Thursday, March 4, 2010

What is Really Possible?

Jesus asked the boy's father, "How long has he been like this?"

"From childhood," he answered. "It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us."

" 'If you can'?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for him who believes." Mark 9: 21-23

“Everything is possible for him who believes.”

The more I hear this, the more I wonder… Is Jesus really serious here?

Ok here’s what I mean.

So yeah we know this idea of believing and receiving. We know that we need to believe in our dreams otherwise we won’t do the work that we need to do to make them happen.

This all makes sense.

But what about what Jesus actual says? Is life as simple as just having faith? We’ve seen Jesus wither trees, raise people from the dead, restore vision, heal the crippled, the leprous, the possessed…

But that’s what Jesus did. Cause after all Jesus was Jesus right?

But for some reason Jesus keeps on telling his disciples that they can do it too. And there was nothing special about them. They weren’t the result of an immaculate conception. Jesus asked them to follow him and they were the ones who said yes.

They were special by faith, but not for any other reason.

And Jesus sent them out and they did all kinds of miraculous healing too.

What if the message here is literal as well as symbolic? What if Jesus is saying that anything really is possible by faith?

Does that mean that if we had enough faith we could feed thousands with some loaves of bread and a couple of fish? What does that mean for world hunger? Does the solution lie in faith rather than genetic engineering, hormones, and economic policy?

Hopefully I didn’t lose you here.

I just find it fascinating that this is repeated over and over again in the Gospels by Jesus himself. It must be for a reason. Maybe we really are capable of so very much more than we think we are.

Food for thought…

Today’s Reading: Numbers 31-33; Mark 9: 1-29


  1. I think he was definitely saying it. You can do it too if you believe. I don't think Jesus was without sin either. He was special, unique, and human, just like the rest of us.

  2. well the without sin part is a pretty big caveat for Christian folk... but man he had them disciples stylin on folk... doing miracles left and right.

  3. I like your blog and myself contemplated the topic of faith, which is mentioned throughout the Bible in various forms. I've also contemplated our challenges as people in having it fully and executing it's works for our good. I think it is simple, but we as people, it is not so simple in application because we battle with our carnal being (Galatians 5:16-17). I definitely believe Jesus meant what he said about faith literally.

    The other side of that passage you quoted Mark 9:24 is "Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" Although we believe even as the Disciples did, how many times like that father do people fall short in our belief, our faith. Even the Disciples, Jesus charged at times, with having little faith. One of the things that strikes my attention is how many times 'Oh you of little faith' is repeated (Mt 6:30, 8:26, 14,:31, 16:8, 17:20, Luke 12:28) all of which is associated with either fear, doubt, unbelief and the likes. In the same way in one variation or another Jesus has repeatedly said "According to your faith," "By your faith," "Your faith has"..."healed you", "saved you" and so forth (Mt 9:12, 9:29, 15:28, Mk 5:34, 10:52, Lk 7:50, 8:48, 18:42). There are countless passages with Jesus taking about faith, either having it or not having it, and what the outcome of either side of that is.

    I interpret it as time and time again, it's pointed out to us that lack of faith works against us, or hinders us as did the Disciples who've cast out demons and done miracles before, but in Mt 17 lacked the proper faith to drive out the demon possessed boy. And when great faith is shown like with the woman in Mk 5, you can be healed, freed from her suffering and given peace because of faith.

    I can go on and on with this topic. As I mentioned this is something I find very interesting in the Bible and often contemplated. And this is only from the view point of what Jesus has quoted about faith. I'll be interested to know your thoughts, when you arrive in that part of your reading, on the book of James 2:14-26 which talks about 'Faith without action'.

  4. Oh yes! I was hoping someone would catch my omission of the help my unbelief... that deserves its own entry. There is so much here but I agree that it is interesting how consistently Jesus points to our lack of faith. The miracles of life often are the result of a partnership between God and a person acting in faith. It is a beautiful challenge to live up to... also to come is the link between faith and forgiveness... mark 11 will be fun.
    Thank you for the great comment!

  5. You're welcome. I look forward to reading your other posts. Keep up the good work.


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A Convo With God by Clarence Mitchell III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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