“Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” (1 Pet. 1:11)
Jesus came off a mountain and found that the disciples were unable to cast the devil out of a young man. After Jesus had cast the devil out and healed the boy, the disciples took Jesus aside and asked why they could not cast him out. Jesus said, “because of your unbelief.”
“Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 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.” (Matt. 17:19-20)
So we see the key to the failure of the disciples was unbelief.
Mark chapter 9 verses 20 through 24 adds this to the story,
“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. And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him? And he said, Of a child. And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us. Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” (Mar 9:20-24)
Now here in Scripture we have the first time that Jesus didn’t immediately stretch forth His hand to heal or deliver someone. He didn’t command the devil to come out of the boy right away but He began to talk to the boy’s father and ask him when this problem had begun.
There was a discernment that Jesus wanted revealed before He cast the devil out, so He asked the father, “how long is it ago since this came unto him?” The boy’s father said “of a child”. Then the boy’s father went on to say, “But if thou canst do anything”.
This man was not like the woman with the issue of blood. She had said, “If I can just touch the hem of his garment I will be made whole.”
He was not like blind Bartimaeus who would not be silenced, but said “Jesus thou son of David, have mercy upon me.”
This man said, “If thou canst do anything.” He was hoping this might be a great prophet. He was hoping this might be the Son of God, but he wasn’t sure.
Jesus went on to say, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” Believe what? Believe that He could do it? Believe that He was able to do it? No!
Believe that Jesus of Nazareth was and is the veritable Messiah, God manifest in the flesh, the Christ, the Son of the living God.
Jesus was saying, “If thou canst believe in me all things are possible to him that believeth.” And straightway the child’s father cried out with a loud voice and said with tears, “Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief.”
He called Jesus Lord!
And Jesus cast the devil out.
There was a discernment that had to take place before the devil could come out. More than the boy’s deliverance, Jesus wanted this boy’s father to have faith in Him and believe that He was the Messiah. Once this happened, then the family could be made whole.
The boy’s father needed to believe the revelation of Jesus Christ, who Jesus is and what He has done. This was the key to miracle working faith.
Why do you believe Jesus is the son of God?
Many people would say, “Because the Bible says so.”
Well, why do you believe the Bible?
Many will answer “I just do. I’m really not sure.”
Why did the nation of Israel believe in the Old Testament? They believed because of the prophecies that had been fulfilled.
Why did the first church believe in Jesus when they as yet did not have the written New Testament? They believed because of the prophecies concerning the Messiah that were fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
Peter had heard the voice of God declare from heaven that “…This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” (Matt. 17:5)
Hearing the Voice of God made such an impression on Peter that he carried this memory with him his whole life. Even as an old man, he wrote about it in his epistle.
“For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (2Peter 1:17)
However, as wonderful and miraculous as it was, that is not what Peter based his faith on. As he says in Second Peter chapter one and verse 19,
“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:” (2Peter 1:19)
In Isaiah chapter 53 and verse one Isaiah says, “Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?” (Isaiah 53:1)
The Bible says “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God”. (Rom. 10:7)
The word of God which increases faith includes the Law of Moses and the prophecies of old that Jesus Christ fulfilled.