Friday July 31, 2020
Today’s Scripture: Mark 9:17-27
17 One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, “Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won’t let him talk. 18 And whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast out the evil spirit, but they couldn’t do it.”
19 Jesus said to them, “You faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”
20 So they brought the boy. But when the evil spirit saw Jesus, it threw the child into a violent convulsion, and he fell to the ground, writhing and foaming at the mouth.
21 “How long has this been happening?” Jesus asked the boy’s father.
He replied, “Since he was a little boy. 22 The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.”
23 “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”
24 The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
25 When Jesus saw that the crowd of onlookers was growing, he rebuked the evil spirit. “Listen, you spirit that makes this boy unable to hear and speak,” he said. “I command you to come out of this child and never enter him again!”
26 Then the spirit screamed and threw the boy into another violent convulsion and left him. The boy appeared to be dead. A murmur ran through the crowd as people said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him to his feet, and he stood up.
This passage of scripture contains one of the most encouraging, in my mind anyway, sentences in the whole Bible.
This man’s son was suffering terribly. All he wanted to do was get him well. The disciples tried to help while Jesus was up on the mountain – but it was not working. A crowd was gathering and you can feel the dad’s anxiety growing. Would anyone help him?
When Jesus arrived he said that anything is possible if one believes.
And then the dad answered with the most amazing sentence: I believe! Help my unbelief!”
I think the reason I like this dad so much is that I see myself in him. In fact, I think I see all of us. We all have a mixture of belief and unbelief. There are times when our “belief tanks” are full and there are times when they are completely empty. Yes, we believe. And yes, we have unbelief. These two things can coexist.
Notice that Jesus did not get into a debate with the man. He did not say that he had to reach a certain level of belief over unbelief before he would act. He just healed. That’s what Jesus does. It’s almost as if just a tiny bit of belief will work. Maybe a mustard seed size bit?
If you are feeling out of belief today, do not worry. God takes what little belief you have and works with it to heal. Keep praying. Keep asking. Keep saying “I believe. Help my unbelief!”
God thank you for hanging with us even when we are full of unbelief. Protect us. Heal us. And help us in our unbelief.