Thursday, June 25, 2009

MkITN IX, Verses 14 - 29

14. And when they came back down the mountain to re-join the other nine disciples, they saw a huge crowd around them, and the religion scholars obviously arguing with them about something.

15. But as soon as the crowd saw Jesus, His face still slightly glowing with the residue of the glory from the transfiguration, they were amazed, and instantly drawn to Him...and they all flocked to Him, and greeted Him with great excitement.

16. And He warmly received them, asking, "What's going on down here? What's all the commotion about?"

17. From out of the crowd a man spoke up and said, "I'll tell You what's going on...I brought my son to You, because he is under the influence of a spirit that has struck him dumb.

18. And not only has it silenced him, verbally, it also frequently sends him into violent convulsions, causing him to foam at the mouth and grind his teeth, after which he falls into a motionless stupor. This thing is literally making him waste away, so I asked Your disciples to end its authority over his life, but they weren't able to do it.

19. To which Jesus responded, "Oh what a faithless and unaware generation! How many times do I have to go over these things with you? At what point are you going to start walking in your own authority? Bring your boy to Me, sir."

20. So the boy was brought to Him, and when the controlling spirit saw Jesus, and recognized who He was (as the spirits always did), it started showing off, attempting to rebel and resist Jesus' authority. It threw the boy into a seizure, causing him to writhe on the ground and foam at the mouth, just as the father had described.

21. Ignoring the spirit's dramatic display, Jesus asked the boy's father, "How long has this been going on?"

22. "Ever since he was a little boy", the man said. "And I didn't tell you this part, but sometimes it even causes him to attempt suicide...it tells him to jump into an open fire, or to drown himself in the river, and he tries to do what it tells him to do! We're really in trouble here, so if you can do anything to help us with this thing, please have a heart and do it!"
23. Jesus answered him, "You say 'if' to Me...'if' you can help us...and I say 'if' right back to you...'if' you can believe...'if' you can believe, anything is possible!"

24. And before Jesus could completely finish the sentence, the man cried out, "YES! YES! I do believe! I mean, I have some doubts I have to deal with...I'm tired, physically and emotionally, frustrated with this thing that's been plaguing my son for so long...but deep in my heart I really do believe! That's why I came to you in the first place!"

25. Jesus noticed that an even larger crowd was forming to see what was going on, and He refused to let the spirit gain any more attention. So He said, "All right...that's enough, you controlling spirit! Leave the boy's life, and never bother him again!

26. And the spirit screamed, and convulsed him...then it obeyed Jesus and departed. But it left the boy spent and seemingly lifeless, lying still on the ground, so the people started saying, "He's dead."

27. But Jesus gripped his hand, and in one swift motion, pulled him up off the ground, and he stood on his own.

28. After arriving back home, His disciples cornered Jesus and asked, "OK...why couldn't we drive the spirit out?"

29. And He answered them, "Look, I've authorized you all to do everything that I do, but you can't let rebel spirits intimidate you, and make you think that you're weak...or that they're strong. You have to maintain your confidence in who you are in God to have dominion in the spirit realm...and you can do that by staying in constant communication with Him. In that sense you could say that these kinds of spirits can only be expelled through the self-awareness resulting from the strength of your own prayer life."

19 comments:

Avatar said...

V.29 I've been waiting for this verse...beautiful, helpful, fill-in-the-blanks and empowering paraphrase...thank you so much, Bishop!

Son of Zadok said...

