Posts Tagged Mark 9: 23

To the Sky

Mark 10: 27

Looking at them, Jesus said, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”

Do you believe this statement? I know Jesus spoke this but do we really believe it? It is hard to believe, is it not? But then, Jesus takes us out of our comfort zone every time he speaks. Of course, he did remarkable things so maybe his performance has something to do with his belief system. Perhaps, he believed that all things are possible with God so he changed water to wine, walked on water, translated from one place to another and healed everyone who went to him. Does any of this answer the questions for us though, I mean, afterall, he is Jesus.

The problem with that justification is Matthew 17: 20 which reads, “And He said to them, ‘Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.’” Nothing is impossible to us, according to Jesus but then, what does he know? Maybe he only spoke metaphorically. In other words, he didn’t really mean this. Of course Mark 9: 23 stands in the way of that logic as well, “All things are possible to him who believes.” Now we are back to that belief thing again. And in Luke 1: 37 Jesus is recorded saying, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” Not to God, but with God.

I am forced to some conclusions. First, I don’t think Jesus wasted his breath saying things that are not true because: 1) he is the truth and 2) he knew his time was short. Yes, he spoke in parables but that is not the same as speaking metaphorically. I think accusing him of poetic rather than illustrative speech is just a way for me to justify my failures and lack of belief. If, however, I wish to rise from the ashes like a phoenix and stand on the high ground my Father promised me, then I think I must come to grips with this language in its truest and most literal form.

Second, in none of these verses is my doing of the impossible a solo act. It is our belief in and faith in God along with doing everything “with” God which empowers the supernatural so that all things become possible. Jesus didn’t do anything in his own might either (John 14: 10). He believed in and relied in the might of the Father.

Third, I must conclude and accept that Jesus consistently spoke about us doing these acts. Not only that, but Jesus gave us this very problematic verse in John 14: 12, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do.” Though we cannot do them in our own might, we must also recognize that he talks about us doing the impossible just as he did, well, even greater really. My point is that none of these verses describes a scenario wherein we pray and God manifests and does whatever needs doing. It seems, in fact, it is quite the other way around. God empowers us to part the sea, heal the sick, and do all the other “impossible” things which each day presents to us.

As for me, I choose to believe that Jesus meant exactly what he said. Am I performing impossible tasks everyday? No, but I am reaching a great deal higher than I would if I did not believe Jesus, the Holy Spirit and my Father are capable of carrying me to mountain tops. Come with me. Let’s explore the boundaries. How far can we go if we believe?

Believing

Matthew 21: 22

And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.
Wouldn’t it be nice if this verse simply said, “All things you ask, you shall receive?” But, there is that problematic word set off between the commas, believing. We receive all things which, when we pray, we believe we will receive. In Matthew 8: 13 Jesus told the Centurion, “[L]et it be done to you as you have believed.” That could be frightening if Jesus said that to many of us. We might be concerned that we will receive just exactly as we do believe. Is fear dominant or is faith? Most likely we have been receiving just exactly as we have been believing. 

 
In Mark 9: 23 Jesus told a petitioner, “All things are possible to him who believes.” The man immediately cried out, “I do believe; help my unbelief.” The man had not been in faith when he first approached Jesus. He told Jesus that he had brought his son for prayer but that Jesus’ disciples had been unable to cast out the spirit which was oppressing the boy. Jesus responded “O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to me.” The boy was delivered to Jesus and the boy’s father said to Jesus, “But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us!” Jesus must have been amazed at the father’s unbelief. He exclaimed, “If you can!” That is when Jesus said to the man, “All things are possible to him who believes.”
So whose unbelief was it that Jesus was speaking to? It is often presumed that Jesus was dismayed at his disciples and maybe he was. But take a look at this man. When the boy was taken to Jesus, he did not immediately pray for the boy. First he spoke with the father. He had to change the father’s unbelief into belief before he prayed for the boy. You see, it was the father’s unbelief that was keeping the boy imprisoned. When Jesus told the father that all things were possible to him if he would but believe he cried out, “I believe!” Well, that is a great start. First get your confession right. Say out of your mouth that thing which you need, the result you want. Secondly, knowing that he was no faith giant but rather was in unbelief, he asked Jesus to help him with his unbelief. That was the real issue. That was where Jesus had to minister. As soon as the father believed, Jesus was able to cast out the spirit. The boy was set free.

In order for us to receive the great gifts of the Lord, we too must cast out our own unbelief and become real believers. Pray to the Lord for help and work on believing Jesus. When he says a thing, just accept it. If it is too big for you, then ask the Lord for help in believing. This is how the whole kingdom of God works.