Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Jesus Casts out a Violent Demon

Tonight's Gospel and sermon, from St. Mark 9:17-29. The demon Jesus' disciples could not cast out of a man, whose father replied to Jesus' rebuke, "Lord I believe, help thou my unbelief."


Peter said...

The unbelief, I think is not the man's, but that of the apostles. In fact, the man's "unbelief" is a wonderful expression of faith. He acknowledges his own lack of faith, which is a humble recognition of struggle . . . I think this demon was no worse than others. What's at play here, I think, is the disciples' hard-heartedness, and their dull faith. The last statement, I think is ironic. The disciples perhaps were trying to drive out demons by their own power, instead of something as simple as prayer. What makes the story even more ironic, is that John will soon be trying to stop another man who is actually able to drive out demons.

Ah well, just a few thoughts. Thanks for the good word.

Rev.Fr.Burnell F Eckardt said...

Thanks for your comments.

But you say the demon was no worse than others? That idea is not supported by this Gospel, wherein Jesus says "this kind" does not come out except by fasting and prayer. Moreover we are told the violence with which this demon treated its host, which adds weight to Jesus' words about "this kind." The disciples could not cast this demon out, though they were indeed able to cast other demons out.

It's a fascinating and unusual reading, since we are not accustomed to thinking of degrees of power among demons. But there you are.