And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can!’ All things are possible for one who believes” (Mark 9:23).
Do you really believe that God can fix that broken situation in your life? You know that one that you have tried everything and still run up against the wall? You believe that God used to do those types of miraculous things but are unsure if he still does now.
God has not retired from the miraculous.
As you begin to ask God to do the things of which you are unable, you must develop a necessary level of faith. You shouldn’t display arrogance in your abilities, but you should maintain confidence in God’s power. How confident are you in God’s ability to do the miraculous? A certain man approached Jesus with rightly-directed faith even though it was underdeveloped.
Read about the event in Mark 9:14-29.
14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. 15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. 16 And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” 19 And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” 20 And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
Why Did They Miss It?
Jesus had already given his disciples authority over unclean spirits (Mark 6:7), but they were unable to address this specific situation (Mark 9:18). Mere association with Jesus doesn’t guarantee access to his power. Just because the disciples had previously been victorious did not mean they could work from their own strength.
We will always lose spiritual battles if we rest on previous accomplishments or personal abilities.
This father did come to the right person, but he wasn’t coming to him in the right way. His audacious remark represents so many of us.
“Do it, Jesus…if you can.”
Our lack of faith often robs us of seeing Jesus work miraculously in our lives. Jesus can do whatever he wants. All things are possible for the one who believes.
While the disciples and the father responded in different ways, both parties revealed misplaced faith. The father was unsure Jesus could do it, and the disciples assumed that they could do it.
Which one do you identify with more? Why?
Yes, God has done incredible things in the past, but He is not past His prime.
Your situation doesn’t overwhelm God. He isn’t scrambling unsure of what to do. He isn’t phoning a friend for help. Your scariest circumstances don’t scare Him off.
With God, it is never a question of “if He can,” but only “if He will.”