And then when the time came those who had fellowship with the Lord began to search after Him in a more full and real way. They began to close off the distractions that surrounded them. They laid aside all their failures and preconceived ideas about things, and took to heart all the words they had been hearing for so long. Many pressed in; they waited upon the Great Spirit. And rather than settling for stories of great things that took place in the past, they began to hunger after something greater in their lives for their own time.
It didn’t take place right away, but after awhile it seemed to suddenly apprehend them in all aspects of their life. Suddenly, instead of a God who seemed so far away, something that was talked about more than lived, it seemed as if the presence of this God began to dwell in their conscious lives throughout each day. Then when they would gather, the love they had for each other was so magnified and amplified that mysterious happenings began to take place among them. New spiritual realities were taking on a life of their own through their communion with the Spirit and each other. Time seemed to stand still as the aura of the Holy One descended upon them because they loved much. Their stock was not in earthly cares and desires, but a hunger was stoked in their inner most being, from the Most High alone, for things of the Spirit. They cried much during these times, for suddenly it seemed that so much of what they had been concerned about began to vanish in their midst, and what appeared in its place was a supernatural awareness of what had been around them all this time. It was as if they could not help but minister to the needs of those around them. The love that they shared was so unique in those days that it began to draw many from all around the earth to see for themselves what was being spoken of. They had no consideration for time, for they would dwell in the presence of God and many miracles were witnessed among them. Music played almost constantly during those days and it was unusual because sometimes no one even seemed to be playing any instruments. The time had come. Everything they dreamed about began taking shape inside them and the house of the Lord was full of glory and majesty. When someone had something to say, they spoke, and although their were some in authority, it was as if every soul was a priest in the house of the Lord. Riches began to amass among them, which fueled a great array of good works, and many of the earthly realm brought the sick into the congregation and they were healed. And what drew many, who previously were sold a bill of goods which was not pleasing to the Lord, was their love and acceptance of all mankind. Love was rich, and it flowed like nothing you could imagine. It was even said that you could see it hanging in the air. Finally, a people began to believe that they had the power inside of them to do greater works. They loved themselves, and God, and their neighbor with all that was in them and the Spirit of the Lord blessed them with mysteries not known before unto them.

Seek the presence of the Lord and you will be changed

Seek the presence of the Lord and you will be changed

Seek the presence of the Lord and you will be changed

I feel this is a word from the Lord, who is great is mercy. Please direct your thanks and wonder to Him alone on this day for this time is now is drawing near to us.

Amalia said...

...this is the day...

Avatar said...

Amen, SOZ, so BE it, Amen.

Izumi/JOY said...

15. ..."still slightly glowing with the residue of the glory..."

Glory leaves a residue?

Awesome...

If that's all it took to amaze and draw the crowd - no all day seminars, no tempests, no demonstrations of powers... WOW.

There must have been a reason for Moses and Elijah to have met Jesus and the disciples on the mountain. Could it have been to re-set the Father's order?

When Moses descended the mountain, the Israelites were terrified of his appearance.

Elijah repaired God's broken altars and turned the people's hearts back to Him.

I like how v.15 feels other-worldly; spacy.

* Yes, SOZ - He'll take us there.

Izumi/JOY said...

And the Presence of the Lord invades hearts and homes...

Across town, a couple of toddlers break out in song, while their cousins, miles away, sing the same words.

A song no one taught them. Here.

Their mothers call one another other and discover the mysterious coincidences.

A father works the late shift and drags home soul weary. He'll get up and do it again, tomorrow. His job is to protect. And, by God, he'll do it, best he can.

He peels off and drops his sweaty uniform on the bedroom floor and falls instantly to sleep.

Then, he hears voices in the baby's monitor.

"Aww... he's asleep. Look at him. Sshh... don't wake him."

His wife beside him sleeps through, unaware of this heavenly dialogue.

By morning light, he's refreshed and back in his right mind. He makes a mental note to put in for some leave time. Probably just tired, was all.

But yet... where had he heard those voices before? Familiar; comforting. But, distant, too.

He didn't have long to wonder. A friend called and interrupted his reverie.

"Do you have your computer on? Do me a favor. Zoom in on a pic for me, will you?"
It'll only take a minute."

Great... he hadn't even had his coffee. What could be that important?

He did as he was asked, and sat in stunned silence. There'd been a party at his house, weeks earlier. The pics were from then. It was spring, and the birthday celebration was almost marred by a seasonal storm.

All guests were accounted for. Except one. The photographer only caught the back of the guest.

The man zoomed in on his clothing. One moment it resembled a bird's plumage, white and glistening. And, the next, something like sparkling granite.

"Can you tell me who that is?", his friend asked.

In another town, a man awakens to find a 50 lb. bag of Purina Puppy Chow sitting beside his dish washer. He knows his wife couldn't have placed it there. She's a sweet ol' gal, but has got arthritis in her spine. No heavy lifting for her.

By supper hour, she comes home and thinks nothing about it. Obviously, her husband had bought it. It was his day off.

That night, the old man dreamed a dream. His son, Louis, was standing next to his bed, bathed in a soft blue glow.

"Daddy, don't be afraid. I knew you were waiting for payday, and that you were worried about those pups. This should hold 'em awhile."

He awoke crying and reaching for the light, saying, "Son, don't go. Stay awhile, let's talk."

In another part of the city, a nanny fed cheese grits to a giggling two year old in her high chair. Nanny wiped the girl's face and asked, "What is so funny?"

"Candle!" was the girl's reply.

And the voice of the dove was heard in the land.

