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Today’s Devotional: Mark 9:1-29

You can download this week’s entire Daily Devotional in booklet form here.

Jesus told the disciples that some of them would see the Kingdom of God (v. 1). Six days later Jesus’ physical, outward form was radically transformed (vv. 2-3), giving Peter, James, and John a glimpse of the glory of God’s coming Kingdom. Peter concluded that the kingdom was finally being established and so asked about setting up booths to get things going (v. 4; cf. Zech 14:16). God’s recognition of Jesus as his Son emphasized the disciples’ need to learn from and submit to Jesus (vv. 7-8). Jesus told them that Elijah came in the person of John the Baptist, but just as the Jewish leaders rejected him so they would reject Jesus, the Messiah (vv. 9-13).  

Returning to the other disciples, Jesus found them in a verbal scrum with the scribes (vv. 14-16). The disciples were unable to cast out a demon that had long afflicted a young man (vv. 17-23), and perhaps the scribes took the occasion of the disciples’ failure to accuse them and Jesus of being frauds. Jesus told the father to trust in him (vv. 23-24) and then commanded the demon to leave the young man (vv. 25-27). Jesus told the disciples who failed to remove the demon that depending on God through prayer is how spiritual changes are made (vv. 28-29).  

Truths to Nail Down and Apply

  1. Many Christians say that the Kingdom of God is merely spiritual in nature, present in believers’ hearts. However, the radical transformation of Jesus’ physical, outward form from his then just-a-normal-looking-man appearance to brilliant glory disproves the “spiritual kingdom” idea. Jesus will return and reign in full glory when he establishes his kingdom on earth.
  2. The disciples believed that Jesus was Israel’s king but could not grasp what Jesus meant by his suffering, death, and resurrection (v. 10). Only after Christ’s resurrection would they finally grasp how it all tied together (Acts 2:22-36).
  3. Prayer to God is the bedrock and foundation of faithful, effective life and ministry (v. 29). Without expressing your belief in and dependence on the Lord for all things, you will live and minister in your own strength and wisdom, and will be frustrated and ineffective.
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