not simply a coincidence that Jesus took Peter, James, and John up on the high mountain on a Sabbath and it would be then that He would be transformed?
As they are alone on the mountain with Jesus, Jesus is transformed in front of them. Then Elijah and Moses join them!! Can you just imagine!! Peter, James and John, all terrified gaze upon this scene (v6). But leave it to Peter to speak out even in his terror
“Rabbi, it’s good for us to be here! Let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moess, and one for Elijah.” Mark 9:5
Then God speaks for the second time in the book of Mark and it is about His Son again:
“This is my beloved Son, listen to Him!”(Mark 9:7)
When they come down off the mountain they find the rest of the disciples in an argument with the scribes and the crowds listening. Jesus immediately asks, “What are you arguing with them about?” (v. 16) A man speaks up regarding his son who has been possessed by a spirit and proceeds to describe what the spirit does to his son…
- Makes him unable to speak (9:17)
- Throws him down (9:18)
- Foams at the mouth (9:18)
- Grinds his teeth (9:18)
- Becomes rigid (9:18)
The man tells Jesus that His disciples tried to drive it out, but could not. Jesus’ reply is extremely harsh.
“You unbelieving generation! How long will I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring him to Me” (v19).
When the son is brought before Jesus and the spirit sees Him, the spirit behaves in the following manner…
- Convulsed (9:20)
- Fell to the ground (9:20)
- Rolled around (9:20)
- Foamed at the mouth (9:20)
The father continues to tell Jesus more about what the spirit has done to the boy and how long it has been going on and then begs Jesus by stating
“…But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us” (v. 23).
To this Jesus speaks back, “If You can? Everything is possible to the one who believes” (v. 23). To which the father immediately cries out, “I do believe! Help my unbelief” (v. 24).
This is huge. We believe, but do we believe? The father must have believed that Jesus had healed others, but when it came to him personally and his son, maybe there was some doubt. When addressed personally by Jesus, there was a crisis of faith.
Again, we are confronted with the same issue this man as well as the disciples must face. What is it that we truly believe about Jesus? Do we believe He is ABLE to do all things and it is just a matter of His willingness or do we believe He is only able some of the time?