“And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them. 15 Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him. 16 And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?”
17 Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. 18 And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”
19 He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I [c]bear with you? Bring him to Me.” 20 Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.
21 So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”
And he said, “From childhood. 22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” 26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”
29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” – Mark 9:4-29
“Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.” The father of a demon-possessed child was frightened and confused. The boy was afflicted with an evil spirit that made him mute and deaf and threw him into violent convulsions.
Imagine the chaotic scene. A large crowd had gathered. Jesus’ disciples were trying to heal the boy. The Scribes and Pharisees were there, starting an argument with the disciples. Noise. Raised voices. Cries and gasps at the inability of the disciples.
Jesus’ disciples, who were responsible themselves for many miracles of healing, could not help the boy. They were ineffective against this demonic possession. No doubt the father had come to them knowing about their healing power. Now he was confused and frightened. His nerves were jangled. Even the disciples of Jesus could not heal or help this boy!
When Jesus arrived, the father cried out “If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Faith was waning. The man wanted to believe, but his faith in Jesus’ power was shaken by the disciple’s seeming lack of power and by the noisy crowd’s taunts and jeers toward the disciples.
Jesus surveyed the situation and then said, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!’” Certainty and trust were reestablished. Faith was strengthened and made whole when Jesus healed the boy and cast out the evil spirit. Jesus first, silently, answered the man’s prayer, “Help my unbelief!” Faith, strong and whole, was restored.
Though we might not say it out loud, most of us identify with that father. My faith seems strong one day, but weak the next. Strong one minute, only to fail the next. I often take my faith for granted. Everything is going well, and trusting God is easy. But then a crisis comes, and the old doubts threaten to shake me. Where is God? Can I trust him to act? What is he doing? Why isn’t he moving more quickly? When faith trembles and feels weak, what should you do? Remember the father’s prayer “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.” God will hear that prayer, and he will help. After all, faith is not something you created in yourself. Faith was created in you by God the Holy Spirit through your Baptism. Faith is God’s- God’s gift to you. God doesn’t give weak, imperfect gifts. Through His Gospel and Supper he feeds and strengthens your faith
The nucleus of saving faith is never shaken- our faith in Jesus. When you feel shaken in the faith, ask yourself this: Do I still believe Jesus is the Son of God, born of Mary? Do I believe Jesus lived a sinless life? Do I believe he died, the perfect, sinless sacrifice, on the cross for me? Do I believe he rose again on the third day? Do I believe he lives and reigns from heaven? Do I believe he forgives all sins and all sinners? Do I believe he is coming back again to take me to heaven?
You will answer yes to all those questions because you do have saving faith, planted in you and nourished by the Holy Spirit.” Your faith in the truth of Jesus is not shaken. Your faith in what is happening around you is shaken. You are shaken by the trials and tribulations of a fallen world. God has not revealed exactly what he will do in the present crisis or when he will do it. You want to know what only God can know. Cling to the Christ you know. Ask him, and he will strengthen your faith and deliver you from the chaos of the day.