here is the link to today’s text: http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=324292044
Possessed Boy 9:37-43
A couple of things happen here that are worth paying attention to. First off, this occurs before Jesus has time to do anything as he descends the mountain. Secondly is that the disciples could not heal this particular boy. Jesus also expresses some frustration with what is happening, maybe having people around all the time is starting to wear on him.
- Why do you think the disciples couldn’t heal the boy, what does this say about the nature of healing?
- What does it say that Jesus is so immediately confronted upon returning? what might that say about our own mission work? What might be learned from such an event?
Jesus Predicts his Death II 9:44-45
Jesus tells the disciples about his death a second time while the rest of the crowds are in a state of amazement. Luke implies that this time around, the disciples were unable to understand because of some sort of block that was placed on them.
- Why do you think the disciples we made unable to understand?
- Do you think any of them understood what was Jesus was talking about before the resurrection, even on Good Friday?
The Little Children 9:46-48
The thrust of this chapter so far seems to be the disciples in ability to understand, they just seem to not get it over and over and over again. This is highlighted as they argue over who is the greatest.
But instead of telling the disciples to hurry it up and figure it out, Jesus instead chooses to place a child in front of them, I am assuming as a way of highlighting the child’s lack of understanding. In a way telling them that their lack of understanding is all part of it, that it is better to be like a child, happy with each day, ready to embrace what the child’s parents offer, eager to learn, but not concerned with whether they understand everything in that moment.
Although another possible reason for Jesus to pull in the child at this point was that children had no standing in society at all, no one was lower on the social ladder than children. Either way it is a strong statement on the part of Jesus. Unfortunately the disciples probably still miss the point.
- What are ways to truly live this notion of “the least among you are the greatest.”
- Why do you think Jesus placed a Child in front of them? Why do you think its important they ‘welcome’ the child, what might that mean?
Those not against are for 9:49-50
Remember this statement as we go forward, there is a variation on it that comes later on that has the potential to imply the exact opposite of this statement, but pay attention to the context, a disciple is admitting that anyone outside of their known group shouldn’t have access to the same power they have. This comes immediately after a bunch of passages about how little the disciples understand, and this could fit the overarching theme presented. In the disciples ignorance, they are worrying about someone they don’t have to worry about, they don’t have complete ownership of the power of Christ. Or to put it another way, any one offering healing is OK with Jesus.
- When is someone actually against you? Can other churches in Christ be against you?
- What implications do you think this passage has in our modern world and context?
- Why are there so many denominations if Jesus said this? What is the role of a denomination?