“Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, 'Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!'” ~ Mark 9:24
The quote above is from a story in the Bible where Jesus is seeking to help a man's son suffering from demonic possession. The things transpiring look bleak and hopeless. What the man said above was in response to something Jesus said:
“If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
The man seems to admit to believing on one level while struggling the next. His faith was inadequate, imperfect. He had the desire but failed in the outcome. The word of the Lord is like that; it makes us see the hope and yet our flaw. Jesus had a way of looking right into a person's heart and point out what is lacking. Seems harsh but actually it is the action of a true Friend. The Bible says “faithful are the wounds of a friend.” True friends tell each other what they need to know. False friends tell us what we want to hear.
What is especially worthy noting is what Jesus does without making a condemning remark. He removes the demon from the man's son. It is a heart-wrenching moment.
You see, Jesus does not condemn small or inadequate faith. He knows who He is and what He can do despite the smallness of things like this man's faith. It seems to Jesus that the inadequate, imperfect and small faith of this man was enough.
In the book of the Prophet Isaiah there is an interesting thing happening where the Prophet is talking about a small ember, barely burning, almost dead. The way some people talk they seem to see God as someone who is ready to stamp out such a pathetic thing. But Isaiah depicts God as someone who takes the ember and blows on it, making burn as bright as He wants to (Isaiah 42:3).
It almost looks like Jesus is doing the same for this man with his bearly-burning faith. He uses the son's deliverance to show the man he can believe because Jesus is able.
People with pathetic faith are actually qualified to glorify the Lord. He loves to use us because if we had great faith everyone would be pointing at us saying, “How great is your faith” all the time ignoring the Lord. He doesn't need the attention but when God gets glorified, like Jesus was glorified in delivering the man's son, it's the people that benefit. It may have helped the man with struggling faith but only because Jesus was glorified. Jesus got the credit and the man got his son...and his faith.
Jesus does great things with small things. With a few fish He fed 5000 men. With some water He made wine.
With small faith He can save anyone He desires. To Jesus, size of faith is irrelevant. It matters that He is able.
© Bob Barra, 10-11-2012
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