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. Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into the 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 9:20-24
Earlier in this chapter Jesus took Peter, James and John up to the top of mountain where they saw Jesus transfigured and where they, also, saw him speaking with Moses and Elijah. The four of them come down the mountain and Jesus is immediately met with a rather large problem. A father has brought his son to be healed by Jesus, but because Jesus was not there at the time his remaining disciples try and heal the boy but they are able to. The man confronts Jesus and Jesus tells the father to bring him his son. And this where our passage for today picks up. Jesus’ instructions were to bring the boy to him and the father’s very act of bringing the boy to Jesus was an act of faith, because the disciples had already tried and failed to rid this boy of whatever it was that causing him to act violently and try to harm himself. But the father still had some lingering doubts, because he used the word “if”. The word “if” implies that boy’s father wasn’t one hundred percent sure that Jesus could heal his son. Jesus’ reply is one that we all know, because he tells the boy’s father this, “everything is possible for one who believes”. Jesus is telling the boy’s father and us to not let doubts and fears get in the way of our faith. We all have doubts and we all have fears, but not all of us will respond in the same manner as this boy’s father. We all need to be like the boy’s father in this passage and respond to our doubts and fears by seeking help from Jesus, because that is the only way we will ever overcome our doubts and fears.