Continued from Part 3…
All of a sudden Jesus appeared on the scene and boy were the disciples glad to see Him, they ran to Him together with all the people.
And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him. Mark 9:15
Jesus was very perceptive to the whole situation that was going on.
And he asked the scribes, What question ye with them? Mark 9:16
Notice that He asked the scribes, not His disciples, what they were questioning them about. He knew the evil that was in their hearts. Also notice that the scribes would not answer Him back but kept silent as if they had been caught in the act of talking about Him behind His back. Almost like when you step into a room, and everyone suddenly stops talking and you get that awkward feeling that they were all just talking about you.
It was one of the multitude that answered which was the father of the boy. He must have been so thrilled to see Jesus that he ran up to Him and spilled the beans on his son and his condition and the fact that he had spoken to His disciples that they should cast him out and they could not do it. Reading this account in Greek, the father literally said that the disciples were not “strong”, indicating that their faith was weak.
This is when Jesus literally lost it and in His frustration showed that His feelings and emotions are not much unlike ours. After all, were we not created in His image?
He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me. Mark 9:19
Both Matthew 17:17 and Luke 9:41 add “perverse” to faithless as meaning turned away or aside from the truth or the right path.
Faithless is the Greek word “apistos” where “pistos” means faithful and adding the “a” as the negative particle means the opposite.
Now why would Jesus be so upset with all of them? Yes, all of them. He addressed the whole “generation”. Most people believe that He was only upset with his disciples for not having faith to cast out the demon, but He specifically addressed the father of the boy. Notice that it was the father who approached Him and told Him the whole story after which it says that He answered him when He lambasted the whole generation as faithless and perverse.
Had the father also been intimidated by the scribes? Did he display unbelief and possibly say something to cause doubt in the disciples mind as they were trying to cast out the demon? If he later on questioned Jesus whether He was able to do something, then would he not have questioned the same of the disciples? Did he nullify what they were trying to do by his own unbelief? Did he say something like, “This is not working! The demon is not leaving. Nothing is changing. He is still lunatic. Oh, never mind, this is useless. Whatever you are trying to do, it has no effect. How do you believe that you are able to do this? This is not helping! Are you sure that you can do the same thing as Jesus? You are not Jesus. You are just His disciples (literally “learners”).”
Was he also a respecter of persons in trying to redeem himself in the eyes of the scribes for fear of their criticism? Who knows? But we do know that he even doubted whether Jesus could do anything as we read it in verse 22 where he questions Him, “…but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.” So if he questioned Jesus’ ability, he must have also questioned the disciples’ ability even more.
Jesus immediately turns the tables on him and says, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” It is almost as if Jesus is saying, “You ask me if I can do something but I ask you if you can believe. It has nothing to do with me and what I can or cannot do but has everything to do with YOUR faith and whether YOU can and are willing to believe, because only then are all things possible to you if YOU believe!”
How many times did Jesus tell people that according to their faith, so be it unto them? We have all assumed and believed when we first leaned about Jesus that He was a unique being, a Superman, God walking on the earth, no one could do what He could do. And yes, He was the word of God made flesh, but remember what He called himself? The son of man. Only on rare occasions did He admit that He was the Son of God. He took on our frailty when He was born as a human baby. He walked the earth only in the power of any other man until He was baptized in the Holy Ghost. This is the same baptism that is available to any believer to be able to walk in the same power of authority and ability that Jesus walked in on earth. This is how He became our example for us to do the same works He did. Just look up John 14:12 if you are not fully convinced.
One day when two blind men approached Jesus and begged Him, “Lord have mercy on us!”, He turned to them and asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They responded, “Yes, Lord.” Then, without praying for them, He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it unto you.” And their eyes were opened. They were healed by their own faith just like the woman with the issue of blood who was healed by her own faith when she touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and He confirmed to her, “Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.” And just like blind Bartimaeus whom Jesus asked, “What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?” When he responded with, “Lord, that I might receive my sight.”, Jesus did not pray for him but simply told him, “Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole.” And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.
Jesus was filed with power of the Holy Spirit but He invoked their own faith to draw it out of Him, just like He was trying to invoke the boy’s father’s faith here. And right away the father cried out, and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” This was what Jesus wanted to hear. This is what you want to hear also when someone who is in need of healing comes up to you for prayer.
Franciscus M. Dartee
Grow in Faith | Walk in Power
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