Gathering (Choose one.)

Describe a time when you or a loved one desperately needed someone to rescue you. Who came to your rescue?


When facing a desperate situation, are you more willing to let someone else help you, or to fix it yourself? Why?



This story highlights the role of doubt (meaning, one is of two minds about an issue) and disbelief (meaning, one is certain something is not true). Jesus knows the way things really are but laments the unbelief of others. The desperate dad in this story is not an unbeliever, as he does bring his child to Jesus for healing, after all. His issue is one of doubt. He doubts healing is possible, as Jesus’ disciples failed to cast out the evil spirit that possessed the boy. The boy’s symptoms (convulsions and more) are common in some forms of epilepsy.


God’s Story

Have one person read Mark 9: 14-29. Imagine what each character is thinking/feeling.


Finding My Story in God’s Story

When is the last time you felt like this dad or these disciples?

  1. When something went sideways at work.
  2. During a blowup at home.
  3. In a disagreement with a buddy.
  4. In an uncomfortable situation with a stranger.
  5. Other _______________.


Jesus steps in to “get ’er done.” What feelings does that stir up in you?

  1. Frustrated, as more doubt is stirred up.
  2. Awe-struck, as my faith is stirred up.
  3. Grateful, as happiness is stirred up.
  4. Confusion, as some lifelines work for others.
  5. Other _______________.


Why do you think the “teachers of the law” argue with the disciples?

  1. “You’re wasting your time; nobody can help this kid.”
  2. “You’ve got a lot of nerve trying to one-up us.”
  3. “You clearly showed up without a plan.”
  4. “Some rabbi this Jesus is, if you guys are his A-team.”
  5. Other _____________.


What does Jesus mean by “This kind can come out only by prayer?”

  1. God is always there, but you’ve gotta believe.
  2. Mere mortals can only do so much.
  3. Giving up is never an option.
  4. Overcoming life’s problems is a team effort.
  5. Other ______________.


Our Story

What thoughts about doubt does this story stir up for you?

  1. It’s healthy to have questions.
  2. Losing belief leads to most of life’s failures.
  3. I won’t let doubt overcome me!
  4. Doubt isn’t a weakness, it’s a challenge.
  5. Other ______________.


When do you tend to wrestle with issues of faith, and doubt? When …

  1. I’m uncertain and fail to move forward.
  2. I try and try, and must turn to prayer.
  3. I give up control.
  4. I have doubts, but God comes through anyway.
  5. Other _______________.


As a result of this study, what will you do differently next time you face a time of doubting?


How can you be more at peace with your doubts?

  1. Take others’ words and actions to heart.
  2. Spend time sharing with other Christian men.
  3. Acknowledge doubts, embrace them, listen to them.
  4. In God I trust, all others must prove themselves.
  5. Other lifeline ________________.


How can our group support you in prayer?


And who else might need that lifeline in the week ahead?