So, I was reading in my “Harmony of the Gospels” this morning-which basically combines all the different gospel accounts so you can essentially read the most detailed account of all the stories of Jesus together and this is what I read today:“When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked. (Mark 9:14-16)
A man approached Jesus and knelt before him. “Lord have mercy on my only son, ( Matt 17:14) who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech ( Mark 9:17). He has seizures and is suffering greatly. (Matt 17:15) A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions ( Luke9:39) to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashing his teeth and becomes rigid. ( Mark 9:18) It scarcely leaves him and is destroying him. ( Luke 9:39) I brought him to your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not heal him ( Mark 9: 18). So they brought him to Jesus. When the spirit saw Jesus it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion…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 I can’?” said Jesus. “everything is possible for him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,’ he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently ( Mark 9:21-26) and came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment. ( Matt 17:18) And they were all amazed at the greatness of God. After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, Why couldn’t we drive it out? (Mark 9:28) He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you he truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “move from here to there; and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” ( Mark 17:20) This kind can come out only by much prayer and fasting.” ( Mark 9:29)
So I read that passage today, and I think for the first time ever it became so clear…. Those poor disciples went in all confident and tried to heal that little boy, the curious crowd leaning in to see what would happen, and for whatever reason it didn’t work! Immediately, the jeering started, the well meaning suggestions, the imploring family- voices got louder and louder and the poor disciples lost all faith- maybe they tried again to heal the boy but this time it was no longer in Jesus’ power, but now it was all them, trying trying trying but with no results.
BUT THEN Jesus shows up, He asks what is going on and the father of the little boy pipes up! He’s still in great distress, he still needs help for his poor son!
So, I pray for myself, that I would believe ( and Lord, help my unbelief!) that I might continue to pray and fast for the things that I hold dear, the things that I know He can do at exactly the right moment.