And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting.” (Mark 9:15-29)
Help My Unbelief
The miracles of Jesus proved that He was the Son of God as no man had ever done what He did with such authority. There was nothing that the Lord could not do as He healed all manner of diseases, raised the dead, showed His power over nature and time and had authority over all the demons. His power was dominate over all things and His words spoke with the clarity of God the Father that no man could challenge. He gave this power to a few select disciples to heal diseases, raise the dead and cast out demons. His disciples were sent out to show the power of God through the miracles testifying of the gospel of salvation to be found in the man from Nazareth. On one occasion the disciples caused a stir because they were not able to heal a man’s son from demon possession. The boy had a mute spirit that afflicted him with convulsions, gnashing of teeth and foaming at the mouth. When the father pleaded with them to heal his son they were unable to rid the boy of the spirit. It must have been disconcerting to the disciples to be shown their power was limited and they were unable to heal this boy. A great discussion ensued that caught the attention of Jesus as the people pleaded with the Lord to heal the boy. It was also a hard time for Jesus to see His disciples failing to understand the gravity of their faith in believing in the power of God. The Lord asked the father how long the spirit had possessed the boy and he answered since childhood. Pleading with Jesus, the father begged the Lord to have compassion and help them. Jesus told the father if he believed anything was possible. Immediately through tears the father cried out that he believed and implored Jesus to help his unbelief. The Lord rebuked the spirit and healed the boy. Later when the disciples asked Jesus why they could not heal the boy the Lord showed them the power of diligent faith through fasting and prayer.
The father was not a contradiction when he told Jesus that he believed yet begged Jesus to help his unbelief. His plea was a pure definition of humble faith trusting in something that was impossible yet relying on the realities of anything being possible with God. Faith is never measured in a full cup. What the father was asking of the disciples and then of Jesus was impossible because no man had the power to overcome the demons. When the disciples tried to heal the boy they lacked faith. Jesus proved that He was the Son of God when He healed the boy of the spirit. The Son of God had the power to do what was impossible and the faith of the father was assured in the power of Jesus but he also knew the limitations of what he could ask of God. He pleaded with Jesus to help his unbelief which shows the power of his faith that with the Lord nothing was impossible. Faith should never be a haughty feeling of superiority that there is no need for greater faith. The disciples could not heal the boy and it seems they had forgotten the humility of faith to trust in God. Working miracles could have insulated the disciples from the heart humbled by the power of God. They had the power to heal the boy but not the faith. The father did not have the power but he had the faith. He wanted Jesus to have compassion on him and he humbled himself to the will of the Father.
Faith is measured by our trusting in the will of God and allowing the power of God to work in our lives. There will never be a time in our lives that our faith does not need to grow and become stronger. The measure of faith will increase in our life but like the body it will always be growing and getting stronger over time. Men of faith for many years struggle with sin just as those who have begun their journey of faith. All men are under the penalty of sin and need faith to increase each day to fight against the wiles of the devil. It is easy to become complacent and think that we have grown to a level that we do not need the word of God as much or to pray as often or serve the Lord with diligence. We can look at our Christian walk as we do our jobs that after a certain amount of years we can retire and relax. As soldiers of the cross when can we lay our armor down and stop fighting? The battle rages on and the battles are many. If a man is 90 years old serving in the kingdom of Christ for 70 years he still needs to ask the Lord to help his unbelief. Why? The battle continues to rage. There will always be another hill to conquer and a foe to vanquish. Rest comes when we enter the bosom of Abraham and the glow of heaven is in our hearts. It is then we lay our armor down when our faith is complete. Until then we cry, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.”
Correction. Mark 9:29 ….by prayer *and fasting*.