Focal passage: Mark 9:17-29
As a child, I loved pickles, and I don’t know if you are like me, but a new jar of anything – especially pickles – can be hard to open. I would often turn to my father to help me open the jar because I was not strong enough.
The topic of this week’s lesson, dealing with unclean spirits, is also an area in which we must turn to our Father for help.
It’s an issue many of us are deeply uncomfortable with – probably because it exposes our weaknesses – but it is a conversation that we must not be reluctant to deliberate. Demonic forces are real, and they seek to destroy every aspect of our lives.
In our passage from Mark, the scripture says, “[the unclean spirit] often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him.”
Like the boy, demons want to destroy us.
They desire to see us fail, to become ensnared in a web of sin that destroys hope and causes a lifetime of struggle.
Fortunately, we can seek our strength in Christ and the knowledge that he has the authority to destroy demons.
As a child of God, we must seek Christ urgently.
Just as I had to turn to my father to open a pickle jar, we must also turn to Christ to help overcome the attacks of Satan and his demons. A wise man once told me, “Sometimes we get so caught up in theology that we forget ‘Kneeology.’”
The disciples were confused as to why they were not able to cast the demons out, because they knew a lot about demons and had also witnessed them being cast out.
However, they missed a key aspect. They needed Christ’s power.
I knew the mechanics of how to open the jar of pickles, yet was unable. I had to turn to someone greater than myself. This text is a reminder that some things can only be accomplished through prayer. There is spiritual warfare all around us, and we should constantly be in prayer to Christ, the defeater of death and the devil.