“Jesus asked the boy’s father,
‘How long has he been like this? ‘From childhood,’ he answered.
‘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.’
‘If you can?’ said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for one who believes.’ Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed,
‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’”
Mark 9:21-24 (NIV)
The father we read about in Mark 9 has two critical problems. The first problem concerns his son who is demon possessed. The man’s love for his son is very evident because he brought the son to the disciples to see if they could remove the demon from him. Sadly, the disciples could not assist the son. As parents we are never more vulnerable than when one of our children are struggling with a serious life issue.
The man turned from the disciples to Jesus for help. When questioned by Jesus the father answered the questions and then made the pitiful statement, “…if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
Our hearts go out to the man as he shows both concern for the son and is honest about his limited faith in Jesus’ ability to assist him. So, the second problem the father has is his shaky faith in Jesus.
In life, many of us find ourselves in situations like the father in our story. We bring our problem to Jesus, pray for help, but wonder if help will come. Are you in such a place today? You came to the Lord’s people for help, but you came away empty handed. You know Jesus is your final source for help so you come but you wonder if even He can help. Many times I have heard troubled people say, “We have done all we could. Now all we can do is pray.”
When “all we can do is pray”, we need to pray the father’s prayer, “Lord I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief.” We need to be honest and cry out to the Lord saying, “Take pity on me and help me.” Such prayers will not go unrewarded. Jesus respected both the father’s weak faith and his honesty. So, the son’s problem of demon possession, and the father’s problem of weak faith are both resolved by our compassionate Lord.
Come to your powerful Saviour and come now.
Come to the Savior now, He gently calleth thee;
In true repentance bow, Before Him bend the knee;
He waits to bestow Salvation, peace, and love,
True joy on earth below, A home in heav’n above.
Come to the Savior now, You who have wandered far;
Renew your solemn vow, For His by right you are;
Come, like poor wand’ring sheep Returning to His fold;
His arm will safely keep, His love will ne’er grow cold.
Come to the Savior, all, Whate’er your burdens be;
Hear now His loving call, “Cast all your care on Me.”
Come, and for ev’ry grief In Jesus you will find
A sure and safe relief, A loving Friend and kind.