Shalom and welcome to [foreign language 00:00:05], a Hebrew phrase, which means, you shall love Israel. We hope you’ll stay with us for the next 30 minutes, as our teacher, Dr. Baruch shares his expository teaching from the Bible. Dr. Baruch is the senior lecturer at the Zera Avraham Institute based in Israel. Although all courses are taught in Hebrew at the Institute, Dr. Baruch is pleased to share this weekly address in English. To find out more about our work in Israel, please visit us on the web at loveisrael.org. That’s one word, loveisrael.org. Now, here’s Baruch, with today’s lesson.
Dr. Baruch: If you’re like me, you probably have said many times in your life, “What was I thinking? If only I had not done this,” Or “If only I had done something else. Why did I listen to that person?” Or “Why didn’t I listen to this other person?” And what happens is this, when we think about our pasts and the poor decisions we make, what do we have usually? Regret. What’s the solution for that? Well, we can’t do a lot about our past failures other than confess them at sin and wash them away with the blood of Messiah. But there is something that we need to learn, and that is this, when we exercise faith, it is going to remove future regret. Why? Because there’s an inherent relationship between faith and obedience. When we exercise faith, we’re going to obey the purposes of God. And when we do so there’s not going to be any regret in our life.
Take out your Bible and look with me, if you would, to the book of Mark in chapter nine. The book of Mark in chapter nine. Now, in this passage of scripture, we’re going to begin and Yeshua, he’s not with his disciples. Rather, they are having a discussion. Probably, it’s better to say an argument, with a large group of people. And even though it’s not stated emphatically, what this argument is about, we can infer from the context, exactly what had taken place.
So look with me, if you would, Mark chapter nine and verse 14. We’re going to pick up our study with Yeshua returning to his disciples. We read in this verse, verse 14, “And coming to the disciples, he saw a great crowd around them.” With also who? The scribes. Now, the scribes are important because they were the experts in Biblical interpretation. They knew the scriptures, and therefore, because there was this argument going on, that we’ll get to in a few minutes, we can derive that there was something Biblical taking place, a biblical discussion, and there was a disagreement between the crowd and the scribes, and the disciples.
So look, once more, we find that they were arguing with them. “And immediately all the crowd seen him,” that is seeing Yeshua, “They marveled.” Now, why was this? Well, this is also another clue to help us understand what’s taking place here. And that is that there was probably some debate, some argument, about Messiah with his disciples. And now Messiah was coming and they could get to the bottom of this debate. So what takes place? Once again, verse 15, “And immediately all the crowd seeing him, they marveled, and they ran and they greeted him.” Verse 16, “And he asked them…” Now, the question is, who is them?
Now, a lot of interpreters they will refer to the disciples about the context, says something else. The context tells us that Messiah is not talking to the disciples, but rather he’s talking to this group of people, and we’ll see this without any doubt, in a moment. So once again, we read, “And he asks them, “What are you arguing with them?” And one from the crowd…” And this is important, because this tells us that he was speaking to the crowd and not to the disciples. They were there, but he was addressing, that is Messiah, was addressing this crowd. And it says in that verse, verse 17, “And one from the crowd answered him…” And notice how he responded to Messiah. He didn’t call him Lord, or sir, or master or Son of Man or any other thing, he called him teacher. Why is that?
Well, how the scripture relates and identifies Messiah with what term is used is very important. Because teacher is to reveal truth. And the real question here is, are we responding to the truth? If we do, there’s going to be a specific outcome, God’s will is going to be manifested. If we don’t respond to the truth, that is, if we behave without faith, then God’s will’s not going to be manifested in our life and through our life. So we read here, verse 17, that this one from the crowd said, “Teacher, I brought my son to you.” Well, wait a second. We’re going to see that there’s this inherent relationship between Messiah and his disciples. From this perspective, from that time period, a teacher was only as good as his disciples. If the disciples could not put into action what the teacher was teaching, then the teacher apparently wasn’t so good.
So we see a play on words. This man says, “I brought my son unto you.” Well, he didn’t. In reality, he brought his son to the disciples of Messiah. And we find here that this young boy, probably an adolescent at this time, it says that “He had a spirit, a spirit of muteness.” We might say he could not speak. And more than that, verse 18, “Whenever this spirit would seize him,” that his take hold of him, “Would cause him to fall upon the ground, he would froth at the mouth, he would gnash his teeth,” which is a symbol of pain, “And he would…” And it seems odd to us, the scripture says that, “He would dry out.” Now, what does that mean? Perhaps your Bible translates it differently, but it literally means just to dry out. Why is that? Well, it’s a biblical idiom.
