Help My Unbelief

A Brief Commentary on Mark 9:1-29

Especially Addressing the Plea, “Help Me Overcome My Unbelief,” or Overcoming Our Jadedness

Verse 1

“And He said to them, Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see that the kingdom of God has come with power” (9:1 NIV).

The “Some Who Are Standing Here Will Not Taste Death Before They See That the Kingdom of God Has Come With Power” Conundrum
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 To whom did Jesus address this statement? The answer is found in the previous chapter. “Then He called the crowd to Him along with His disciples and said: Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me” (Mark 8:34 NIV). So, He addressed “the crowd” and “His disciples.” If He only addressed His disciples, then the complication would arise, which disciples? What event would some disciples see that the other disciples would not? But, this is not the case, since evidently “the crowd” (9:1 NIV) was being informed of a future event to be viewed by these “disciples,” as well.

If physical death (“not taste death”) was implied in Christ’s statement, then when would His disciples “see that the kingdom of God has come with power” (9:1 NIV)? Evidently, Christ was referring to the disciples’ witnessing His Resurrection, to which He referred only earlier in the same discourse (Mark 8:31). Both His Death and certainly His Resurrection were unexpected by His disciples at that time. And, Christ’s defeat of death through the “power of His Resurrection” (Philippians 3:10 NIV) transcends any expectation of a mortal mind. “And who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by His resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 1:4 NIV).

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Why God Answers Prayer

Even the most humanistic, atheistic believe in prayer, at least in empowerment through appeal to the highest power to which they have any confidence — themselves. Probably just me, but in this 21st century, post-Christian America, I rarely hear the world around me curse in the name of God, like I used to hear. Jesus’ name, to them, is more an exclamation. More likely, the f-word escapes from the lips, when appeal is made to accomplish the innermost desires. But, prayer is essentially an appeal for something to be done by someone who is in a position to do something about it. Any wonder the professed godly don’t much pray? No confidence anything will happen. Make the prayer vague to ensure the lack of answer will not confound any profession of religion. Make the petition quick to affirm to others the duty to pray was performed. 

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