Have you ever felt like the man who met Jesus as Jesus came down from the Mount of Transfiguration? The man’s son was possessed by an evil spirit that sounds much like we understand epilepsy today. Jesus tells the man anything is possible for the person who believes. The man cries out, “I believe, help my unbelief. (Mark 9:24)’ We believe but we also realize we are a work in progress and we may not know or understand everything. I believe, but help…
Early Christians did not have our written Scriptures and faith was an oral process as one told another and presented truth in public places. Some like Paul and Apollos were able to present Old Testament truths but most believed as a result of someone else’s testimony. Today’s reading shares how some people had never heard of the Holy Spirit. They understood faith as coming from John the Baptist, “a baptism of forgiveness for sins.” Basically that means they understood faith as a result of works, of repenting and trying to work harder to live life to please the God to whom sacrifices were given. Paul introduces the Holy Spirit and the reality of grace. That’s a huge difference and reorientation.
We would like to think if we just live a better life that the goodies of life will be showered on us. If we only have faith, the miracle will happen. John describes the Holy Spirit as the comforter who walks in us, leading, guiding, correcting, interceding, not just making our life comfortable. Today I feel like the man who met Jesus, “I believe, help my unbelief.” Perhaps you too want to put those areas of life that challenge your existing faith to a new level into God’s hands. The Holy Spirit interprets our prayers when we are not sure what to say. Blessings as you pray this morning!