2000-06-22 - Just Believe That He Is ...
Luke 9:38-41 And behold, a man from the multitude shouted out, saying, "Teacher, I beg You to look at my son, for he is my only boy, 39 and behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly screams, and it throws him into a convulsion with foaming at the mouth, and as it mauls him, it scarcely leaves him. 40 "And I begged Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not." 41 And Jesus answered and said, "O unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you, and put up with you? Bring your son here."
In Luke 9:40-41 Jesus responds to a father who's only child was tormented by a demonic spirit. "Master I beseech thee, look upon my son: for he is mine only child", and that was his cry, right to the point ," please help my son!". That should encourage us all to take our children to the Lord and get right to the point, "Lord heal our sons and daughters, deliver them from the influence of the world, and keep them in your hands." In John 10:28-29 Jesus reminds us of the believer's assurance, "I give them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My father which gave them to me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my father's hand." - and that's a mighty hand.
The father went on to say that he had begged the disciples to cast him out; and they could not. The response that our Lord gave shows a grieved heart and a troubled spirit. He said,"O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you and bear with you " . The Greek indicates that Jesus said literally, "How long do I have to put up with you?!". The scribes and the disciples had just witnessed the feeding of the 4,000 and the raising of Jairus' daughter from the dead! Listening to unbelievers can cause much doubt and unbelief in our hearts, and the disciples needed to turn a deaf ear to the words of the scribes. Their words, "Isn't that the carpenter's son?"; "He's a blasphemer!"; "He casteth out devils through the prince of devils!"; "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?"; are always a test to our hearts as well, do we believe that He is? They all knew that Jesus could perform miracles. But did they believe that He was also the Lord God of all, the Messiah, and the sacrificial passover Lamb for them and all mankind?
Their unbelief was in him, and this did not please him, in fact, it must have given him great pain. In Hebrews 11:6, the Bible says "Without faith it is impossible to please God, for he that comes (to worship, approach), must believe that He is; and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently (with commitment, with their whole heart), seek Him". Jesus just gave them authority over demons and the power to heal the sick in chapter 9:1. But they doubted in who He was. In James 1:6, the Bible says, "But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering (doubting, withdrawing). For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed."
In spite of all the doubting and unbelief around him, Jesus turns with a heart full of compassion towards the desperate father. "If you can do anything, please have compassion on us!!", he said. Jesus looked at him and said, "All things are possible to him that believes". A little bit of hope, a little bit of faith, must have leapt into his heart as he cried out, "LORD, I believe!! Help thou mine unbelief!!" What an awesome God we serve, who not only answers the cry of our hearts, but takes our doubts and failures if we only ask him. That father's faith, though maybe the size of a mustard seed, must have surely grown that day, as God rewarded him for 'diligently seeking' him. In verse 27, of Mark 9; the scriptures tell us that Jesus rebuked the demon and took the boy by the hand, lifted him up and helped him rise.
Lord, help us not to doubt you and your mighty power that is working in us. Help us to trust you in the midst of any circumstance, to remember who you are and what you have done for us by your blood. Teach us, Lord, to have sensitive hearts that respond to your Holy Spirit and believing hearts that do not grieve you or hinder your work in our lives and those around us …
Grace & Peace,
All verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.