You see, water, in the scripture, is synonymous with life. And therefore, because he dried out, what it was saying is this, not only was this young man in pain and unable to control himself, but this demon was pulling the life right from out of him. It was trying to kill him. So we see in this passage that this man, because of the plight of his son, he came to Yeshua’s disciples. And what does it say? The second half of verse 18, “He says, “I spoke to your disciples and ordered that they would cast out,” Meaning, cast out this demon, “But they were not able.” This is the key, we see in this passage, we’ve already talked about it, this inherent relationship between Yeshua and the disciples, that’s one issue. But the problem is that the disciples weren’t doing the work that Yeshua was revealing, that is, the outcome of the truth of the teacher. And remember how Yeshua is referred to here, the teacher. The truth of the teacher was not being manifested in the life of the disciples.
Now let me ask you, does that sometime describe you and me, that we know what the word of God says, we say that we believe it, but do we really? Because if we do, it’s going to become a reality in our life. And notice Messiah’s response, verse 19. “And he answered them saying, “A faithless generation.” Now, I want to emphasize that, because the first thing that Messiah says concerning this crowd of people, namely his disciples, is that they were a faithless group. They were not responding in obedience to the truth of God. And he says, continuing on, I mean, “How much longer,” He says, “I’m going to be with you. How much longer am I going to tolerate you?” Meaning, there comes to a time where if we don’t respond in faith, well, the outcome is going to be disastrous.
So what does he say? Well, look at the second half of verse 19, he says, “Bring him to me. And they,” it’s in the plural, meaning properly, the disciples, “The disciples brought him to Yeshua. And he saw him.” That is, that demon saw him, that spirit. “And immediately,” he did something. “He began to cause him to converse,” that is to shake repeatedly. “And he fell upon the ground and he began to roll. And once again, froth at the mouth. And Yeshua asked the father, “How long has he been in this situation?” And the father said, “From his early childhood.” So we see something. This little boy, he became plagued with this demon when he was very young, and now he’s, perhaps from some of the words we can glean, that he’s probably around an adolescent and he’s still being plagued, and it’s worse than that. Because if we keep reading, we’re going to find out what the motivation is of this demon.
Verse 21. Yeshua says, “How long has he been in this situation?” And it’s interesting on what it says, because it says, “He’s been like this.” And this word been, should be, we would expect to be in the Greek imperfect, why. Well, we know what’s going to happen. We’ve read this story, we can anticipate from past experience with Yeshua, someone’s in need, someone has a problem, they’re sick, they’re possessed. What does Yeshua do? He heals them and restores them. So we would expect that this verb would be in the imperfect, which means, this young man, he was in this situation in the past, and it extends until this day into the present, but it ends. That’s the message, the nuance of the imperfect. But we don’t see that. What we see here, in the surprise, we don’t see the imperfect, but we see the perfect, which relates to what? A situation where it’s true in the past, it’s true in the present and extends into the future.
Now, what is this all about? Well, it tells us something. Without faith, there’s not going to be a change to our situation, without faith, the power and the authority over us of the demons are not going to be brought to an end. It’s only when we exercise faith, will they be brought to a change, to an end, to a conclusion. So, verse 22, the father is still speaking. And he says, “Oftentimes, into the fire, he has cast him,” That is the demon has cast him, or he says, “Into water,” for what purpose? And here’s the key, for his destruction.
Now, this is what I want you to see, when we look at this world in its current state, a state which is stained by sin, where there’s a prince of this age and we know it’s Ha-Satan, the Satan, and he’s got his messengers, his angels, his demons, fallen angels. What we see is this, this world is, in its current state, is for one thing, and that is for your and mine destruction. And nothing’s going to change that in and of itself. And that same way that this father knew that this was going to extend into the future, there was going to be no change, unless, unless Messiah was able to do something. And we’re going to see, he wasn’t even sure about that.
Now, look again at this text, he tells him that frequently, this demon cast him into fire, cast him into water, why? For his destruction. But he says, “If you are able to do something, help us, have compassion upon us.” Now, what did he say? Well, he asked the question with a doubt, and a doubt resembles faithlessness. He says, “If you’re able to do something,” meaning, he put all the burden for a change on Messiah alone. And how did Messiah respond to him? Well, he responds and says to him, verse 23, “Yeshua answers and says to him, “If you are able, for all is possible for those who are believing.” So once again, it’s the same word, the word believing and the word faith, same biblical word, just a different grammatical construction, but same route.
