Opening thoughts: I have learned a lot over the past couple years. A couple years ago God showed me that I wasn’t genuinely saved and I was a slave to sin, through this dramatic encounter with God I was saved in seconds what I was trying to accomplish in human effort for 32 years. In a moment of time Jesus set me free from sin and set me on a new course, since that day all I’ve wanted to do is be with Him, lead my family and walk in the light. Through it all I have recognized that there is not a stitch of power in me whatsoever, without Him I am nothing. Living a Christian life is not something that can be taught, it’s something that takes place outside of your control….. And all it takes is this phrase “I believe, but help my unbelief”.
Scripture: Luke 9:37-43 ESV … On the next day, when they had come down from the mountain, a great crowd met him. And behold, a man from the crowd cried out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out. It convulses him so that he foams at the mouth, and shatters him, and will hardly leave him. And I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not.” Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.” While he was coming, the demon threw him to the ground and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. And all were astonished at the majesty of God.
This passage is so amazing, I also want to show you Marks account because it’s a lot more detailed.
Scripture: Mark 9:14-29 ESV … And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” 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.”
The Effort: The opening scene, we see that the scribes are arguing with the disciples over the fact that they were not able to cast the demon out of this demon possessed boy. They had seen Jesus in action many times, they walked with Him and talked with Him. Now they find themselves in a hot seat because they are trying to perform like Jesus, and they can’t. Jesus nails it on the head, he calls them faithless! What does he mean by faithless? Does He mean that they don’t believe He can do miracles? No, they have seen Him do many of those. He means that they still do not grasp who He is, that He is in fact the incarnate Son of God. They could try and cast that demon out all day but without putting all their hope and trust in Christ they are powerless.
The Failure: Many people profess to be followers of Christ. They say I love Jesus, I follow Him and I trust Him, but they are slaves to sin in their lives. They may say, “I have tried many things, but I just can’t quit” or “I have tried accountability groups but I always find a way around it” maybe “I have begged God to take it away from me, but I am still a slave”.
For years I begged God to remove sin from my life, I cried I pleaded. Yet I was still a slave, I tried everything I could, and in the end it seamed there was nothing God could do so deliver me. It wasn’t until God revealed to me that Christ was my only Hope and that I as a human being never pleased God. I was a transgressor and they never please the judge. I was thinking that if I spent enough time with Jesus that I could just eventually be cleansed of my sin. There is only one person who ever please God and that was His sinless, perfect son.
Matthew 7:13 ESV … and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
Faith Pleases God: If you think you can ever please God in yourself you can just forget it, you or I will never hope to please a Holy and perfect God, that is without total desperate saving faith. The Kind of faith that demons shutter at, and leave screaming, the kind of faith that transforms a slave to sin into a free man in seconds, and the kind of faith that says “without Him I can do nothing”. Jesus called the whole lot of them faithless, and that’s because they did not yet understand Who they were talking to.
If You Can: I am not surprised with the response this man gives to Jesus, here it is again:
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!”
If you can, is often the response that we throw out to Jesus, if you can deliver me, if you can help me not smoke, if you can help me not to look at porn…. Jesus says “If You Can”, like what the are you talking about? Jesus is saying, of course I can! Without me you don’t breath. The man responds to Jesus in the most amazing way, he throws himself at the feet of the Savior and says “I believe, help my unbelief”. He was expressing his need to Jesus that he was not able to drum up faith in himself, that he would need Jesus to give him faith.
Closing Thoughts: If you find that you are desperate to be free form your life of sin. You have played the church game and you have found that you have been powerless to be free or to help anyone else be free. Like the disciples you have stood around arguing with people about the reasons why there seams to be a lack of power. STOP! You need to throw yourself at the feet of Jesus, empty yourself of your pride, admit that you aren’t worthy to be called His son and say “Help My Unbelief”. I promise you, that if you stop trusting in your own efforts, and entrust your freedom to His care, you will be free …… John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
Preparing The Way