And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”
When you are being taught composition, one of the things the teacher will tell you is that you should never begin a sentence with a conjunction — “and,” “but” or “or.” You don’t do it. It is not proper. While there are many things to learn from the passage above, one of the things you could learn is that God did not respect the rules of English grammar when he inspired the Bible. After reading this particular story, you are struck by the avalanche of “Ands” that begin each sentence.
They’re like blows coming down. And this happened. And then this. And this. And then this. It’s like there are numerous issues piling up that Jesus must deal with, and they are not easy. But he does. Miraculously. It’s like he just takes the worst of the situation and shows he is totally in control. As I read it I am struck with how I often get buried under the “ands” and lose sight of who Jesus really is. I am ashamed and, like the boy’s father, I want to cry out, too, “I believe. Help my unbelief.”
Every day there are things that I struggle with, but the biggest thing is my unbelief. Do I really believe God is who he says he is and will I trust him. That is my primary battle each day. And so, until the day I die, I fight on. But I know that God will not leave me alone in my battle but will supply me the faith because I am one of his. Thank God.