Evening, September 23, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“Jesus said to him, ‘If you can … believe.’” — Mark 9:23
A certain man had a demoniac son, who was afflicted with a deaf and mute spirit. The father, having seen the futility of the efforts of the disciples to heal his child, had little or no faith in Christ, and therefore, when he was bidden to bring his son to him, he said to Jesus, “If you can do anything, have compassion on us, and help us.”
Now there was an “if” in the question, but the poor apprehensive father had put the “if” in the wrong place: Jesus Christ, therefore, without commanding him to retract the “if,” kindly puts it in its legitimate position. “No, truly,” he seemed to say, “there should be no ‘if’ about my power, nor concerning my willingness, the ‘if’ lies somewhere else.” “If You can? All things are possible to him who believes.” The man’s trust was strengthened, he offered a humble prayer for an increase of faith, and instantly Jesus spoke the word, and the devil was cast out, with an injunction never to return. There is a lesson here which we need to learn. We, like this man, often see that there is an “if” somewhere, but we are continually blundering by putting it in the wrong place. “If” Jesus can help me–“if” he can give me grace to overcome temptation–“if” he can give me forgiveness–“if” he can make me successful? No, “if” you can believe, he both can and will. You have misplaced your “if.” If you can confidently trust, even as all things are possible to Christ, so shall all things be possible to you. Faith stands in God’s power, and is robed in God’s majesty; it wears the royal apparel, and rides on the King’s horse, for it is the grace which the King delights to honor. Clothing itself with the glorious might of the all-working Spirit, it becomes, in the omnipotence of God, mighty to do, to dare, and to endure. All things, without limit, are possible to him that believes. My soul, can you believe your Lord tonight?