Mark 9: “I Believe… But”

One of the most important things we can do in scripture is to place ourself in the story. Especially when you’re looking at the stories of Jesus, place yourself in the scene. What do you see? What do you smell? What do you hear? And not just that, ask yourself, who are you in the story? Ask yourself, when Jesus heals the demon possessed man in Mark 5, which character are you? A disciple, a farmer watching the scene unfold, the demon possessed man, or maybe you place yourself in the shoes of Jesus and see what he sees.

The story for today is one of my favorites. As you can tell, I have a lot of favorite bible stories. This is the story of the father with a demon possessed boy who he first bring to the disciples then to Jesus. 

The most important thing I want you to do today is to place yourself in the story. I don’t want us to just read it as words on a page, but rather while you read, I want you to place yourself right in the middle of the scene that’s unfolding.


Mark 9:14-29 (NLT)

Something to Consider

So let look at the people and their significance to the story

  • Disciples – trying to heal the boy
  • Teachers of the Law – arguing as usual
  • Crowd – watching in anticipation
  • Jesus – Jesus is… well, Jesus
  • The Father – brings his sick son
  • Son – Possessed by an evil spirit

Some of Us…

You see, I believe this passage sheds incredible light into the message of transformation and freedom. I also believe it’s important for us today to realize that each of us fit into one place or another in this story.

Some of us today are Disciples:
We are trying so hard, but just aren’t seeing any results.

Some of us are the teachers of the law:
We stand around and argue talking about how it should be done, but aren’t willing to do anything to make a difference.

Some of us are in the crowd:
We see something is going on, we are anticipating something will happen, but we want the proof first before we will really commit.

Some of us today are the desperate Father:
We have friends who don’t know Jesus
We have family members who don’t know Jesus
We have reached a point of utter desperation that the church or God, or something would get a hold of them and change them.

And some of us today are the son:
I’m not suggesting that some of us are possessed by an evil spirit, but realistically what’s the difference when you’re living a life of sin. The sin in your life is so great that it has manifested into something other than yourself.

Go back to the story and look at the life-shaping transformational process that’s happening in this story!

After a little dialogue between the father and Jesus, the father cries out 24 , “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

How many times have you thought this thought? Lord I believe, but you don’t understand what I’ve been through… We’ve all prayed this prayer at some point, Lord I believe, but its so hard… What incredible permission we have to allow God to take our unbelief and ask for help when we struggle to believe.

Picture this with me: Everything is a frenzy, Jesus is there, the father is an emotional wreck, the crowd is pressing in, the disciples are watching in anticipation, the son is being thrown around by the evil spirit…

Then This Happens…

Mark 9:25-26 (NLT) 25 “I command you to come out of this child and never enter him again!”

26 Then the spirit screamed and threw the boy into another violent convulsion and left him. The boy appeared to be dead. A murmur ran through the crowd as people said, “He’s dead.”

27 But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him to his feet, and he stood up.