Jesus had been communing with his Father in persistent prayer, and cast a demon out from a young boy. He had given the disciples authority to do likewise, but they attempted to cast out the demon of their own accord, which failed. They still could not understand the nature of discipleship. While they valued social status and rank, Jesus provided a preview of their lives without his physical presence.
Later, Jesus’ object lesson for his disciples was to place a child in a position of honor, turning their social status pyramid upside down. This lesson, combined with Jesus’ admonishment for stifling the work of a disciple who was not one of the twelve, mixed up the outsiders with the insiders. The concept of the priesthood of all believers blooms in the irony that one outside their circle was able to cast out a demon through the power of God. Had these lessons not been taught, Jesus’ disciples might not have accepted others as workers with them in the kingdom of God.
Prayer: Almighty God, help us understand that all authority comes from you, and that with you, all things are possible. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Tonya Brittain,
Intern at Joy Lutheran Church, in Richmond, TX.