Saturday after Septuagesima
Scripture: St. Mark 9:2-32 (NKJV)
9:2 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. 3 His clothes became shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. 4 And Elijah appeared to them with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.
5 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—6 because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid.
7 And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!”
8 Suddenly, when they had looked around, they saw no one anymore, but only Jesus with themselves.
9 Now as they came down from the mountain, He commanded them that they should tell no one the things they had seen, till the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept this word to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant.
11 And they asked Him, saying, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”
12 Then He answered and told them, “Indeed, Elijah is coming first and restores all things. And how is it written concerning the Son of Man, that He must suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 But I say to you that Elijah has also come, and they did to him whatever they wished, as it is written of him.”
14 And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them. 15 Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him.
16 And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?”
17 Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. 18 And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”
19 He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.”
20 Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.
21 So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”
And he said, “From childhood. 22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!”
26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”
29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”
30 Then they departed from there and passed through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know it. 31 For He taught His disciples and said to them, “The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.” 32 But they did not understand this saying, and were afraid to ask Him.
Meditation on a text of Holy Scripture according to Luther’s four-fold aspect, namely as a:
School Text (What am I being taught about God?):
God cares not about mountaintop experiences, rather, He prefers Jesus to be heard. God is patient with the faithless generations. Jesus points to faith as of imperative importance. God has power to cast out demons. God desires the focus to ever be on Christ’s death and resurrection.
Song Book (For what should I give God thanks?):
For creating and sustaining faith. For continually bringing me to cry out for mercy and faith—while unbelief continually exists in my flesh. For God’s means of grace that protect me; namely, His promises attached to the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, the Sacrament of Holy Absolution and the Sacrament of the Altar; all of which deliver the forgiveness of sins, rescue from death and the devil, and give eternal salvation to those who believe.
Penitential Book (What sins are uncovered that I should confess?):
That I avoid considering how I daily sin much—ever exercising unbelief through my thoughts, words, and deeds. That my faith and adoration become the object of my faith—complacently believing them to impress God.
Prayer Book (For what does this text teach me to pray?):
For steadfast faith and help with my unbelief. For strength in believing that Christ crucified is God’s glorification—and mine, through faith alone.
Collect for the Week:
O LORD, we beseech You favorably to hear the prayers of Your people that we, who are justly punished for our offenses, may be mercifully delivered by Your goodness, for the glory Your name; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.