Then a cloud formed, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is My beloved Son, listen to Him!”
My beloved Son. The heavenly voice repeats the message heard at Christ’s baptism. See entry for Matthew 3:17.
and whenever it seizes him, it slams him to the ground and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth and stiffens out. I told Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not do it.”
They could not do it. The disciples had experience casting out demons (Mark 6:13), but failed to deal with this one. When they asked Jesus about it later, he said “This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer” (Mark 9:29).
Prayer reminds us who is on the throne. Instead of lifting up the name of Jesus, these disciples had been arguing with the scribes (Mark 9:14). They had been contending in the flesh instead of walking by faith.
“It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!”
Help us! Like the Canaanite woman who cried to Jesus for help (Matt. 15:25), this man knew that God sent Jesus to help us. See entry for Heb. 13:6.
Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, “I do believe; help my unbelief.”
(a) I do believe. This man was a believer. He had either seen or heard accounts of the Lord’s healing and deliverance ministry. Yet his faith was being rendered ineffective by unbelief.
(b) Unbelief. The father had seen the child’s symptoms from childhood and he had looked to the disciples for help, but this only fed his unbelief. He needed to fix his eyes on the Lord.
(b) Help. For a second time, the man cries out to the Lord for help (Mark 9:22). Shamelessly asking God for help in our time of need is one way we receive grace (Heb. 4:16).
After crying out and throwing him into terrible convulsions, it came out; and the boy became so much like a corpse that most of them said, “He is dead!”
Most of them said. When you walk by sight you will hear all sorts of negative reports. “It’s incurable.” “Get your affairs in order.” “He is dead.” But those who walk by faith look to Doctor Jesus to see what he says.
And He said to them, “This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer.”
Prayer. Jesus is not saying we need to pound heaven with our prayers or that we need to pray ourselves into a lather. Don’t babble on like those who think they will be heard for their many words (Matt. 6.7). Prayer is as much about what we see rather than what we say. Paul prayed that the eyes of our hearts may be opened (Eph. 1:18). Prayer helps us see as Jesus sees. Prayer reminds us Who is on the throne.
“If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire,
Enter life. Two kinds of life are described in the Bible; the psuche– or soul life we inherited from Adam and the zoe– or spirit life that comes from God (John 5:26). It’s the second kind of life that is described here. To enter life is synonymous with entering the kingdom (Mark 9:47).
See entry for New Life.
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