Anything is possible

Six days later, Jesus took Peter, James and John, and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. As the disciples men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transfigured, and his clothes became dazzling white, far whiter than anyone on earth could make them. Then Elijah and Moses appeared and began talking with Jesus.

Peter exclaimed, “Rabbi, it’s good for us to be here! Let’s make three shelters—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He said this because he didn’t know what else to say, he was so terrified.

Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud saying, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him!” Suddenly, when they looked around, Moses and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus with them.

As they walked back down the mountain, Jesus instructed them not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept it to themselves, but they asked each other what he meant when he spoke of “rising from the dead.”

Then they asked him, “Why do the teachers of the say that Elijah must return before the Messiah comes?”

“Indeed Elijah does come first,” he said, “and restores all things. Yet why do the Scriptures say that the Son of Man must suffer and be rejected? But I tell you, Elijah has already come and they chose to ill-treat him, just as was written about him.”

When they returned to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd surrounding them, and the teachers of the law were arguing with them. When the crowd saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with awe, and they ran to greet him.

“What are you arguing about?” asked Jesus.

One of the men in the crowd said, “Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He’s possessed by an evil spirit that won’t let him talk. And whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him to the ground violently. Then he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to cast out the evil spirit, but they couldn’t do it.”

Jesus said to them, “You faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”

So they brought the boy forward, but when the evil spirit saw Jesus, it threw the child into another violent convulsion, and he fell to the ground, writhing and foaming at the mouth.

“How long has this been happening?” Jesus asked the boy’s father.

“From childhood,” he said. “The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”

“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” asked Jesus. “Anything is possible for a person who believes.”

“I do believe!” cried the father. “Help me overcome my unbelief!”

When Jesus saw that the crowd of onlookers was growing, he rebuked the evil spirit. “You deaf and dumb spirit,” he said, “I command you to come out of this boy and never enter him again!”

The spirit screamed, convulsed the boy violently and left him. He lay so still that people in the crowd said, “He’s dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand, helped him to his feet and he stood up.

Later, when Jesus was alone in the house with his disciples, they asked him, “Why couldn’t we drive out the evil spirit?”

“This kind can only be driven out by prayer,” he said.

Mark

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