Apart from Him, you can do nothing, Period!
Mark 9:28, “After Jesus had gone indoors, His disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”
The background of the passage
One day there was a large crowd and the teachers of the law were arguing with them. But as soon as people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder to see Him and ran to greet Him. Jesus asked them, “What were you arguing with them about?”
At that time, a man in the crowd answered and said he brought his son who was possessed by a spirit and was unable to speak to His disciples and they were not able to drive out the spirit from his son. Whenever the spirit seized his son, it threw him to the ground and then foamed at the mouth and he gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. He complained Jesus’s disciples could not deliver his son. Then Jesus asked him to bring his boy to Him and the father pleaded Jesus to have mercy on them and heal his son if He can. Jesus responded what do you mean “if I can”. Everything is possible for one who believes. The boy’s father said, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.”
Then Jesus rebuked the spirit and said, “you deaf and mute spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again. The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked like a dead boy. But Jesus took him by his hand to his feet and he stood up.
What an amazing story showing the authority of Jesus Christ over the demons and Satan. The Gospel books in the Bible – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John- gives many incidents in which Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God, exercised His power and authority over nature, demons, Satan, sickness and over death. Bible proves the fact that Jesus Christ is God and possess complete and full power and authority over all of His creation.
But my attention was on why disciples were not able to help the father of the demons possessed boy? Of course, the disciples were also very concerned about it. Think like this -you are a faithful servant of the Lord sincerely following the Lord and someone brought to you a demon possessed or a cancer patient and pleaded for your help. You know your Lord Jesus can deliver and heal and therefore you tried to do what Jesus did. But you come to the realization that it didn’t work. And you wonder why in the world it didn’t work.
Private room conversation and the answer from Jesus
The disciples asked this same question later when Jesus was inside a private room with them. They asked Him privately “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” Jesus replied, “this kind can come out only by prayer.”
You see Jesus is God and He can do whatever He pleases to do. He has the control, power, and authority over all things being the creator and sustainer of all. He can say a word and that will happen. Remember, in the beginning, God created the heavens and earth by His word.
But also keep in mind we are not God. He is the creator and we are His creation. He is sovereign and we are not. We in ourselves do not have control, power or authority over anything, period! The disciples are also like us – mere humans who definitely are born again from above by their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and they are the children of God. But there is a difference.
They are not divine or they don’t have control over things. Only He, the God, has control. This is a basic lesson 101 that all true believers should keep in their heart. The lesson is we are totally dependent on Him for everything and apart from His will and help we can do nothing.
That is why He said ‘this kind can come out only by prayer’. By prayer and continuous petition to the one who has the ultimate sovereignty and control over all. It reminds us we are totally dependent on His power and His will and we can do nothing on our own. Remember Jesus taught the disciples to pray, “Your kingdom come and Your will be done.” Jesus said this to the disciples on another occasion, “I am the vine; you are the branches… apart from Me you can do nothing.” Let this echo in our mind –“Apart from Christ, you and me can do nothing. Each healing and deliverance we request has to be approved by the Lord because He needs to release His power to accomplish deliverance and healing. Sometimes I wonder like this – is there a lesson need to be considered by the signs and wonders or miraculous healing movements leaders around the world? The rich man in Hades asked for a miracle. He requested Lazarus to be sent to the earth so that his five brothers won’t end up like him in Hades. He said if Lazarus goes back to earth after his death, they will believe in God. He was given this answer – your brothers have Moses and Prophets there in the world and let them listen to them. In other words, they have servants of the Lord who faithfully preach and teach the Word of God from the Bible. They need to listen to them. “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.” (Mark 19:31). It is not the signs and miracles that open people’s spiritual eyes to the truth to know the living God. It is the Word of God – the Bible- and the teaching and preaching of the Bible that makes a person know God and receive eternal life. Bible says in Romans 10:14-15 the need to preach the Gospel and the Word of God. It says, “And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Bible also says God’s plan to save people is through the preaching of the message though it may appear foolishness to human wisdom. It says, “God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.” (1 Corinthians 1:21b). Billy Graham and so many other people was instrumental to bring thousands and thousands of soul to salvation by the preaching of the good news called the Gospel.
Apart from Him we can do nothing. Jesus said above ‘these will come out only by prayer’. A constant, consistent and continuous struggle in prayer is what we need. After all our struggles in prayer, if He approves according to our desires, praise, worship and thank God. On the contrary, if the answer to our prayer doesn’t happen the way we wanted, still we would praise, worship and thank God. Bible reminds us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
Because ultimately it is His will not our will to be done on this earth, right.? Remember God has the freedom to deliver and heal or not to deliver and heal. He knows better than us and He sees better than us. He always does what is right and God is sovereign and we are not. Paul understands such a need of prayer from our side when he said in Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be overly anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
When we battle against life’s problems and face evil in this world, keep in mind there is no easy victory. But in the midst of all these heart aching issues of life, the spiritual maturity happens and our faith grows. In short, we need to learn and practice to depend on Christ fully and completely by struggling in prayer and thanksgiving and agree with His will by praising and thanking Him.
My friend, we still have Moses and Prophets in this world to listen and get forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Moses and Prophets simply means the Bible because the Old Testament section of the Bible is written by Moses and Prophets. The New Testament is also written to show us the fulfillment of the words spoken by Moses and prophets. How the Old Testament prophecies given my Moses and prophets are fulfilled is clearly illustrated in the New Testament. Therefore Bible as a whole is Moses and prophets. Bibles clearly conveys the message that you do not need to end up in Hades or eternally away from the goodness of the Lord if you come to Jesus Christ as your savior today. This is the message the great man of God Billy Graham preached all over the world in his life time. Believe in the good news of the Bible. Jesus died, buried and risen again for your sins. Your sins can be totally and completely forgiven by the blood of Christ which was shed for your sake on the cross. In a world where there is no peace, Jesus can give you peace, hope and purpose for your life. In him there is fullness of joy and gladness.
Please pray after me like this:
“God, I come to you in prayer. I believe Jesus Christ died, buried and risen for my sins. I accept Him as my savior now. I am sorry for all my sins and turn away from those sins and please save me now.”
If you prayed this prayer, I am glad to be the first person to welcome you to God’s family. On the authority of the Bible, I say to you that you are now a child of God and the Lord has granted you forgiveness of all your sins and eternal life in heaven with Him.
please visit www.teachbible.org and send me a note. I will be thrilled to hear from you. thank you.
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