Focus: 22, 23, 24
First off, here we are again with demon possession and how striking the similarities are to people and things we see on the news. This is real. This is as real today as it was when this happened. But that’s not our focus. Our focus is on the dad of this boy.
Did you notice what he said to Jesus?
“If Thou canst do any thing…”
We say this to Jesus too, don’t we? We hold off on prayer in situations in our life and wait so long to ask Him, then when we do it’s as if we’re saying, “Lord, if you can help me in this…”
It’s like going to a mechanic and saying, “if you can fix my car that barely runs.”
It’s like going to the dentist and saying, “if you can repair my cavity.”
We sound ridiculous. But God is so faithful and merciful to this man and to us. We’d probably have been offended by that man. “Don’t you know what power I have? Who do you think you’re talking to, man?” Thankfully, even graciously so, our Jesus tactfully turns the tide of the question and strikes to the heart of the matter.
The man says, “If You can do anything…” to which Jesus replies, “If you can believe…”
The man’s only focus is on Jesus the man and the miracles he’s heard about in the land. He’s solely trusting on Jesus as the man. Yet, Christ who does nothing of Himself but the will of His Father (John 5:30) turns it from Himself to faith in God. Without faith it is impossible to please Him.
In verse 24, we see this cut the man to the heart. ‘Straightway’ or immediately he exclaims with tears, “Lord, I do believe! Help my unbelief!” This is a wonderful and beautiful admission. I might add that only the Bible versions translated from the Textus Receptus or the Received Text has the word “Lord” in there.
Without Lord, this man is just coming to a healer. He says Lord and means it because he says He believes. That’s what makes this so awesome. Can we not identify with this man?
We do believe in Christ, in His sovereignty, in His power and authority and in His love but we become overwhelmed with circumstances. This child had been like this since birth. He’d probably settled with the fact that his child would never be healed.
We see he did truly believe because he brought the boy to Christ but yet he wasn’t sure that Jesus could cast the demons out. And that statement, “help Thou mine unbelief” can mean two things:
Aid — to heal or administer service to.
Relieve — relieve my unbelief.
Both are rightful; Jesus can strengthen and heal where we don’t believe. He can do that through His Word and Spirit.
Jesus can relieve your unbelief. Those areas that you cannot rest in His promises keep you in turmoil. He can relieve you of those. His Word can take them away and give you rest, trusting in Him.
If someone is relieved of their duties, those things are removed.
Today I cry out, “Lord Jesus, I believe. Aid and relieve my areas of unbelief!”
God is faithful to grant that plea.