What is to be done about it? Lord, Help My Unbelief Ken Trivette Mark 9:14-24 Outline 1. The scribes have gathered and are questioning the disciples concerning their inability to heal a young man who is possessed. If the disciples claim the power to cast out demons but then fail to do so, then what does that suggest about their claim? In fact, your unbelief is not unbelief if you are asking Jesus to defeat it. After Jesus’s return from the Mount of Transfiguration, He is met by His disciples and what would seem like a mob. We must begin by asking ourselves if our faith is in God or in a substitute god. So he asks Jesus for help, if Jesus was able to provide it. x��io�F������(��iQ I�&A��n]�d����%��c���;�4�{��,r�7�>��M?vW��(�����8.W7�Z\����? “I asked your disciples to cast out the demon, and they were not able.” It is at this point that Jesus responds in frustration at the “faithless generation.” It is unlikely that Jesus is referring to the unbelief of the disciples here. How long am I to bear with you? In other words, the disciples had failed in the same way the father had. endobj Jesus is saying to us that even his most devoted followers are not finished with the fight for faith. In verse 23 Jesus says, “All things are possible for one who believes.” But the father is struggling to believe because Jesus’ disciples have failed him. 1 0 obj The full context of the man’s prayer, “I believe; help my unbelief!” helps make his meaning clearer. Again we ask, “Why is this so?”. Mark 9: 14-29. An amazing thing has happened to this father. It is a prayer acknowledging that without God we cannot believe as we ought to believe. 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.”. This man’s example provides a great testimony for the rest of us. The Israelites had lost their faith in the God they could not see and placed it in the image of a golden calf that they could see. Jesus identifies the lack of faith in this father in verse 23. First half of Mark answers the question: Who is Jesus? It is amazing how quickly we can move from confidence to crisis, especially in regards to our faith. In verse 24 the father responds to Jesus by crying out, “I believe; help my unbelief.” This is a beautiful expression of faith, frail as it may seem, and it should give those of us who want to follow Jesus great encouragement. Help My Unbelief. And that was enough. Throughout Mark’s gospel demonic resistance to Jesus gets more intense. Lord, Help My Unbelief Mark 9: 14-27 Jesus has just returned from the Mount of Transfiguration to find a multitude gathered with the disciples. God demands faith because faith is powerful. I say the problem of unbelief is not unique to the disciples because the focus of this passage is on the unbelief of someone else. A Prayer to Build Us a) A Prayer to Pray Contritely b) A Prayer to Pray Continually 1. But if you will come to Christianity through Jesus, receiving him simply in faith that he is who he says he is, then you will find a compassionate God who is eager to sustain your faith. They are clearly words of frustration. Maybe this is why God lets others fail you, so that you will trust in him alone, in spite of all apparent impossibilities. … We read that “he could do no mighty work there” and “he marveled because of their unbelief” (Mark 6:5-6). If you come to Christianity expecting to find all of your questions satisfied before you will believe, God will not cater to your demands. If you compare this passage with its parallels in Matthew and Luke you will find that the conversation between Jesus and the father in verses 21 through 24 is unique to Mark. Or at least, they are not the main problem. The problem of unbelief is that we don’t want to believe in the God of the impossible. Thro… So we’ve come full circle. He claims to believe, yet confesses to unbelief. Faith originates with God and faith ends in God. Dealing Directly with God: Mark 9:24: Faith and Unbelief: D. Fraser, D. D ... Mark 9:24: The Only Help for Unbelief: J. Slade, M. A. Jesus inquires into the situation and from the response we get from a troubled father, we can reconstruct what had happened. This is a short prayer to our Lord Jesus Christ. This passage is written to warn us that deficiency of faith is the greatest danger to your soul. God demands faith because it directs us away from ourselves and toward him. Mark 9:24 “Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Context. So again the father cries out, “If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”. This lonely father is struggling not only for the life of his son, but also for the existence of his own faith. But here is Jesus saying, “No, you have to believe first before I heal your boy.” Why is faith a requirement for God to act? Immediately after the father makes this statement, Jesus heals the boy by casting out the evil spirit. You see, unbelief is a treatable condition if we will bring our unbelief to Jesus. Rather he is directing the father’s attention to himself, for that is where faith originates. Most modern translations read Jesus’ response first as a quotation from what the father has just said, expressing surprise at the father’s underlying unbelief in the ability of Jesus—“if you can?” The syntax of verse 23 must have troubled later copyists who apparently added the word believe to turn the words of Jesus into one simple thought: “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes” (NKJV). <> So exactly how had the disciples failed? So God lovingly calls on us to pray as we fight for faith. Today our text takes a captivating twist. And every time we pray we are fighting for faith. It is amazing how quickly we can move from confidence to crisis, especially in regards to our faith. Prayer is a consistent reminder to us that any spiritual ability we possess as followers of Jesus is derived. As this story concludes we find Jesus once again in a private conversation with his disciples. But this completely changes the meaning of what Jesus said. The answer is that he is the Christ, the Anointed One. We find out in verse 22 that the boy’s condition is a constant threat to his life. After all he has done up to this point to display his power, there is still a question as to just how powerful Jesus could possibly be. Maybe there is something out there that he cannot do. No matter how great the past successes, following Jesus will always take us into things that are beyond our abilities. The problem in this passage is unbelief, but this deficiency of faith is not unique to the disciples. What the man says here can sound contradictory. Sermons. He mingles with it confession — "help my unbelief." 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. 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 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? endobj “They were not able” to cast out the demon, he says. Okay, you say, but why does God require me to believe first? We are like the Israelites who doubt, “Can God spread a table in the wilderness?” (Psa 78:19). God complained to Moses about the stubbornness of the Israelites in Numbers 14:11, “How long will this people despise me? But God is not waiting to fulfill your demands for evidence because the Christian faith is not primarily a philosophy. The reason Mark includes this detailed dialogue between Jesus and the father is because, as one commentator notes, “for Mark the significance of Jesus cannot be fully conveyed by what he does, but only by who he is. Scripture: Mark 9:14-29, Mark 9:23-29, Mark 9:14. It is powerful not because of what it accomplishes but because of whom it trusts. 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