Read: Mark 9:19-24

All things are possible for one who believes. (v. 23)

That is quite a statement! If I had said it, perhaps you would not give it much credence. But because Jesus said it, it deserves some consideration. The problem with this verse is that when it is translated into English, it sounds like whether or not the evil spirit comes out of the boy depends on human faith. Was the faith of the disciples insufficient because they didn’t pray hard enough for the boy to be healed? Was the faith of the father not enough either? One could interpret it that way.

Our Lord questions the statement of the father who says to Jesus, “But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus reacts sharply with the words, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes” (vv. 22-23). It seems that a better interpretation of this passage is that Jesus is attempting to refocus our faith on him—not on ourselves and our inadequate faith. All things are possible for the one who has faith, namely, Jesus. Jesus is the one who can do anything, and we should never doubt that.

The father of the boy wanted to have strong faith, as did the disciples. But human faith will never be perfect. So instead of putting all the pressure on ourselves to believe harder, we need to continually and steadfastly trust Jesus—the one who can do anything! —John Koedyker

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us never to rely on our faith, but in you alone. For indeed, all things are possible for you. Amen.