So he says, “If you have faith, it is possible,” but it depends upon what? Well, here’s the key. God has put the spiritual laws in order, they’re out there, they’re available. But the question is, are we going to respond properly? Are we going to exercise faith? That is, are we going to obey the truth? Messiah is able, he has been commissioned for this purpose. The question is, are we going to respond to his truth. And notice this man, verse 24, “Immediately…” Now, this is good, and we’re learning something concerning what our response should be. This man, next verse, verse 24, we’re going to see that he is an example for us. Because it says, “Immediately,” he didn’t delay, “Immediately, he cried out,” that is the father, “He cried out and he said to Messiah, “I believe,” but what else? He says in verse 24, he says, “I believe, but help my unbelief.” Meaning, his faith has to grow.
Now, we’ve already talked about the fact that, even faith as small as a mustard seed, can produce results. But God obviously doesn’t want our faith remained in that way, just like a mustard seed does not remain a mustard seed, but it grows into a large shrub within that garden. So this man correctly says, “I believe, but help my unbelief.” Now, what helps our unbelief? That is when we submit to Messiah and we see his faithfulness. When we perceive and experience the faithfulness of Messiah in our life, it’s going to grow our faith.
So notice what he says. He says, “I believe, but help my unbelief.” Verse 25. “And Yeshua seeing,” those what? “Seeing those running…” Now, apparently, there was this large crowd, they began to speak. Some people perhaps moved away, perhaps, Yeshua took them aside, but now they see that something’s going to happen. “And there’s this great multitude,” it says, “This great multitude running,” this crowd running. And what does Yeshua do? “Immediately,” it says that, “He rebukes the unclean spirit. He rebukes him saying to him, “This unclean and mute and deaf spirit,” he says, “I command you that you come out of him and no longer enter into him anymore.” And what happens? Well, look, if you would, verse 26.
“And he cried out, and he had many convulsions,” he apparently did something, “He fell to the ground,” and what? Well, “He appeared to everyone to be like a dead young man.” And those who were around, they looked at it and they said, simply, “He’s dead.” Now, here’s the key that we have to see. Remember what Messiah taught? He says, “A seed, as long as it remains a seed, nothing’s produced. It’s only when that seed dies that it goes through this process.”
Now, many scholars debate, “Did this young boy actually die or not?” Well, physically is not the issue. The issue is what is the scripture conveying to us? And what we see is that he fell and everyone appeared in their mind that he appeared to be dead. And what happens? Well, if you look, it says, verse 27, “Yeshua grabbed his hand and he raised him up.” And that’s important, because that is the same word that is used in regard to the resurrection. He raised him up, that is, resurrection is synonymous with life, a new life. And that’s what Messiah was giving this young man, he was giving him new life. And here’s the key, you’ll never have that new life until the old is dead and done away with.
The problem is this, all too often, individuals, we want that resurrection power, but we want it for our old lives. It doesn’t work that way. We’re going to be frustrated, we’re going to make poor decisions, we’re going to be pursuing the things that are not in accordance with God’s purposes, his plans for our life. So, from the scripture standpoint, this young man appeared dead and Messiah raised him up and he what? He stood.
Now, here’s the key. When we experience that resurrection power from Messiah, we will stand in this world. That is, we are going to know victory. In the biblical culture, to stand is to be victorious. It is to succeed. Now, what happens? Well, look at verse 28. Verse 28 says, “And he entered into his house with his disciples. And when they were alone, they asked him a question.” You could probably anticipate what that question is. “They said, “Why were we not able to cast out this demon?” To cast him out.
Now, they heard the truth, they wanted to respond to the truth, but there was something they were lacking. That is, they did not have a faithful perspective. What do I mean by that? Well, they heard the truth, you might say that they believed the truth, but they didn’t have a proper perspective for understanding the truth. Why is that? Well, if we want to accomplish God’s purposes, and we believe that they’re going to be accomplished, but our motivation, our understanding of why God functions and moves in this way is wrong, what’s going to happen? Absolutely, nothing. I mean, what does Yeshua say? Well, look on to verse 29. “And he says to them, “This type,” Meaning, this type of demon, “Is not able to go out by itself.” That is alone. “Nothing will bring him out,” Except what? “Except prayer.”
