For the past several months, I've been reading (and meditating) my way slowly through four gospels, simultaneously studying each event in the life of Christ from the different perspectives each writer brings. This morning I landed on the story of Jesus healing a demon-possessed boy in Matthew 17:14-20, Mark 9:14-29, and Luke 9:37-43. I would like to share my notes with you and then end with a poem called "Psalm to Sweet Jesus" that I wrote many years ago.
Here is Matthew's account of what happened when Jesus came off the mountain after his transfiguration:
Reading in Mark's version, I find the following conversation:
The boy's father: "I believe; help my unbelief!”
by Virginia Knowles
Sweet Jesus, you bring to me all that is good:
Comfort and hope when I am discouraged,
Peace and reconciliation when I am in conflict,
Strength and enthusiasm when I am weary,
Wisdom and guidance when I am confused,
Courage and confidence when I am afraid,
Forgiveness and mercy when I have done wrong.
You bore the fatal punishment that I deserved,
Yet rose up again in power,
Promising that if I would turn from my awful sin,
And believe in your awesome grace,
I could become your own precious child,
And enter into your everlasting Gloryland.
Such a rich salvation that I could never earn!
As a simple gift of gratitude,
With help from your Word and your Spirit,
I will trust and obey your loving commands,
I will worship you with my prayers and songs,
I will serve others joyfully,
I will share your Good News,
So that each one who hears and believes
May receive the matchless treasure
Found only in you.