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Mark 9:14; When they came back to the disciples, they saw a large crowd around them, and some scribes arguing with them.
Mark 9:15; Immediately, when the entire crowd saw Him, they were amazed and began running up to greet Him.
Mark 9:16; And He asked them, "What are you discussing with them?"
Mark 9:17; And one of the crowd answered Him, "Teacher, I brought You my son, possessed with a spirit which makes him mute;
Mark 9:18; and whenever it seizes him, it slams him to the ground and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth and stiffens out. I told Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not do it."
Mark 9:19; And He *answered them and *said, "O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to Me!"
Mark 9:20; They brought the boy to Him. When he saw Him, immediately the spirit threw him into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he began rolling around and foaming at the mouth.
Mark 9:21; And He asked his father, "How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, "From childhood.
Mark 9:22; "It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!"
Mark 9:23; And Jesus said to him, " 'If You can?' All things are possible to him who believes."
Mark 9:24; Immediately the boy's father cried out and said, "I do believe; help my unbelief."
Mark 9:25; When Jesus saw that a crowd was rapidly gathering, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "You deaf and mute spirit, I command you, come out of him and do not enter him again."
Mark 9:26; After crying out and throwing him into terrible convulsions, it came out; and the boy became so much like a corpse that most of them said, "He is dead!"
Mark 9:27; But Jesus took him by the hand and raised him; and he got up.
Mark 9:28; When He came into the house, His disciples began questioning Him privately, "Why could we not drive it out?"
Mark 9:29; And He said to them, "This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer."

This happens almost immediately after the Mt of transfiguration. A man brings his son who possessed by
a spirit that causes him to be mute. I wonder if we could be so discerning of spirits these days? At first I thought perhaps the father was "guessing", but it turns out the father was correct.

He "tells" the disciples to cast this spirit out.... "but they could not do it".

I have often wondered at Jesus's comment here.... "unbelieving generation..... how long(?) ... shall I put up with you? I wonder who was Jesus talking to? Who was He talking about about? Was He angry?
Who was the unbelieving generation? The man? The crowd? The disciples?

He asks the father how long has this been happening? I have also wondered why Jesus asked this?
Does it makes a difference? What is the difference? Does it make it harder?

But perhaps it was the man.... the man says "IF" you can do anything.. please help us.
Jesus seems to take offense at the man saying "IF". The man catches on and confesses he has unbelief.

This reminds me a little of Matt 13:58;
Mat 13:58; And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.

And yet despite the fathers unbelief Jesus commands the spirit to leave the boy. The father only claimed the spirit that "makes him mute". But Jesus discerns the spirit to be one of "deaf and mute". I wonder if the father knew the boy could not hear?

It seems the spirit tries to struggle a bit... but eventually comes out of the boy. After all of this comes the real point of this passage.

"Why could we not drive it out?"

The disciples had done miracles before. They had even cast out demons before. Why was this one different?
Did they give up too easily? Jesus just got through telling the man all things are possible "to him who believes". Did the disciples not have enough faith?

I wonder do we give up too easily sometimes? Do we not have enough faith sometimes?

Jesus answers... this kind only comes out by prayer..... sometimes laying hands on might not be enough, sometimes a quick word of power might not enough. It seems sometimes the only answer is... a lot of prayer.
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This same story is in Matt 17....

Matt 17:14; When they came to the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, falling on his knees before Him and saying,
Matt 17:15; "Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water.
Matt 17:16; "I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him."
Matt 17:17; And Jesus answered and said, "You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me."
Matt 17:18; And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured at once.
Matt 17:19; Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not drive it out?"
Matt 17:20; And He *said to them, "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.
Matt 17:21; "But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."

Again we see... how long shall I put up with this unbelieving generation? I wonder if He ever asks that about this generation?
We get a little more insight in this passage.
Jesus tells the disciples.. it's because your faith is too small. They had some faith... they had enough faith to try (and fail).
But apparently that wasn't enough faith.

Still even after all of that.... Jesus says "this kind only goes out by prayer and fasting".
The fasting wasn't mentioned in Mark. But I wonder if fasting could help prayer be answered even today?
...and prayer". Sometimes... it just takes a lot of prayer.

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