Facing Our Unbelief

Key Verse: “Straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”
—Mark 9:24

Lesson Scripture:
Mark 9:14-37

IN THIS STUDY, JESUS, and the three apostles who had accompanied him to the Mount of Transfiguration, came down from the mountain and were about to join the remaining apostles. When they arrived, our Lord, together with Peter, James, and John, discovered that a large group of people had gathered around the other nine apostles. In Jesus’ absence the father of a young man possessed with an evil spirit had sought the apostles’ help in casting the devil from his son. They were unable to perform this miracle, however, and were being questioned by the scribes.

When they saw our Lord coming they ran up to him in great expectation, believing that Jesus could heal the young man. “One of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him [Marginal Translation, dasheth him]: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.”—Mark 9:17,18

Then Jesus spoke, seeing the boy’s father, together with the others. “He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me. And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.”—vss. 19-22

Faith became fundamental concerning the father, and our Lord’s willingness to cast the devil from his young son. “Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” (vss. 23,24) He realized that he had to exercise faith, otherwise the boy would not be helped. Faith triumphed, and Jesus commanded the evil spirit to come out of the lad, and enter no more unto him. The spirit frequently left him, but would return later. Jesus’ command was that he leave and never come back.

“The spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead. But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.” (vss. 26,27) The Master permitted the evil spirit a certain degree of liberty before leaving the boy, causing him, therefore, much pain and anguish. Perhaps he allowed this for the powerful demonstration he performed for the occasion. He wanted the miracle to be clearly seen and appreciated by the onlookers who were gathered nearby.

The apostles asked Jesus why they were unable to perform this mighty act, as he had done. “He said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer.” (vs. 29) Perhaps there is a lesson for the Lord’s people living now at the end of the Gospel Age harvest. As we struggle in our own conflicts with sin, and the power of sin, we must exercise full confidence in God’s promises to sustain us. It will require strong faith to sustain us. Let each of us strive more diligently as the days become more evil.

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |