It’s Monday… And sometimes on Monday you’re faced with persistent problems that just won’t go away! They didn’t disappear over the weekend – you hoped they would have, but they didn’t! In fact, they may even have seemed to have gotten worse!
Luke 9:37-43 tells the story of a concerned father with a demonically controlled son! The father had helplessly watched as it appeared the demon was trying to destroy the boy. He had come to Jesus’ disciples and asked if they could help the boy – they tried everything they knew, but couldn’t! Finally, in desperation, he brought his son to Jesus and begged for help! And wouldn’t you know that at that very moment things got worse! The Bible says, “The demon threw the boy to the ground and convulsed Him (in fact one account – Mark’s – says the attack left the boy looking like a corpse – dead! Mark 9:14-29). Can you imagine what the boy’s father must have been feeling at that moment?
But when others couldn’t help – even the apostles of Jesus – Jesus could! In fact, Jesus encouraged the father of the boy by saying, “All things are possible for the one who believes!” To which the father responded, “Oh, I believe! Help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:23-24) At that moment Jesus addressed the demon and commanded him to come out and never enter the boy again! And the boy was immediately delivered and supernaturally healed!
Authentic followers of Jesus always want to help others – at least they should! Jesus’ disciples were no different! They were puzzled and frustrated by their inability. So when it was all over they asked Jesus, “Why could we not cast the demon out?” (Mark 9:28) Jesus encouraged them to buttress the effectiveness of their faith with prayer – much prayer! (cp. Matthew 17:20 and Mark 9:29)
I don’t know about you, but as a follower of Jesus I want to be able to help people! I am fully aware there are a lot of problems beyond my human ability to solve – even with more money, better education, and available resources! Problems that seem impossible! Problems that are persistent – they just won’t go away! Problems that leave you feeling helpless and leave others frustrated! But when we can’t – He can! Nothing is impossible for him. But I never want to use my inability as an excuse… I intend to buttress my faith with prayer! Prayer works! Jesus encouraged His followers in the private meeting following the miracle, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘move from here to there,’ and it will move! And nothing will be impossible for you!” (Matthew 9:20-21)