Now, that seems odd. I mean, probably, the disciples, they prayed, they asked God to do this. So what does he mean? Now, I realized that some of your scriptures will say prayer and fasting. But historically, in Judaism, yes, prayer goes along with fasting, but fasting doesn’t necessarily go along with prayer. And I believe the best manuscripts just have the word prayer. And that is, it’s asking God, but it’s asking God from a proper perspective. Now, why do I say that? Well, what’s the best interpreter of scripture? The answer is what? Scripture. And we’re going to see in the next account that we’re going to study next week, that the disciples and Yeshua, they were traveling and the disciples were discussing things among themselves. And Yeshua asked them, “What are you guys talking about?” And the disciples, they didn’t want to respond. Why? Because you know what they were talking about? Which one of them was the greatest.
Now, that’s our subject for next week, but it’s important, it’s a foreshadowing. You see, they wanted to serve God because it would make them great. And they totally misunderstood they did not have a faithful perspective. Why? Well, let’s continue on and seeing what Yeshua was doing in this passage. “So he says to them, “Basically, you weren’t praying properly. You got to pray in a correct manner.” And what happens? Look at verse 30. “Well, from there they went and they passed through the Galilee.” Now, I mean, nothing happened there. The scripture says, they went from there and they passed through the Galilee onto some other place.
Why even is the Galilee mentioned there? And the purpose is this, for the significance of that word, Galilee, it means biblically to reveal something. And that’s what this section is going to. It is going to a place to reveal truth to us. It’s not enough just to want God’s will to be done, and us to be part of it, we need to have a proper perspective, a proper motivation. I want God to do great things through me. Why? So I’ll be great. Is God going to move in my life? Probably not. So what happens? Notice what Messiah begins to teach on. Look, if you would, to verse 30, it says, “From there, they go forth, they pass through the Galilee, but he did not want anyone to know that he was there.” Why? Because he wanted to speak specifically and privately to his disciples. And that means you and me as well. Because here he’s going to reveal something very important about truth, about a faithful perspective, how to be used by God, that we know that Yeshua, he’s our example.
And what does it say in this passage? Well, look at verse 31, “He begins to teach his disciples. And he said to them that the Son of Man…” Now, notice that. Prior to this, Yeshua is referred to what? Teacher. He’s going to reveal truth. But now he’s doing that but he wants to change how we understand him. And he uses the term, Son of Man. Why? Because that term, Son of Man, refers to a servant, a servant to humanity. And it relates to what? Well, what does he say? He says, “The Son of Man,” and remember, he’s sharing this only to disciple, only to those who have followed him, who have believed him. He says, “For the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of man and they’re going to kill him and he’s going to die. But after three days, he is going to rise.”
Now, what does that speak of? It speaks about three things. First of all, his identity, as a servant. Secondly, that he is going to what? That he is going to rise after three days. We’ve already said that resurrection has to do with victory. Why after three days? Now, it’s on the third day, after three days. And in our mind, in English, that’s a conflict. Is it on the third day or after three days? But in Judaism you go to the third day, the full, complete third day, and then it continues until you complete the fourth, it’s still on the third day. And that third day is also a reference to victory. Great things happen on the third day. So we understand something. We understand that he’s going to what? He is going to lay down his life, he is going to what? Humble himself.
What are the disciples thinking of? “Who’s to be great?” How can I use the things of God to make me great? That’s not right, that’s not faith, that’s not truth, that’s not the perspective. The proper perspective is to understand that we are supposed to be like him, we are supposed to be a servant, we are supposed to lay down our life. And it’s only when we have that perspective and we faithfully follow that truth, only then is the outcome going to be victory. And that’s what Messiah is saying to them. But notice, it says that they didn’t understand it, and they were afraid, even to ask him about what this all means, his death and this resurrection. If you don’t understand the death and the resurrection, you’re not going to find God moving in your life. Well, we’ll close with that until next week.
Speaker 1: Well, we hope you will benefit from today’s message and share it with someone else. Please plan to join us each week at this time and on this station for the radio edition of loveisrael.org. Again, to find out more about us, please visit us at our website, loveisrael.org. There you will find articles and several other lectures from our teacher, Dr. Baruch. These teachings are in video form. You may download them or watch them in streaming video. Until next week, may the Lord bless you and our Messiah, Yeshua, that is Jesus, as you walk with him, shalom from Israel.