Scripture reading for February 27th: Mark 9:1-29, Psalms 43:1-5, Proverbs 10:18
Jesus was a man who spoke with authority and was not afraid to rebuke demons or His own disciples! Mark records an incident in which a man had brought his son to the disciples. The son had an evil spirit that often tried to kill the boy by throwing his systems into symptoms of a seizure or stroke. The disciples tried to cast the spirit out but were unsuccessful. (Mark 9:17-18)
“O unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to Me.” (Mark 9:19) Jesus rebuked the people and especially the disciples for their unbelief. Jesus had demonstrated their authority to cast out demons and they had been sent out and also had experienced people getting delivered. (Mark 6:7, 12-13) The problem was not with the evil spirit, but with those who should have had faith to see it leave!
When the boy’s father brought his son to Jesus, he asked Jesus to help him if He could. “If you can?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.” “Immediately the boys father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”” Jesus again corrected the father’s doubting request with a question. “If” is a word indicating doubt, not faith in the possibility! According to Jesus, there is nothing that is not possible for the person who will believe! This man cried out spontaneously for help with dealing with the unbelief! This was an honest prayer and Jesus answered by rebuking the spirit in the boy. “You deaf and mute spirit,” He said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” (Mark 9:25b)
When they left this family, the disciples wanted to know from Jesus why they could not drive out the demon. “He replied, “This kind can only come out by prayer.”‘ (Mark 9:29) Some manuscripts added “fasting” after the prayer. Our power comes only from God through faith in Him and His ability to do anything. These disciples were encouraged to focus on prayer as they dealt with situations like this. Only prayer will drive out unbelief and enable us to successfully confront Satan’s power.
Take some time to pray today for help with driving out your unbelief. Jesus wants His disciples to walk in authority and power that comes through faith in God! (Mark 11:22-24)