Practical Proverbial, from Mark, 16 July 2015

Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered.  “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Mark 9, verses 21-23.

These verses and the one that follows are, in my opinion, perhaps the most profound ones in the entire Bible. They’re words that Jesus could speak with anyone of us.

You the situation; we’ve already talked about it.   A man brings his son to be healed because the boy is demon possessed. The apostles can’t heal the boy, so the worried father brings him to Jesus.   The father is distraught, frantic and skeptical after the disciples couldn’t perform up to expected par. He comes to Jesus hoping (think “hesitant wishing”) that Jesus will be able to do something to help the son he loves.

Jesus’ response seems to be shocked and surprised, yet it isn’t. Is Jesus saying to the man “Get on my level!”   “If you can?”   It almost sounds like Jesus is incredulous that the man would even question that He could heal.   But Jesus isn’t Allah; Jesus doesn’t expect us to serve Him or kow-tow to Him to earn His love.   No, Jesus is speaking as an object lesson.   He is educating the man, challenging his unbelief and educating him about its limits.

“If you can:”   those words of power are, more often than not, weapons of doubt when placed in our hands.   We doubt if we can; we doubt that even He can.   It’s even part of our nature to doubt, to question, to be skeptical, especially in the face of miracles.   Taken to an unhealthy extreme, that skepticism can grow into disbelief or unbelief.

That’s where Jesus meets the upset man, confronting his unbelief.   And then He takes Him a step further, refusing to leave the man in his unbelief.   “Everything is possible for one who believes.”   It’s a statement of such power and profundity and it changes everything.   It’s a flavor of “if you have faith as small as a mustard seed you can move mountains.”   It’s not just healing that is possible:   it’s EVERYTHING.

Noodle that for a minute.

Everything becomes possible when we believe in Jesus.   Got cancer?   Jesus can heal it.   Got terror?   Jesus can comfort, then overcome it.   Got hurt that’s hard to let go of?   Jesus can walk you through getting rid of it. There is nothing in this entire universe that isn’t smaller than Jesus; everything is under His dominion.   Because He gives us Himself, through faith, then everything is possible.   Move that mountain, heal that disease, grow those crops, right that broken heart:   everything becomes possible.

Profound, my friend. More profound than anyone else you could think of on their best day. Read ahead in your Bible and see how Jesus rocks the world in the very next verse.

Lord, I believe that, through You, everything is possible.

Read Mark 9, verses 14-29.


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