21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer and fasting.”
Verses 23 and 24 are my favorite dialogue from a Jesus encounter in Scripture. I see a little humor in Jesus’ response of “If you can?” and I love the creative back-peddling of the father exclaiming that he does believe, but he’s just not sure how much he believes!
Over and over I have comforted and challenged myself and others with this story. As I live my life day today, I too find myself clinging to all the faith I can muster and praying for God to guide me to a place of greater faith (and with that faith, understanding).
Today, in the midst of any trials and doubts I will pray, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Bill Francis, Pastor
Morello Hills Christian Church – Martinez