Written on November 1st, 2006 - 8:30PM Last Updated: November 1st, 2006 - 8:44PM
17One of the multitude answered, "Teacher, I brought to you my son, who has a mute spirit; 18and wherever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth, and wastes away. I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they weren't able." 19He answered him, "Unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to me." 20They brought him to him, and when he saw him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground, wallowing and foaming at the mouth. 21He asked his father, "How long has it been since this has come to him?" He said, "From childhood. 22Often it has cast 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." 23Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." (Mark 9:17-23)
There is a wonderful message from God to us in this account of a man's son being tormented by demons, and his subsequent deliverance by the Lord.
The man came to Jesus because His disciples had been without the power to do anything. He explained what had been happening to his son: he had been made mute, unable to speak; he was constantly thrown to the ground, foaming at the mouth and grinding his teeth, and even was thrown by the evil spirit into both fire and water in order to destroy the boy. And all this had been happening since the boy's childhood.
What the man spoke to Jesus reveals his then-current understanding about Who Jesus was:
"If you are able..."
What did he want if Jesus "were able?" For Him to have compassion on them and to help them. Not just on the boy, but on the boy and his father; the father who had been trying to care for the poor boy who was under the control of this demon and who could do nothing to stop it. The man wanted Jesus to have compassion on and help them.
"To have compassion" (σπλαγχνισθεις) is a middle voice verb form of the word for bowels (this Greek word is from where our word "spleen" comes). Middle voice denotes an action that is self-imposed, done for one's self; therefore this is to agitate one's innards, to actively stir up one's heart. He wanted Jesus to make himself inwardly concerned for them, to be touched deeply inside; not as a passive recipient, but to actively stir up Himself on their account.
"To help" (βοηθησον) was to run to the cry of. It was to hear the call of one in need and to run to his aid.
The man wanted Jesus to become inwardly affected by seeing this demon-tormented child, and then to run to their cry with help! What a fitting response for seeing such a horrible case.
Yes, Jesus replied with the same preface to His statement! Although this is lost in many translations due to the differing Greek texts, this text is the most ancient. If this man were able, then what?
"All things are possible (able) to the believing one."
The Lord revealed the answer to the man's question: not only was Jesus able to stir Himself up and come to the aid of this man and his son, but all things were possible for the one believing. Yes, the boy could be saved and his father helped, because all things were possible to the believing one!
This word for "possible" is the adjective form of that verb "to be able." So Christ was telling the man:
"If you are able... all things are able for the believing one."
Could this man be believing? Could he be trusting? If he was able, all things were able. Why? Because "with God all things are possible (able)" (Matthew 19:26)!
As the Lord Jesus was God in the flesh (John 1:1)(1 Timothy 3:16), doing as He saw His Father doing, receiving all power from His Father, from Whom He had come forth, He was able to do all things. All that was required of the man was to be a believing one.
Believing & Unbelief, Trusting & Distrust
Immediately the father of the child cried out with tears, "I believe. Help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24)
If we are able, all things are able, have ability, are possible—to the one believing! As we continue to come before Him with our problems and crises, He continues to show Himself as the Loving Father and Son that He is. The more we see Him come to aid, the more He helps our unbelief. The father believed, but He asked Jesus to help his unbelief. They are both from the same Greek root, "to trust, believe, have faith."
He wanted Jesus to "help" his unbelief. That is the same word he used when requesting Jesus "to help" him and his son. He wanted Jesus to run the cry for help of his unbelief! And the Lord responded by doing what the man asked—He healed his son, which granted him the faith to come to Jesus in the future. He answered both requests of the man, both to help him and his son, and to help his unbelief.
Even though Jesus' disciples at that time did not have the power or force to help the man, Jesus was. When we are let down by those who claim Christ's Name, we must not give up. We must press on and look for the Lord Jesus Himself; it is in Him that we should place our hope and trust. What was that power or force which the disciples had lacked to help the man? Faith (Mark 9:19).
Yahweh is Almighty. He is able. He can do all things. Nothing is too difficult for Him. And even more, He is willing to do these things for us. He is able to stir Himself up when He sees our languishing condition, He is able to run to our cry when we are bruised and beaten down. And He does so when we come to Him.
Are we able?
Believe, and receive your answer from the Lord JesusChrist!
As you read this site, you will hopefully come to know Yahweh more fully.
But all of this continuing knowledge is useless unless and until you come into union with Him. I use the word union because it is truly a marriage. It is that deep connection we all seek, for which we most often look in other people. However, the truth is that our hearts will only be fulfilled when we enter that union in fullness with the One Who made us.
This is the grace of God, that He has not stayed distant for us only to worship as Creator. But He has come unto us, even become one of us—in His Son, ChristJesus—in order to share an intimate union with us. He desires such closeness that it truly will envelope our entire life, transforming us into something new and wonderful.
You may have already entered this union with Him and only seek to know Him better through reading here. But if you have not, as you do read, let this Gospel sink into your heart as you read it now.
God loves you, and has cast your sins into the sea. He has sent His only Son as the Savior of the world—that includes you.
That Son, JesusChrist, was born as a man through a virgin who had given her life to Yahweh; He lived without sin, reflected the glory of His Father, God, in all His words and deeds, and was persecuted even unto death because of it.
His death upon a cross was the powerful explosion that separated you from your life of death. It remains for you, now, to enter into that death with Him. As you die to the one you are now, a person separated from God from your many sins, you will be born anew, with a nature predisposed to live rightly. This gift is free to you, with nothing you can do to earn it. It is the mercy of God to offer it to you, as He loves you so much! All you must do is receive it by trusting Him to have delivered you. Simply place your life in His hands and embrace the freedom that came through that death on the cross.
The Gospel is that Jesus did not remain dead, but rose again on the third day after His crucifixion! Death could not hold Him, as He was without sin. And so death will not be able to hold you, as you identify with Him fully through your trust in Him. Let go of yourself and confess Him as Lord of your life. The power of His death and resurrection will work in you all that your Creator has destined for you. You will truly enter a new life and experience that intimate union you have been seeking all of your life.
So ponder these words as you read here of this great God—Yahweh—and all that He has revealed to His creation. Let His Spirit testify to your heart that these words are true, that God is Love, and that He sent His Son so that you might receive the life that is unbound by time and space. As you feel that witness in your heart, simply believe and receive what He is offering to you, even now, and begin your new life as a child of God.
Please write to me and let me know when you take this step, as I will be your brother in Christ—we will be one in Him!
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