Help Me in My Unbelief!
And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” Mark 9:20-29
One of the most detailed miracles in Mark is the description of this exorcism. Look at the verbs to describe what happens to the boy: convulsed, fell, rolled about, foaming, cast, destroy, crying out, and appearance of a corpse.
Now to the exchange between the father and Jesus. First, the word “if.” The father seems to question whether Jesus can do that which his disciples couldn’t. Jesus snaps back, changing the focus toward faith; “If! Anything is possible for those who believe.” In response, the father speaks an incredible truth that reveals a human condition that every one of us can relate to:
“I believe; help my unbelief!”
Jesus calls out the demon from the boy, and the boy goes limp as if dead. But Jesus, as he has with Peter’s mother-in-law and Jairus’ daughter, takes the lad by the hand, lifts him, and the boy is well. What a beautiful moment between the saved and his Savior!
Once again, the boys prove they are not ready yet! Away from the crowds, they want to know why they could not cast out this demon. Jesus answers that this demon can only be driven out by direct access to God in faithful prayer, implying that this type is strong.
I believe; help me in my unbelief!
I pray in the name of the ONE. Amen!