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Help My Unbelief

Posted August 24, 2011 Andrew Feil

Jesus Heals a Boy with an Unclean Spirit
14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. 15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. 16 And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18 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.” 19 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.” 20 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. 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 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.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “ ‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 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.” 26 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.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” (ESV, Mk 9:14–29.)

I was reading something the other day in Mark that really hit me hard. In Mark 9, Jesus is talking to a man that is hurting. His son is struggling and like any good father he wants to cure his son of his pain. As Jesus enters in the conversation he realizes that this father is struggling to believe that anyone can help his son. The father has a lot of reasons to believe no one can. Shoot, even Jesus' disciples couldn't do it (9:18). Jesus pushes and challenges him to believe that the Son of God can fix anything. His response is, "I believe. Help my unbelief."

This is where the Spirit was speaking to me. How often do I claim to know and understand our Father, yet this does not translate into my life. I know Jesus lives in me and has given me the power to overcome anything. I know it, but I don't live it. Jesus is pushing this father to take the step of changing his conception of what is possible. Through Christ anything is possible (phil 4:13). Through Christ what is broken can be redeemed. Christ is calling this man, and me to understand that he has the power do to more than I imagine. The question is... will I put my faith in God and instead of myself. Will I humbly submit to a loving and good father?

So I feel myself praying, "Lord I believe. Help my unbelief!"