Mark Has Some Good News, Part 36, The Unsettling Reality
Jesus Heals a Boy with an Unclean Spirit
14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. 15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. 16 And he asked them, "What are you arguing about with them?" 17 And someone from the crowd answered him, "Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18 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." 19 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." 20 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. 21 And Jesus asked his father, "How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, "From childhood. 22 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." 23 And Jesus said to him, "'If you can'! All things are possible for one who believes." 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, "I believe; help my unbelief!" 25 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." 26 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." 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, "Why could we not cast it out?" 29 And he said to them, "This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer."
God lets bad things happen.
That's hard to cut, chew or swallow isn't it? But as much as we want to be the savior in this story or at least the well intentioned disciple's, we are the child. You can find a slew of Christian bookstore specials to disagree with me right now and they'll all avoid books of the bible like Job like the plague. But I won't avoid scripture like that.
Jesus would have known about what happened to Job and that this whole ordeal involving the throwing of a child into fire and water was a part of Gods will and plan. He knew that he would heal him and be glorified in the miracle in that boy’s life. What don't know and won't know until I meet my maker and savior is why that boy had to suffer until Jesus came when His disciples could have done it for Him in His name. But I know what he said, Mark faithfully records it and we hear that this particular demon only comes out with prayer.
But who prayed?
Jesus did. If prayer was the trick to this destructive demon then the man who cast him out must have prayed. We have to live in that reality and come to terms with the reality that we are not the hero of our story, we're not even the side kick. We are the helpless target of evil and wrong, and Jesus not only saves but prays for that salvation he pursues us like a lover saving his bride. Jesus prays for us he sits with the father and intercedes for us because of his great love.