August 10, 2024

“If You Can”?

Mark 9:14-27

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

—  Mark 9:24

Around Christmastime last year, we decided that making memories was more important than gifts under the tree, so we booked a week of holidays with our grandkids and had a wonderful time. The problem was that the holiday week was in November, and when December came around, our grandson, with soulful eyes, said, “Grandma, there will still be presents under the tree, right?” I looked at him and winked, assuring him that I was still a Christmas fanatic. He was much relieved that I had given him hope.

In the commotion of our Bible story today, a father is desperate for his son to be well. The disciples aren’t able to send an impure spirit out of him, and chaos erupts when they argue with the local religious leaders. As Jesus comes on the scene, the desperate father looks to him for hope. And I wonder if there isn’t a moment of sarcasm or a wink as Jesus responds, “If I can?”

Immediately the boy’s father has renewed hope, and he pleads with Jesus to help him overcome his doubts. Jesus, the relational Savior, sends the spirit shrieking and restores the boy to his father.

Jesus also tells the disciples that sometimes hope and prayer need to go together. Today let’s remember that with Jesus “everything is possible.”

Thank you, Jesus, that you can do all things. Thank you for the reminder and hope of this truth. Help us with our doubts and anxieties to trust you for the answers. Amen.

About the author — Beth Fellinger

Pastor Beth Fellinger is a wife, mother, and grandmother who has more than 40 years of experience in pastoral ministry. She and her husband, Barry, have created a missional community in their neighborhood called the Ugly Couch Cafe. From serving coffee at a blue picnic table on their front lawn, to praying with neighbors, to hosting faith gatherings on a weekly basis, the Ugly Couch Cafe has grown—and nothing gives Beth greater joy than introducing people to Jesus.

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