Mark – The Facts.
When our kids attempt to “talk back” to us when given a direction to do something, we typically say, “No ifs, ands or buts! Just do it and trust me!” We say this because it was said by our parents to us. Isn’t it surprising when we hear our mom or dad’s words of the past find their way through our own lips? It shouldn’t be so surprising. If good parenting was delivered and developed in our lives by biblical people then it stands to reason that we will fall back on those same tactics.
As I read our next passage in Mark, I think of my mom saying, “no ifs” when I needed to just trust that she knew what was best. She generally did and was right 99 percent of the time. This percentage was a result of trusting in God. Where do we get this stuff? From Jesus’ teachings.
Mark 9, The Message
There Are No Ifs
14-16 When they came back down the mountain to the other disciples, they saw a huge crowd around them, and the religion scholars cross-examining them. As soon as the people in the crowd saw Jesus, admiring excitement stirred them. They ran and greeted him. He asked, “What’s going on? What’s all the commotion?”
17-18 A man out of the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought my mute son, made speechless by a demon, to you. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and goes stiff as a board. I told your disciples, hoping they could deliver him, but they couldn’t.”
19-20 Jesus said, “What a generation! No sense of God! How many times do I have to go over these things? How much longer do I have to put up with this? Bring the boy here.” They brought him. When the demon saw Jesus, it threw the boy into a seizure, causing him to writhe on the ground and foam at the mouth.
21-22 He asked the boy’s father, “How long has this been going on?”
“Ever since he was a little boy. Many times it pitches him into fire or the river to do away with him. If you can do anything, do it. Have a heart and help us!”
23 Jesus said, “If? There are no ‘ifs’ among believers. Anything can happen.”
24 No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the father cried, “Then I believe. Help me with my doubts!”
25-27 Seeing that the crowd was forming fast, Jesus gave the vile spirit its marching orders: “Dumb and deaf spirit, I command you—Out of him, and stay out!” Screaming, and with much thrashing about, it left. The boy was pale as a corpse, so people started saying, “He’s dead.” But Jesus, taking his hand, raised him. The boy stood up.
28 After arriving back home, his disciples cornered Jesus and asked, “Why couldn’t we throw the demon out?”
29 He answered, “There is no way to get rid of this kind of demon except by prayer.”
30-32 Leaving there, they went through Galilee. He didn’t want anyone to know their whereabouts, for he wanted to teach his disciples. He told them, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed to some people who want nothing to do with God. They will murder him. Three days after his murder, he will rise, alive.” They didn’t know what he was talking about, but were afraid to ask him about it.
Let’s ask ourselves…
–Do we begin our prayers in our hearts with IF you can do it, do it, Lord?
–Do we believe God can do anything? Absolutely everything?
–Consider this prayer of Jeremiah 32:17: “I prayed to God, ‘Dear God, my Master, you created earth and sky by your great power—by merely stretching out your arm! There is nothing you can’t do. You’re loyal in your steadfast love to thousands upon thousands—but you also make children live with the fallout from their parents’ sins. Great and powerful God, named God-of-the-Angel-Armies, determined in purpose and relentless in following through, you see everything that men and women do and respond appropriately to the way they live, to the things they do.”
–Are we honest as we pray, like the father of the boy who was healed…”Then I believe. Help me with my doubts!”
–Does God have to act before we believe?
–Do I believe that nothing is too hard for the God who created us, the world and everything in it?
–Jesus said, “There are no ifs among believers.” No IFS! Are there “ifs” in my thinking? Isn’t it time to get rid of the ifs? ANYTHING can happen, says Jesus!
Dear Heavenly Father,
What a great lesson for inward evaluation of our walk with You. Nothing is too hard for you…absolutely nothing! Then why do I worry and fret? I am human. Help my doubts, Lord, even at this hour. Lift the burdens I bear and help me to turn every detail over to you. You are God and i am not. I will trust in You.
In Jesus Name, Amen