Monday 21 February 2011

Bible Book:

"All things can be done for the one who believes." (v. 23)

Mark 9:14-29 Monday 21 February 2011


When the actor Alec McCowen took to the stage in the late 1970swith his one-man performance of Saint Mark's Gospel, he discoveredin this episode a real sense of renewed focus that draws its energyfrom the immediately preceding experience high up a mountain - theexperience that Christians refer to as the Transfiguration (Mark9:2-8).

Accompanied only by three of his closest disciples, Jesus has beenseen to speak with the great prophets of Israel, Moses and Elijah.Then, from a low mountain-top cloud, the bewildered disciples haveheard the voice of God addressing them, "This is my Son, theBeloved; listen to him!" (verse7). This is a turning point in the Gospel writer's story.Either side of it, Jesus foretells his death and resurrection (Mark8:31-33; 9:30-32). From now on, the story's narrative isdriven forward by the journey of Jesus and his disciples towardsJerusalem and the climax of his ministry.

It's in this context of renewed sense of purpose that a distraughtfather, surrounded by a throng of scribes, disciples andbystanders, brings his son to Jesus for healing. As Alec McCowenobserved, the people seem to rush towards Jesus as if to anapproaching celebrity. Indeed, he has developed the kind ofreputation that could turn the head of any lesser person. However,Jesus does not respond with a swift, flashy miracle but with thevoice of one who knows his purpose and who makes others questiontheirs.

Arguably, Jesus has discovered fresh authority on the mountain top.This authority is closely intertwined with a manifestation ofhumility that has little to do with modesty or having a low opinionof oneself, but is all about being confident that the life Jesus isliving is in tune with what he is called to be for God. Suchhumility transforms Jesus' life and has a transformative effect onthe life of others.

To Ponder

What does the idea of humility mean to you? Is ita positive or a negative quality?

Does our 21st-century, X-Factor society valuehumility at all? If so, how?

How humble do you think Jesus sounds when hesays, "All things can be done for the one who believes"?

Previous Page Sunday 20 February 2011
Next Page Tuesday 22 February 2011