“’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!’” (Mark 9:22b-24,ESV)
As with our reading from Isaiah 50:4, the words father of the demon-possessed serve as a call to believers: have compassion on us and help us. The people in our sin plagued world make this same call to the Lord and to us, His servants in the church. We have the words of truth and comfort that have been given us by Jesus, the words of the gospel which offer compassion and mercy to all those enslaved by the devil, as was this boy. We also have God’s authority over demons, to rebuke them and send them packing. For Jesus it was easy; for us, we should never presume and always rely on the Lord for wisdom.
The father of the demon-possessed boy complained to Jesus about the inability of the disciples to cast the demon out. Jesus replied with a remark about the faithlessness of the present generation. Yet it was the father who was primarily to blame for the lack of faith for he confesses to it. He was chastised by Jesus with those well-remembered words of encouragement that all things are possible for those who believe or trust in Jesus.
This concept of belief in the all sufficient power of God is also reflected in Isaiah 50:7-10. The Lord God can do anything. He can overcome any adversary including Satan. But it is not the strength or action or even the faith of the person expressing the faith that is invincible. The sufficiency of faith does not rest in the person expressing the faith, but in the object of faith, Jesus and His Word. No problem or illness is too difficult for God to handle. Jesus proved this by casting out the demon. He continues to do the same today by destroying the strongholds and works of the devil through us, His church. Let’s get out there and do God’s Work!