(Please take a moment to read Mark 9:14-29)
In Mark 9 we read a dramatic story of a desperate father who fiercely wants his son to be healed. Since childhood, his son has been tormented by an evil spirit, a spirit who clearly wants nothing more than the destruction of the boy.
“…and whenever it seizes him it dashes him down…It has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him;”
This father — this desperate, worn-out father — has brought his son to the people he believes can help him: the disciples of Jesus. Unfortunately, the disciples were unsuccessful and it’s not until Jesus arrives on the scene that this boy is finally delivered from his torment.
“You spirit who keeps this boy from speaking and hearing,” Jesus said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again!”
This spirit who had taken liberties with this young man for years and years was not going down without a fight. It convulsed him terribly, lashing out against him one last time in a desperate attempt to destroy him before finally leaving. This last attempt was so violent that the young man was left looking like a corpse.
Jesus stood in authority over that son — this beloved child who had been in the fight of his life for who knows how long. Jesus never left this family’s side for one moment of this horrific last attempt from the enemy. He was there through the entire terrible ordeal. And now, Jesus had the last word and it was settled. The deliverance was sure, even if it didn’t look like it at the time.
The boy looked dead. “But Jesus took him by the hand, lifted him up, and he was able to stand.”
Look closely, listen, and grab on to each of these statements:
Jesus took him by the hand.
Jesus lifted him up.
Jesus made him able to stand.
Claim this for yourself, for your loved one, for your ordeal.
Later that day, the disciples wanted to know why they couldn’t cast it out. Jesus’ answer should give us all hope.
“This kind can come out only through prayer.”
Why is this a word of hope? Because this is an invitation to bring our worst fears, biggest concerns, most painful realities to our Lord. This is an invitation for us to bring our loved ones, our torment, our horrible circumstances to the One who is able to deliver; the One who will see us through every painful moment of the journey to deliverance; the One who will take us by the hand, lift us up, and enable us to stand; the One who will return us safe and sound to our Father.
So, what is it that is trying to dash you down? What is it that has a grip on you, your child, your family, your friend? What is it that is seeking to destroy you? I know it looks terrible. I know that some excruciatingly awful things have happened to you — deep, dark stuff that you can’t explain or even begin to describe to others.
Jesus stands with you in these dark moments. In the midst of the torment, he looks at you with compassion, love, and power and enters your pain, asking you to tell him what’s been going on.
“How long has this been happening?”
Do you see? This was an invitation to this father to pray—to tell Jesus what he’d been going through. It was an invitation for him to tell Jesus the truth and depth of this painfully dark reality that he and his son had been experiencing — to let Jesus in and see the deliverance that only He could bring.
You have the same invitation.
Tell Jesus; pour your heart out to him; pray and claim the power and authority of His name over your situation or loved one. Be as honest as this boy’s father was and cry out to your Savior, “I believe; help my unbelief!” He is standing with you, and He will see you through.
“He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption…” Colossians 1:13-14
Take some time to listen to this prayerful song, Mention of Your Name, and let it be your prayer today.