“What do you mean, “If I can?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”
Jesus just had an incredible moment at the beginning of chapter 9 with the 3 disciples that He was closest to. It was a powerful time where He was vulnerable to them in a way none had seen yet, and an time of investment. As they came back down from the mountain, they were surrounded by a large crowd of religious people arguing in Mark 9:14. The argument was over a man bringing his demon possessed son to have the disciples cast it out. Jesus first response was “You faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” Can you imagine what Jesus heard to motivate such a reaction? Comments like, “he is not really possessed, he is just sick, you can’t pray like that because it’s not written in our holy scriptures, the holy scriptures say we can’t pray today, must be full of sin, it is the Lords will your boy is like this or we tried but sorry we will be praying for you.” I can see the man stepping to the side of Jesus, hopeless and eye’s full of tears when they brought his boy to Jesus and the evil spirit threw him to the ground foaming at the mouth. Then the father said to Jesus have mercy on us and help us. Do something if you can! I see Jesus turning to Him and looking the father directly eye to eye. Firm, confident, and full of compassion as He said to him, “WHAT DO YOU MEAN IF I CAN? ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE IF A PERSON BELIEVES.”
The words What Do You Mean If I Can pierced my heart this morning. Later in verse 29(NKJV) Jesus said that the reason for His success was because of prayer and fasting. He gave them the authority to cast out devils in Mark 3:14-15, so what did He mean because fasting doesn’t make you more worthy to do so. I believe what was meant is that this authority was effective only if exercised by faith in Jesus that is cultivated only by complete devotion to Him. This word in the Greek is pisteuo which means trust in adhere to and rely on. Jesus was saying, it is not belief in your title, your position, your strategies, your strengths and talents, not your power or strength, not how many years you have been saved, not the power of networks you have, but it is only through your complete trust, adhering to, and reliance on Me that makes nothing impossible for you! I shout these words in prayer..what do you mean If I can, nothing is impossible for me! It keeps me forward thinking. These words destroy the thought of small planning, safe living, sheltered, narrow living, being around those just like me, doing the same things I have always done. Makes me want to take risks. Talk to people I don’t know that don’t look like me looking for an opportunity to give the hope of Jesus. Praying for anyone who needs a miracle; from the common cold, to cancer, diabetes, broken bones, people in wheel chairs, and yes even the dead. This word pressed me past the fear of what if they don’t accept me, what if they don’t receive, I don’t know enough. Past failure in my past, past thinking what if they don’t get healed, get better, or raise from the dead. Pushes me to act in faith…. what if they do!
But what happens is we become satisfied with just ok; with comfort. I’m not gonna stretch to much, average is ok for me. We even try to justify it by scripture (wrongly) and encourage others not to do so the same; like the religious group that was arguing around Jesus when He said how long do I have to be around people like you. I don’t want to just live to go to heaven. I want to fulfill the destiny that God predestined for me, fashioned me for here on earth. We were created to be extraordinary beings, but I don’t want to be ok with being…I want to do the extraordinary. And I know you do as well, but the Lord does even more. You can be saved and go to Heaven, but what is transforming my life the more it is reveled to me is His belief and trust in me! With our co-workers, people we go to school with, our neighbors, and our families looking at us, believers, broken, hopeless but seeking standing beside us saying in desperation, “Please say your different from these religious people arguing! Please have mercy on us and help us! Do something if you can! Lets look directly at them, completely reliant on the Lord, with the keys to the Kingdom, and all that is in Heaven available to us…. and lets say, “What do you mean, If I can?”