What does the text mean?
1. Summarize Mark 9:1-13. How does this week’s narrative of healing connect to the
2. Why does Mark include such specific details about how the demon possession affects the boy
(vv. 17-18, 20, 22, 26)?
3. Jesus makes some strong statements in verse 19 (see also Matthew 17:17 and Luke 9:41). Have
we seen him use such harsh language before? Who is he calling faithless? The crowd, the father,
the disciples, the scribes, or all of them? What exactly is he frustrated about?
4. Why does Jesus ask how long the boy has been experiencing this possession (v. 21)?
5. Summarize the dialogue between the father of the boy and Jesus in verses 21-24. Who is the
“you” in the “if you can” statement? Why does the father respond by saying “help my unbelief”?
If he said he believes, why would he still need help?
6. What does Jesus mean by his response to the disciples’ inquiry in verse 29?
7. What is the contrast between the disciples and the father? Why was the father willing to ask
for help, but the disciples were afraid to ask?
8. How would you paraphrase Mark’s big idea in 9:14-32?
How does it apply?
1. How much does our faith have to do with our ability to receive healing? How do we reconcile
God’s sovereignty with our human responsibility?
2. Do you know anyone who has been suffering from an illness for years? How might you pray for
them? How might you encourage them?
3. How do we actually cultivate more faith? What does that look like? What are some of the
things or people God has used in your life to grow your faith?
4. What might our lives look like if our attitude were a little more like the father’s and a little less
like the disciples’? What would be the impact on our faith? Our experience of God?