Mark 9:15-19

When the crowd saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with awe, and they ran to greet him. “What is all this arguing about?” Jesus asked. One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, “Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won’t let him talk. And whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast out the evil spirit, but they couldn’t do it.” Jesus said to them, “You faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”  So they brought the boy. But when the evil spirit saw Jesus, it threw the child into a violent convulsion, and he fell to the ground, writhing and foaming at the mouth. “How long has this been happening?” Jesus asked the boy’s father. He replied, “Since he was a little boy. The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can. “What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.” The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

This is a striking lesson in avoiding human solutions to any issue ~ and embracing God’s true resolution. “What is all this arguing about?” The people were discussing a problem that they could not resolve on their own. Of course they wanted a solution; they wanted freedom for the boy – from that paralyzing spirit that had taken him over. To us that could be any difficulty that purports to paralyze us. Why did Jesus call them faithless? Perhaps it was because they were trying to come up with solutions on their own, much like we humans do. “Bring the boy to me.” Jesus then listened; he didn’t shush the father about what was going on. He always listens; BUT THEN he acts on our connection with him, on our truly bringing our difficulty under his authority. And if we’re honest like this dad was, we respond in our weakness, asking for more faith. The solution belongs to God and is a gift from God – and our faith belongs to God and that too is a gift from God. “Bring the boy to me.” ~ Bring your challenge to me. And bring your belief along with it. “Anything is possible if a person believes!”


Pastor Lisa Bosworth


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