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Back to Reality

Our disappointment does not negate God's power or his potential.

Introduction

Do you know what it is like to have a mountaintop experience and then come down hard when necessity forces you to get back to reality? Maybe you're off on vacation at some spot where the weather is perfect, and the accommodations comfortable. One minute you're sitting in a lounge chair on the beach, watching the sun set over the lake, and the next you're bumper to bumper on the Dan Ryan, wondering what kind of bad mood your boss is going to be in today.  

Mark 9:14–29: A story of great disappointment

That's what it must have been like when Jesus, Peter, James, and John came down from the mountain in Mark 9:14–29. Imagine the letdown it must have been for them. They have just had this great experience, where they got a glimpse of heaven. Jesus was transfigured. Moses and Elijah appeared. The disciples were enveloped in a cloud of God's glory and heard the voice of God. The experience was so moving that Peter wanted to stay indefinitely. 

But, of course, that's impossible.

So they make their way down the mountain again. And what do they see when they reach the bottom? They see the crowd—the sweaty, needy masses that always seem to be there. Even when Jesus and the disciples try to get away for a few days, somehow the crowd always seems to know how to find them. They see the religious leaders, the theologians and guardians of tradition, who always seem so angry and accusing when Jesus is around. And there in the center of it all, hunkered down and on the defensive, are the disciples, embroiled in some kind of argument with the theologians and not doing too well by the looks of it.

In fact, the theologians seem to be doing most of the talking. There is a lot of shouting and finger-pointing. Questions ...

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John Koessler is professor and chair of the Pastoral Studies Department at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois.

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Sermon Outline:

Introduction

Do you know what it is like to have a mountaintop experience and then come down hard when necessity forces you to get back to reality?

I. Mark 9:14-29—A story of great disappointment

II. Disappointed with "this Christian thing"

III. The reality is that our disappointment does not negate God's power.

IV. The reality is that our doubt does not diminish God's potential.

Conclusion

Prayer is "the word that conquers God."