WHAT GOD CAN DO
Read: Mark 9:16-24
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!” (NIV Mark 9:16-24)
Study: Jesus came down the mountain from his transfiguration, and found this desperate father waiting. He begged Jesus to cast out the “spirit” plaguing his son. (Many diagnosticians today believe the boy was epileptic. That fits the symptoms the father described, but this was no time for Jesus to give him a lesson in neurology.) The father knew he didn’t have a big faith—but he had faith enough to ask for help with his lack of faith! Just before this story, Jesus was on a spiritual, as well as physical, “mountain top.” Now he readily stepped in to help one suffering boy and his distressed father. People of faith often feel a tension between faithfully addressing “big issues” and doing some “little thing” to relieve someone’s pain and suffering. Do you most often lean in one or the other direction? How can you as a citizen of Jesus’ kingdom follow his model, working toward big kingdom issues without failing to appreciate chances to help someone in need?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, it is so often true that I “kind of” have faith. I’m thankful that you recognize and honor whatever wisps of faith I can bring you at any given time. Amen.