When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. Mark 9:25-27
This week’s story is about Jesus’s intense encounter with a demon-possessed boy. Jesus travels down the mountain with Peter, James and John after having “transfigured before them” (Mark 9:2). These followers of Jesus had witnessed Jesus’s glory on the mountaintop and now would witness his power and compassion on the mountainside. Jesus’s other disciples had been unable to heal the demon-possessed boy. The boy’s father pleads with Jesus to help. The man has faith that Jesus could heal his son, but it is a worn and weary faith—”I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). With a simple command, Jesus orders the demon to depart. The impure spirit “shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out” (Mark 9:26).
It is hard to imagine what this boy and his anxious father experienced. But this story’s message is clear—Jesus cares, and we can trust him with what we’re worried about. We all have cares and concerns, and Jesus doesn’t ignore these. He is the king who cares, and we can trust him with everything in our lives.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Ask God to move in your heart to see and experience his compassion in new ways. Pray for an open heart to his words as we encounter the transforming truths of this story. If words are elusive, pray with the psalmist: “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law” (Psalm 119:18).
2023 SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Join us all of 2023 developing a different spiritual practice each month. SPIRITUAL PRACTICES are intentional regular activities to deepen our relationship with God and mold us to be more like Jesus.
July is SOLITUDE. Keep track of our spiritual practices at beyondtheweekend.org/spiritualpractices.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.