As we celebrate Father's Day, many of us take the time to appreciate our dads. For some, the day is a joyful celebration of a father who mirrored God's love for them. For others, it reminds them of the inadequacies of their own father. No matter what your experience, we have a heavenly father who is perfect and cares for us. Today we struggle with a story of a father who has a hard situation that he brings to Jesus. What does that mean for each of us as we learn to trust God with our family?
14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. 16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked. 17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.” 19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” 20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. 21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” 23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. 28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”
For Adult Homes and Groups
Read Mark 9:14-29
1. Describe a time in your life when you felt out of control. Why did you feel that way?
2. What does our text say about who Jesus is?
3. What are some ways you or others around you struggle to cope with being out of control?
4. From the father’s example in the text, what is our model for dealing with hard situations?
5. Is there someone you are close to or something in your life that you need to bring to Jesus in prayer?
For Families with Kids
1. Talk to your parents about what they remember from your baptism (or look at pictures).
2. Have your dad or mom write your baptismal birthday and name on the shell magnet you received on Sunday.
3. We are promised the gift of the Holy Spirit in our baptism and are sent to love those around us by doing kind things for others and praying for them. Who is someone in your life who needs your kindness or your prayers?
4. Make a plan for how you will carry out #3.