(Mark 9:24) "And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief."
Unbelief is a great enemy to the cause of Christ. This passage presents three groups or individuals, which suffer from a form of unbelief. We see the scribes, the father, and the disciples. As we consider the passage today, the question we must answer is this, "Do we believe?"
I. The Scribes Illustrate a Callous Unbelief.
A. They simply did not believe that Christ was the Savior.
1. Lost, unable to believe to the saving of the soul.
2. Note: Heb 10:39
(Heb 10:39) "But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul."
B. This unbelief showed itself in several ways:
1. Scorn, ridicule of Christ and His followers.
2. Attempts to discredit Him.
3. Hatred for the things of Christ. (They wanted Him DEAD!)
C. This unbelief is everywhere today.
1. Denial of God in public areas, schools and government alike.
2. Court cases today where parents are charged with child abuse for teaching what is right and true.
3. Acceptance and protection of every imaginable religion, but Christianity!
4. People tend to accept ANYTHING, no matter how bizarre, but NOT CHRIST!
D. This unbelief condemns itself.
1. All men know there is a God.
2. All men are without excuse before this God.
3. Callous unbelief in the face of overwhelming evidence, can only be explained as a REJECTION of the truth.
4. (They KNOW, but the REFUSE TO BELIEVE!)
E. This unbelief leads to hell.
(Rev 21:8) "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."
II. The Father Illustrates Shaken Unbelief.
A. He had enough belief to come in the first place!
1. That is commendable.
2. Many won't even consider their need to come to God for help.
3. They have been convinced that it is all a hoax, all phony.
B. He had heard of the disciples' ability.
1. Note: Mark 6:7, 13, 14
2. If Herod had heard, then the reputation had spread to others as well.
3. People had heard about Jesus and His power of the demons and devils of hell.
C. But, when the disciples failed, his belief was shaken to the point where he doubted Christ's ability!
1. What a tragic scenario.
2. Many today will go to hell, not because Christ can't save them, but because some Christian let them down!
3. Many Christians will sit on the sidelines, never amounting to anything for Christ, because of the failure of some other Christian in their life.
4. How we as Christians should strive to live right for others' sakes!
D. His unbelief, though understandable, was still inexcusable.
1. Jesus rebuked him - "If thou canst believe!"
2. His attitude should have been like that of Peter:
3. Note: Luke 5:3-6
III. The Disciples - Careless Unbelief.
A. Consider their background.
1. They were SAVED
2. They were COMMISSIONED - 6:7
3. They were EMPOWERED - 6:7
4. They were EXPERIENCED - 6:13
B. But, they were OVERCONFIDENT
1. Note: v17-18
2. "…they could not…"
3. They had begun to trust in themselves and in their own abilities, rather than in God.
4. When we begin to trust in ourselves we are destined for failure.
C. Jesus said their failure was because of UNBELIEF (cf. Mt 17:19-20).
1. Some tasks are more difficult than others.
2. Some need greater faith and much prayer.
3. Let's not get careless … Let's believe in Jesus Christ for the answers to all our difficulties and needs.
Do you believe? Maybe you've heard the gospel before… you know it inside out…but you just refuse to believe it. Trust Christ today!
Maybe other believers in the past have shaken your faith. Christ rebuked the father's unbelief, because it showed that the man's perspective was wrong. He was watching the Lord's servants, rather than the Lord. Don't allow the sin of unbelief to remain in your life just because other believers have disappointed you. It is your responsibility as a believer to keep your eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ, and to just BELIEVE!
This morning, we need to be careful that we do not grow complacent, or overconfident. Forgetting that it is only through our faith in Jesus Christ that we can be victorious. Do we believe?
(Mark 9:23) "Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth."