“Teacher…if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” (Mark 9:22-23 NASB, [bf mine])
In this passage, a father has brought his demonized son to Jesus in order that the boy might be delivered of deafness and muteness, convulsions, and other horrific, self-destructive symptoms caused by the unclean spirit. The father’s piteous request to Jesus is, “If You can do anything…help us.”
I picture this father having heard of Jesus of Nazareth and his followers, and out of his desperation for his beloved son (and certainly the stress in his own life caused by such a debilitating illness) he travels some distance to find them. This father had come first to Jesus’ disciples, who were unable to rid the boy of the evil spirit. When Jesus hears the commotion, he learns what happens, and voices his severe reaction to the disciples’ inability to cast out this demon (see verse 19).
Is this not a picture of the brokenness of our world coming to Christ and saying, “I brought my situation to your disciples, the church, and they could not do anything of real use. Now Jesus, if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us!”
Only many people never go directly to Jesus. They become jaded by the weakness and the deadness of the church and they don’t really believe in the power of God because of the impotence they see in those they know who bear His name. As a result their situation worsens and they walk away in despair. Or, they turn to other sources of power besides the church and as a result find themselves down a road rooted in the occult in which they’ve sold out to Satan, and they get temporary relief but with the full effects of a curse at work in their lives.
“All things are possible to him who believes.” Let’s rally ourselves, whether we’re members of a strong, kingdom-seeking church or not, to take Jesus at His word. And in doing so, to bring the out-of-control situation that wreaks havoc on our world and is dearest to our hearts before Jesus.
While it is easy enough to give lip service to this passage and say, “Yes, God, of course all things are possible with You” I believe it is most helpful to put specific situations before God and imagine in our minds how they appear after He’s touched them.
Notice Jesus says, “All things are possible for him who believes.” It is not just God’s will and His power that are involved in the restoration or healing of a person or situation. Faith is necessary on our part. That is why I believe it is helpful to imagine in one’s mind the final outcome of what we’re asking God to do. This creates in us expectation, which is a major component of faith.
For example, right now you might be burdened in spirit for a marriage that’s in jeopardy. So you put it before God and PICTURE in your mind those two individuals with soft, selfless hearts, their wills totally embedded in the will of God. They want desperately to seek His opinion and His strength for their lives, and to lavish love on one another.
Or perhaps what is nearest your heart is a backslidden prodigal child. Imagine that son or daughter worshiping and praising God, sold out to Jesus Christ, with a destiny of ministry and mercy.
Perhaps you need physical healing. Picture your body after a touch from Christ, eyesight fully restored, cancer cells gone, etc. etc. and begin thanking Him for that outcome.
Do not give a platform to unbelief by saying, “I don’t know what God’s will is for the situation.” His will is life, healing, restoration, and deliverance. This is what Jesus’ interaction with the poor and powerless in the gospels consistently shows us. It is why He came – to destroy the works of the enemy (1 John 3:8).
If your faith is as feeble as the father here in Mark 9, who said to Jesus, “I do believe. Help my unbelief!” then you can begin by saying the Lord’s prayer into the circumstance or person, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in ______, just as it is in heaven . . . in heaven where there is no divorce, no apostasy, no addiction, no nearsightedness, no cancer”, etc.