“Jesus answered him, If you can believe.” – Mark 9:23
When Jesus returned from the mountain where He had just been Transfigured in Heavenly glory, He encountered a desperate father. The other disciples had been trying to cure the man’s young son of a terrible affliction but had been unable. The father approached Jesus trembling as he pleaded: “If you are able… please have compassion and help us!”
Jesus’ answer was profound. He didn’t brag “I’m the Christ of God who has just been Transfigured in my full glory!” He could have demanded that the father retract his doubting remark. Instead, Jesus kindly corrected his request.
He seemed to say, “there should be no ‘if’ about my power, or my willingness, the ‘if’ lies somewhere else.” “If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes.”
There is a lesson here that we all need to learn. We, like this poor trembling father, are perpetually blundering by putting an “if” in the wrong place. “If” Jesus can help me…”if” he can give me grace to overcome temptation…”if” he can forgive me…”if” he is willing to bless me.
We have misplaced our “if.” Jesus patiently corrects us, as if waiting for us to finally believe it. You can confidently trust that all things are possible to Christ, and so all things are possible to you. Spurgeon said it beautifully when he wrote:
“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… it becomes, in the omnipotence of God, mighty to do, to dare, and to suffer. All things – without limit – are possible to him that believes.”
Inspired by "If thou canst believe," Spurgeon, Morning and Evening, Sept. 23rd