Mark 9: 17-29

  1. And one of the multitude answered and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit;

And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.
19.  He answereth him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.
20.  And they brought him unto him: and when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming.
21.  And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child.
22.  And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.
23.  Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
24.  And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
25.  When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him.
26.  And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that many said, He is dead.
27.  But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose.
28.  And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out?
29.  And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.

The father of this young boy was at a desperate moment. He had taken his son to the disciples to get a devil cast out but the disciples were not able to cast out the devil. 

There is an interesting exchange between Jesus and this father in verses 23 and 24. Jesus tells the father that if he can believe; all things are possible. The father then replies with “tears in his eyes” I believe; help my unbelief”

As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ we often face the same sorts of situations where we have to have faith in order to MAKE something come to pass. Just like this father we believe, but only to a certain degree.  We don’t believe enough to make the thing that we desire come to pass.

With tears in our eyes we plead with God to just do it for us.   It isn’t that God doesn’t want our prayers answered it is because we don’t generate enough faith to get the job done.  Remember “ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE IF YOU CAN BELIEVE!

In verse 28 the disciples asks Jesus “Why could not we cast him out?”  Jesus tells them in verse 29 that this kind of devil will only come out if they have been fasting and praying. This statement from the lips of Jesus gives us great insight into the principle of faith.

 It is not rocket science,  if we want more faith then we are going to have to pray and fast for it.  Fasting and prayer doesn’t change the situation but it allows our spirits to generate enough power in the supernatural realm to get the job done.  

Lets take a look at Matthews account of this same incident.

Matthew 17: 14- 21
14.  And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
15.  Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
16.  And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
17.  Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
18.  And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
19.  Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
20.  And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
21.  Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

The disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t cast out the devil and Jesus told then point blank. “Because of your unbelief.”   Notice Jesus didn’t say because of some sin they committed, or it wasn’t Gods will or because of something they didn’t do. No, He said point blank.  “BECAUSE OF YOUR UNBELIEF”

Don’t add anything to the statement Jesus made, and don’t take away anything from the statement that Jesus made.  Take exactly what he said. “BECAUSE OF YOUR UNBELIEF”

Jesus makes it plain that belief is belief. If we can believe we can literally tell a mountain to move from one place and go to another place and it will move.  The problem is that we think we are believing with enough faith to move then mountain, when in reality we are not generating enough faith to move the mountain.  If we truly believe from the heart “Nothing shall be impossible to us.”

Jesus points the disciples to one of the cures for unbelief and that is we must fast and pray if we want to generate more faith. That is “MOUNTAIN MOVING FAITH”.  If we want to get the job done, then we are going to have to fast and pray.

Edward E. Hill