Scripture: Mark 9:23
Everything is possible for him who believes. (NIV)
All things are possible to him who believes (NASB)
If you can believe all things are possible to him who believes (NKJV)
Anything is possible if a person believes. (NLT)
Background: Mk 9:17-27
17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.” 19 “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.” 20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. 21 Jesus asked the boy's father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. 22 “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.” 23 “'If you can'?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the evil spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He's dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
I. The Father's Request in Desperation
A. Despair over Son's Hopelessness
17 “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. (vv.17-18a)
B. Disappointment with Disciples' Inabilities
I asked Your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not. (v.18b)
C. Doubt of Son's Deliverance
But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us. (v.22b)
II. The Lord's Requirement of Faith
A. Correction of Question
'If you can'? (v.23a)
"IF" signifies doubt on two counts:
- The Person of Jesus - as the Messiah
- The Ability and Authority of Jesus
B. Confrontation of Situation
Everything is possible (v.23b)
Jesus could do anything in His sovereign power according to divine purposes.
C. Condition for Effectuation
... for(to) him who believes. (v.23c)
Jesus was leading the father to examine himself and recognize that he needed to have the faith that would make everything possible.
III. The Final Result of Faith
A. Change in the Father's Communication
I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief (v.24b)
The father's inadequate human faith needed to be rectified by holy faith, and it could only come by with divine assistance
B. Change in the Son's Condition
You deaf and mute spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again! (v.25)
C. Change in Disciples' Commission
Why could we not cast [the spirit] out? ... This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting. (Mk 9:28-29)
The disciples learnt their lesson.
Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name. (Lk 10:17)
- 1. Genuine faith pleases God (Heb 11:6)
- 2. Come to Jesus with your impaired faith. Cry out: "I want to believe Lord, but my faith is wanting. Help me overcome my unbelief."
Warning: No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach's sake and your frequent infirmities. (1 Tim 5:23)