14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.
16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked.
17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.”
19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.”
20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth.
21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
“From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”
23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.
28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.
Matthew 17:21 in the King James Version includes the following when compared to Mark 9:29 It does not appear in my NIV.
Why is this important here?
This was a unique case here. This demon was of such magnitude that it required prayer and fasting, which the disciples were not permitted to do.
Let’s read Matthew 9:14-17
14Then John's disciples came and asked him, "How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?" 15Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast. 16"No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved."
They will be able to do this kind of stuff after Jesus is gone, but not before. Jesus is simply telling them don’t worry about what you cannot do but rather look forward to the day it becomes possible for you to do it.
This is in God’s timing, training and plan for their development. They ran into something they could not do and had no other option but to rely on Christ who said soon you will be able to do this but you are not ready…and just for the record…just because the Pharisees fast does not mean they will ever be able to do this.
Don’t be in a hurry to have what the world has, because they don’t even know what to do with it.
We all kept praying for Randy Pugh throughout this process of sickness. Some may wonder why God didn’t heal him. Would that I could or you or Pastor Jamie but God had other plans.
Like our devotion says today. “When loved ones are hurting, it’s natural to want to do the right things and say the perfect words. But Christ is the only One who can truly help us. When we call on the name of Jesus, He can enable us to believe and rely on the power of His presence.
Sometimes all we can do is cry out Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.
Romans 8:15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Word Abba means Father. The best two words we can cry out in our time of the greatest need to get the most help possible.
To be adopted means to be cared for and protected for life.
When we don’t know what to say…God hears us when we simply say His name!