Mark 09:24 AV
the father of the child cried out²,
and said with tears,
Lord³, I believe⁴;
help⁵ thou mine unbelief⁶.
²) Cry out aloud, speak with a loud voice.
³) Greek: κύριος (kurios), that is he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord.
⁴) Used in the New Testament of the conviction and trust to which a man is impelled by a certain inner and higher prerogative and law of soul; to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something; saving faith.
⁵) To help, to succour, to bring aid.
⁶) Want of faith, weakness of faith.
Mark.9.24 - At once the father of the boy gave [an eager, piercing, inarticulate] cry with tears, and he said, Lord, I believe! [Constantly] help my weakness of faith! [AMP] Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, "I believe; help my unbelief!" [ESV] And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. [KJV] Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" [NIV] The father instantly replied, "I do believe, but help me not to doubt!" [NLT] Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" [NKJV]
Some further information
The need is no longer just that of the sick boy, but now also the conflict of faith of the father.
He is tossed between belief and unbelief.
With tears, he longer calls Jesus Master (Greek: didaskale; Mark 9:17), but Lord (Greek: kurios) and acknowledges that he himself cannot overcome his unbelief if Jesus does not bring him that far.
See a previous study: https://devotionals.harryschoemaker.nl/2020/10/27/lord
help thou my unbelief
The spark of faith has been kindled.
If his faith is not strong, he prays the Lord to give him stronger faith.
Help thou my unbelief
So should any doubting Christian always pray!
If your faith is weak, cry for help!
This man experienced that it was useless to try to conceal his lack of faith, or better, his weak faith from Him.
The unbelief was still struggling in his heart, but that same heart also bore witness that he does believe in Him; If distrust still existed in his heart, he fought against it, he wrestled with it, and he sought help from Him against it.
Two things are very remarkable here:
- First, The felt presence of unbelief, which only the man’s faith could have revealed to his consciousness.
- Second, His appeal to Christ for help against the unbelief he felt within himself, showing the insight he had attained into the existence of a power in Christ more glorious then what he needed for his poor child.
The work was done; and as the commotion and confusion in the crowd was now increasing, Jesus at once, as Lord of spirits, gives the word of command to the spirit to be gone, and to never again return to his victim.
With the ‘I believe’ the man entrusts himself completely to Jesus’ word, but at the same time he observes unbelief, lack of faith in God’s miraculous omnipotence (Mark 6:6; Romans 4:20).
The man’s creed is not just a concession to Jesus’ call to believe, but is (despite the emotional moment) deeply rooted in the man himself: he cries out (Greek: krazo; cf. Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6),
Now let us reflect on this
I believe; help thou my unbelief.
This word is almost proverbial.
Sometimes it is used very superficially.
This father doesn’t do it in that way.
Out of the need of his heart, he cries to the Christ, weeping bitterly for his unbelief.
That’s the mark of true faith, it feels the pain of unbelief.
We cannot deny that we love the Lord, but at the same time the doubt fights us. Do you know that fight? The word of the Christ “invites you to ask Him for more faith:” Help my unbelief. “
You have come to the right place, at the Finisher of Faith.
Where He speaks, we throw ourselves with all our flaws into His arms.
He is the Savior in distress, who looks into the heart.
He also crowns weak faith with His grace.
Be strong and He will strengthen your heart.
Website 1: https://devotionals.harryschoemaker.nl
Website 2: http://bijbelplaatjes.nl