Mark 9:14-27 New International Version (NIV)
14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.
16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked.
17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”
19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”
20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.
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.
A strong faith honours God more than a weak faith. Nevertheless, the most important thing about faith is its object. A weak faith in God will still produce amazing results, but a strong faith in a false god is worthless. In our passage for today, we see Christ demonstrating this truth when He delivered a boy from the power of an evil spirit. Jesus told the boy’s father, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23). The father replied, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). That simple small act of trust was enough for Jesus to perform a miracle.
Great saints of God have faltered at times, but God’s faithfulness strengthens their waning confidence. Paul the apostle said, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful” (2 Tim. 2:13). The great missionary Hudson Taylor used to say, “Friends, I’d like to give you the motto of my life. It is found in Mark 11:22 where we read, “Have faith in God.” He went on to say that even when we have our weak moments, the Lord in grace undergirds us. He concluded, “Reckon not only on your own faith but also on God’s faithfulness to you. All my life I’ve been fickle: sometimes I could trust and sometimes I couldn’t. But when unable to have faith, it was a great encouragement to realize that God would still be faithful to me.” What a great experience and comforting truth.
Yes, you too can walk the path in life confidently with the motto that Hudson Taylor used to have, “Have faith in God.” God is always faithful.