Pastor John Sloan
Introduction: From the moment we enter the world we are cajoled by caring parents and well-meaning teachers that there’s nothing we can’t do if we just try hard enough and never give up. It sounds good, and makes for great motivational books but, sadly, it’s not true. When it comes to the spiritual realm, in particular, there’s a whole host of things we can’t accomplish even if we give our very best. If real change is to be affected—the kind that takes place below the surface—we are utterly dependent on a power from outside of us.
Questions for Discussion & Discovery
1. Why does Jesus take the time to ask the man about the genesis of his son’s condition while the son is convulsing and foaming at the mouth (verse 20)? Why not respond immediately?
2. Read Psalm 10. How honest with God are you? Do you share the same sense of vulnerability as the men and women of old?
3. C.S. Lewis wrote: “Fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement; he is a rebel who must lay down his arms.” What do you think he meant?
4. Have you come to a place where you have recognized your own spiritual and moral inadequacies, laying down your arms, so to speak? If so, how did God attend to you at that moment?
5. What does Jesus mean when he says “this kind” cannot be driven out by anything but prayer (verse 29)?
6. Based solely on the work of Jesus, God’s people can come into an intimate relationship with the all-powerful Creator. How does that comfort you?
1. Gospel, Multiplication, Worship, Discipline, Community, Prayer, Service
2. Prayer | We will depend on God through prayer.
3. Read Mark 9:14-19
4. Read Mark 9:20-22
5. 01. When we approach Jesus, he desires (and responds to) complete openness.
6. Read Mark 9:21-24
7. “The father becomes a believer not when he amasses a sufficient quantum of faith, but when he risks everything on what little faith he has, when he yields his insufficiency to the true sufficiency of Jesus.” – James Edwards
8. “Fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement; he is a rebel who must lay down his arms.” – C.S. Lewis
9. Read Mark 9:25-27
10. 02. True faith begins with a recognition of our own inadequacies and a confidence in Jesus’ ability to help.
11. Read Mark 9:28-29
12. 03. It is through prayer alone that the spiritual powers of darkness are overcome and lives are infused with the freedom and joy of Christ.