Help My Unbelief
By Dennis Huebshman
In Mark 9:24, the father of a mute boy that was demon possessed asked Jesus to heal his son. This took place immediately after the Transfiguration where Peter, James and John witnessed the Savior’s meeting with Moses and Elijah on a mountain. When they came down from the mountain, there was a crowd around the disciples and “experts in the law” (religious leaders that Jesus spared with throughout His ministry) that were arguing with them.
The crowd saw Jesus and immediately moved to be with Him. When Jesus asked about the problem, the father of the boy told Jesus he had brought his demon-possessed son to the disciples, but they could not heal him. Jesus was upset by the “unbelieving generation”. When the boy was brought before Jesus, the evil spirit caused a convulsion and had him roll on the ground foaming at the mouth.
Jesus questioned the father about how long this had gone on and the father said since his childhood. The father then said, “If you are able to do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus responded, “IF YOU ARE ABLE? All things are possible for the one who believes.” (emphasis mine)
At this the father cried out: “I believe, Help my unbelief!” After this, Jesus drove out the spirit and healed the boy. He then told the disciples that this spirit could only be driven out by prayer. We don’t hear any more about the father and son, but I would imagine they totally felt different about Jesus from then on.
Some would look at this father and wonder why he ever doubted Jesus. The point is, Jesus put up with unbelief all His days on this earth. Even after witnessing His miracles, people still did not accept who He was and what He was able to do. There are many even today that don’t believe in Him.
After feeding the 5000 in John 6, Jesus walked on water to get to the boat his disciples were in a way off from the shore. When he got in the boat with His disciples, immediately they were where they wanted to go. The disciples were amazed at all that had just taken place, but there was still unbelief among them. The crowd that had been fed with the 5 loaves and 2 fishes went to Capernaum looking for Jesus. He told them they weren’t looking for Him because of the miracle, but they just wanted more earthly food. To them it was sort of a magic act.
Jesus went on to say He was the “bread of life” and His blood had “eternal life”. He told the crowd they would have to eat His flesh and drink His blood for Him to reside in them. Needless to say, the religious leaders immediately scoffed at Him for this and many of His followers left because He had said this. They could not understand Jesus was speaking figuratively and not literally and was giving them a chance to learn further from Him. He was left with the 12 apostles and He asked them if they wished to leave also. Peter responded, “Lord to whom would we go? You have the words of Eternal Life.” (John 6:68)
Even with these words, His followers were not completely convinced. That would come on the day of Pentecost when they were “baptized into the Holy Spirit”. (Acts 2: 2-4) Meanwhile, the words spoken by Jesus were a prelude to what’s called the Lord’s Supper where He told them the bread represented His body given for them; the cup represented His blood which was to be shed for them. Even here there was unbelief.
When Jesus appeared to the disciples after His resurrection, Thomas was not there with them. When the others later told Thomas, they had seen the Lord, he replied, “Unless I see the wounds from the nails in His hands and put my finger into the wound from the nails and put my hand into His side, I will never believe it.”
Eight days later, Jesus again appeared to them and this time Thomas was there. Jesus lovingly confronted Thomas and told him to touch Him. Thomas then replied, “My Lord and My God!” Jesus told him that he believed because he had seen Him, but those who haven’t seen but believe were to be blessed. That includes us!
In Matthew 12:47, Jesus was told His mother and brothers were outside looking for Him. Jesus pointed to the disciples and remarked they were His family. At this point prior to the crucifixion, even His brothers did not believe He was the Messiah. (I believe His mother always believed). After His resurrection, James became a leader of the Church in Jerusalem and he and a brother Jude wrote epistles that are in the New Testament. Both acknowledged Jesus at that time.
James 1:1 starts out, “From James, a slave of God and the Lord Jesus Christ…”
Jude 1:1 starts out, “From Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James…”
Matthew 7:23 gives a comment from the Savior that should affect everyone including us. He had been telling of those who would say they prophesied in His name and cast out demons and did many powerful deeds but were actually false prophets. His comment was (and still is) “I never knew you; depart from Me you workers of iniquity.”
Those words should cause each and every one of us to do a self-exam and decide if we really have accepted Jesus, or are just playing along with the world. There are so-called preachers that are giving “The Word”, but it’s just not the word of God. They “adjust” the meanings to give encouragement to others to come to their “stage productions” with ear-tickling messages to keep the seats and collection plates filled. All these false prophets will receive special punishment at the end because of not giving the true word about the Christ, the Son of the Living God Jehovah.
There is only one way to the Father and eternal life and that is through Jesus. (John 14:6) Many “evangelicals” today have been distorting that word by saying there’s many ways to eternal life and all religions worship the same God. They say, “The Bible Says…” but take certain verses out of context and convert them to altogether different meanings. They conveniently by-pass Revelation 22: 18-19. At the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20: 11-15) they will finally understand the cost of their sin.
Note: I received an email from an individual that said no where in the Bible does it say punishment is forever. I would ask all who believe this to go to Revelation 20:10 where it tells of the beast, false prophet and satan are there and will be tormented day and night forever. All who go through the White Throne Judgment will join them and anyone who goes in does not come out. Also, there is 2 Thessalonians 1:9 where Paul says they will undergo the penalty of ETERNAL DESTRUCTION away from the presence of the Lord and the Glory of His strength.
At any rate, all this can be avoided by accepting Jesus’ free gift that He paid in full at Calvary. Best part, all you have to do is ask Him for it, and He will forgive your sins and send the Holy Spirit to live within you. This gift has the guarantee from God, Creator of the heavens and the earth. He always keeps His covenants. This one is conditional which states I WILL give you eternal life IF you will accept My Son. That’s it! Really sounds like an amazing deal given by our Amazing God. Please don’t turn this down or try to ignore it. Remember Revelation 20:10. God doesn’t want you to be there and is patient on waiting for you (2 Peter), but He won’t wait very much longer. Today may be the day Jesus calls His Church home. Be among those who go up to meet Him in the clouds. (1 Thessalonians 4)