Scripture

Mark 9:20-27

14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.

16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked.

17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”

19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”

20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.

21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
“From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”

26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.

Reflection

The scene we find in Mark chapter nine follows one of the most remarkable episodes in the Gospels. Jesus has just returned from some time away on a mountaintop with Peter, James and John. While there, Mark 9:3-4 says,

His (Jesus) clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them and there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.

Peter, James and John had the unique privilege of observing this unimaginable scene, but upon their return to the rest of the disciples, they are quickly reminded of the broken reality of their human existence. Even Jesus seems at first glance to be frustrated to return to a world crying out in need.

At this point, Peter, James and John had all the proof we could ever imagine needing to believe in Jesus. All that the father had was a desperate need for his son to be healed.

And notice with me today that somehow his cry, “help me overcome my unbelief,” was enough for Jesus to respond to this father’s need.

In case you have forgotten, the goal of faith is not being able to get every question correct on a multiple choice test. Being the best at Bible trivia might not mean that much in the end.

The point has always been, and will always be, our desperate need of Christ and our unshakeable desire to continue pursuing Christ in our need.

Prayer

Jesus, I need you. I need you today. I need you tomorrow. I need you everyday. Without you, I fall apart, but you alone have the power to make me whole. I bring to you my desire and my doubts today trusting that this is enough for you. Be the life in me Lord Jesus this day and everyday. AMEN.