Avatar said...

Song #7...Amen!

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Thanks, Avatar...your support of this project is invaluable...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Great word, SOZ...the Scriptures say that prophecy must be judged, so I add my judgment to your exhortation...I add my amen!

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

Thanks for the sweet tweet, Amalia...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

You're in a powerful flow, Izumi/Joy...thanks for keeping us aware of the supernatural...

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

And thanks again, Avatar...I just added that and two more...

Anonymous said...

BRAVO! BRAVO! BRAVO! BISHOP
I’ve been waiting for a very long time for an understanding of this part of the story on this chapter.
Specially the word “IF”!
Thank you for that revelation.
The way you describe the word “IF” on this verse, is exactly the way I understand it. When we go to God for something, and when we used the word “if”, somehow don’t cut it with God. What we are saying to Him is: we are not sure of whether or not; He can perform what we are asking of Him.

Avatar said...

Honor and a privilege, Bishop!

Bishop Jim Swilley said...

BTW, you were right about the song from The Wiz...it wasn't playing right so I had to delete it...too bad...it's an awesome song (even though he, of course, didn't write it)...

Avatar said...

Wordver: warrydam...Sure, seems applicable...so I'll go with it--(smile), and understand if wisdom requires censorship.

tracy said...

And the religion scholars began to argue with them....today David is working with a Jehovah Witness and David begins to share that we are more alike than we are different. They don't believe in miracles and they guy was adamant with that stance. David began to share a few miracles with him and he said "I would not come to your house -you would change my mind." HA!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely love verse twenty nine!

It fits right in with SOZ exortation and that is also my view as far as this is the day that has been hoped for. The statement, "Finally, a people began to believe that they had the power inside of them to do greater works. They loved themselves, and God, and their neighbor with all that was in them and the Spirit of the Lord blessed them with mysteries not known before unto them.", is not just a good discription of what can be seen now but a good paraphrase to some of the Biblical discriptions of the early church.

Glory leaves a residue? Yes Izumi, I am certain that it does and have memories of viewing it. The human brain is a funny thing sometimes, I mean really funny. It can accept what is sensed and reject the same. My question inspired by this is why do we not bask in The Glory so much that the residue becomes resident. I also know from her many expressions of a Wonder Working God that Izumi's question was rhetorical and itended to inspire meditative thought. Well it worked.

Anon who wrote on their observation of the word "IF" has got the heart of this message concerning what is going on with the human condition of behavior that is inconsistant with what we were created to do.

There are moments in our journey when timing and circustance doesn't allow for second guessing our action of faith and that seems to be the sweet spot for a faith that avails much. There is no fasting or repetitious praying or using memory verses to bring the change that is needed to the moment but just a quick following of what is inside of us and a doing of that word. In some cases it may be an act of mechanical intervention and in others a simple command using the power of life in our tongue and there are those times when simply being still and allowing the Glory to flow out of our bellies is all it takes.

Bishop, this really is great wording and it adds much understanding to the difference between religious ritual and faith.

Son of Zadok, thank you for your obedience here. Your words are powerful and my amen is added to them along with others who see the Kingdom as here.

One Faith

Izumi/JOY said...

Thank you, Bish. I love hearing stories about how God reveals Himself in people's lives. I remember one you used to share about a family member (your grand-dad, maybe?) on his way to preach a sermon.

Along the way, some men met and opposed him. God intervened on his behalf. (awe inspiring testimony!)

* Thank you, and I agree with you, Anon @1:16, about the human brain being a funny thing. (accepting and rejecting what it senses) To that, I can say, "Lord, I believe. Please, help my unbelief."

I don't know if this qualifies as a glory cloud residue anecdote. But, my life is full of unusual occurrences. I used to have a set place in the house for prayer/intercession. (oh man, I'm kinda laughing to myself about how rigid I was at keeping a time, place & procedure)

Anyway, I had a certain blanket that I used to place on the floor beside the bed. I'd stretch it out, set my Bible, pen, notebook, Kleenex and concordance on it. Like a spiritual picnic of sorts.

After awhile, I stopped that and began praying throughout the house (a la, in Him we live and move and have our being). So, what happened afterwards really surprised me.

On more than one occasion, I discovered Lucy (my dog) scratching at the place I used to set all my worship/study materials.

Often, she dragged and set her pillow atop where I used to pray. When I couldn't find her elsewhere in the house, I'd look and find her curled up and sleeping there.

I don't know what she saw or perceived. But, remembering and telling it gives me comfort, somehow.