In Mark 9, a distraught father brought his demon-possessed son to Jesus’ disciples seeking deliverance. This boy was not simply troubled or rebellious, he was full of evil spirits, and they controlled his every action. This poor boy was considered absolutely hopeless. He was both deaf and speechless, so he spewed out only guttural sounds. His father had to hold onto him continually, because the demons constantly tried to cast him into the nearest river, lake or open fire. It was a full-time job just keeping this child from killing himself and it must have broken his father’s heart.
Now, as the father stood before the disciples, Satan began manifesting in the boy. He foamed at the mouth and rolled on the ground, contorting and gyrating wildly. Scripture tells us the disciples prayed over him—perhaps for a long time—but nothing happened. Soon the doubting scribes crowded around, asking, “Why is the boy not healed? Is this case too hard for your Lord? Is the devil more powerful in this kind of situation?”
But then Jesus came on the scene! The father said, “I brought my son to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him. He’s a hopeless case.” Jesus responded simply, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible” (Mark 9:23). Christ was telling everyone present, “Do you believe I can handle all situations except those under the devil’s control? I tell you, there is no problem, no impossible circumstance that I cannot fix.”
Then, with just one word, Jesus made the impossible a reality: “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” (9:25). At that point, the boy fell to the ground as if dead. But, Scripture says, “Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose” (9:27).
Can you imagine the joy in this scene? That clean, freed boy must have run to his father and embraced him and the father's heart leapt with joy! God had fixed it all.
So, why did the Holy Spirit move Mark to include this story in his gospel? I believe it was so every parent from that moment forward would know God can be trusted to do the impossible with their children. The Lord was saying, “I can restore anything and anyone. If you’ll just believe, all things will be possible to you through Me.”
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon