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  • Writer's picturePastor Knight

Jesus Brings Focus

There was a great commotion on the hillside of Galilee that day. On one side, were the disciples of Jesus, baffled and, frankly, a little embarrassed. On the other, the scribes who were, yet again, trying to trip them up in some cross section of the law. Surrounding them, like some sort of natural arena, was the usual mob of folks who had gathered to witness some spectacle, hear the next authoritative word of Christ, or receive some healing at His hands. Yet for whatever reason, among all of this commotion, Jesus was not present in Mark 9v14.

"And when he came to his disciples, he saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning them."

While serving the Lord, it isn't uncommon to witness this scene. Groups of folks arguing and fighting about various nuances of ministry philosophy, surrounded by swaths of people, each jeering the other side. Yet, in both cases, there exists an unfortunate bystander. The spiritually afflicted. In verse 17, we meet a desperate father. He has spent much time and treasure seeking help for his little boy, who yet remained bound by some unknown spiritual forces that had enslaved him, and were bent on destroying him. Do you see the baffling situation? The disciples, the ones who were, in truth, followers of Christ, couldn't heal him. The scribes, in their pious, deceived delusions, had nothing to offer but arrogant condemnation. Yet, instead of recognizing their failures individually, they began to point accusing fingers of self-righteousness. Is it any wonder Jesus wasn't in the midst?

Although I certainly am in favor of being Biblical in my doctrinal positions, as well as, personal standards and philosophies, I am not in favor of groups of people arguing and fighting while the lost souls of this world are cascading into hell. Again, please do not misunderstand me, I am a fundamentalist by conviction. I strive in my daily growth as a child of God to maintain objectivity in my perspective from the Word of God, endeavoring to draw out (exegete) Biblical doctrine, standards, and philosophy. Yet, while I would gladly stand toe to toe with anyone who denies the truths of scripture (II Tim 2:24-26), I am burdened that there are countless people gathered around us, amongst us, who are hurting, broken, afflicted people.

In the aftermath, after Jesus has directed the faith of the faltering father to Himself, after the boy has now been given new life in Christ, the disciples do what, maybe, we all should do. They came to Jesus to for some clarity and examination.

"And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, 'Why could not we cast him out?' And he said unto them, 'This kind can come not forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.'" -vs. 28-29

By prayer and fasting...Both aspects of a disciple relying fully on the strength and ability of God, rather then self. Maybe our need is not to win more debates, to write more prominent papers, or be more prolific orators, but rather be more about Jesus. Spend more time honing our our zeal and desire to know Him. In knowing Him, we will adjust our focus away from the need to be right or recognized, to the passion of Christ to reach those He died, was buried, and rose again for.

In closing, the apostle Paul, someone who stood boldly for authority of Scripture (much of the context of Philippians), said it this way:

"But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [but] dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;" - Philippians 3:7-10 KJV

- Pastor Knight

Today's Bible Reading:

[1] If [there be] therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, [2] Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, [being] of one accord, of one mind. [3] [Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. [4] Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. [5] Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: [6] Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: [7] But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: [8] And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. [9] Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: [10] That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; [11] And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father. [12] Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. [13] For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure. [14] Do all things without murmurings and disputings: [15] That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; [16] Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. [17] Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. [18] For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me. [19] But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. [20] For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state. [21] For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's. [22] But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel. [23] Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me. [24] But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly. [25] Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. [26] For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. [27] For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. [28] I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful. [29] Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation: [30] Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me. - Phl 2:1-30 KJV

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