Think about a situation when employees are having a heated discussion about an issue and then the supervisor appears. How might people react to the person in authority?
In this story, Jesus meets up with his disciples to find them arguing with the religious authorities. See how Jesus demonstrates leadership, the power of faith, and compassionate care in a critical situation.
Hearing the Word
1. Read Mark 9:14-29. Imagine you are an observer in the drama that unfolds. How did people respond when they saw Jesus? What does Jesus’ response reveal about his character.
2. What do you observe about the interaction between Jesus and the boy’s father? What feelings undergirded the conversation? How did Jesus encourage the man’s faith?
Think about a current challenge in your life. Can you honestly express your feelings to God? What steps can you take to let him bring change and develop your faith?
3. Describe what happened in vv. 25-27. How does Jesus’ care for the father and his afflicted son demonstrate God’s compassion and power?
How does this story of Jesus’s compassionate care strengthen your faith for difficulties in your family, or in other families you know, including the healthcare setting?
4. Examine Jesus’ statement in v. 19. To whom was this directed? Paraphrase the content.
Think about how you have reacted when someone you’ve taught has made an error (a supervisee, student, or child). What can we learn from Jesus’ ability to express what he is thinking, but without shaming anyone in front of others? How does his example affect your own feelings about making mistakes, or your relationship with others who have failed?
5. How does Jesus continue to teach the disciples in vs. 28-29? What does this show us about Jesus?
6. Note verse 29. Contrast what Jesus meant by prayer with what the disciples may have been doing in their attempt to heal the boy. What may have been their problem?
7. In what ways can we go through the activity of praying without really communicating with God? Reflect on the significance of prayer in your life and ministry and ask God for faith to believe that all things are possible in the challenges you are facing.
Responding to the Word
- What qualities of Jesus do you see in this story? How can you develop a more active trust in Jesus and his involvement in your life?
- What have you learned about ministry, and mentoring others, by seeing how Jesus relates with his first followers?
- Pray with one another about ways to live out what God has said to you through this story.
Facing Challenges in Ministry (download PDF)