Okay, Mark 9:14-32 Jesus encounters a boy possessed by an impure spirit. So, what happens.  Just prior to this the disciples are still struggling with the idea their Messiah would have to suffer.  As they (Jesus, John James and Peter) notice a large crowd some of the teachers of religious law are arguing.  The crowd saw Jesus, came to him, and Jesus asked what all the commotion was about.  A man came forth and said Jesus’ disciples could not cast the impure spirit out of the boy and explained the boys seizures.
  Jesus responded with: O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.   Jesus was frustrated with His disciples as time was drawing nigh and the disciples were not growing in faith as He felt they should.
  The disciples had cast out demons before but they could not do it this time.  Sometimes our faith falters and Mark tells this story to show that the battle with satan is a difficult, ongoing struggle.  Victory over sin and temptation comes through faith in Jesus Christ, not through our own efforts.
  Verse 22 and 23 are interesting.  The father asks Jesus to heal the boy IF HE CAN.  Jesus responds with “What do you mean if I can? Anthing is possible if a person believes!  ” Now here comes a statement that has been quoted numerous times as the father replies: 
Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
Yes, this could be the war cry for all of us Christians.  We do believe but doubt does creep in.
  Now Jesus speaks to the impure spirit and tells it to leave the boy.  The spirit screamed and threw the boy into a violent convulsion and then left him.  The boy lay there and people thought he was dead.  Then Jesus reached down, took him by the hand and the boy stood up.
  Later, when Jesus and the disciples were alone in the house they asked Jesus why they could not cast out the evil spirit.  Jesus replied, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
   The disciples would often face difficult situations that could be resolved only through prayer.  Prayer is the key that unlocks faith in our life.  EFFECTIVE PRAYER needs both the attitude of complete dependence and the action of asking.  Prayer shows our reliance on God as we humbly invite him to fill us with faith and power.
   At this time they traveled through Galilee and Jesus did not want anyone to know where he was.  He wanted to spend time alone with his disciples and continue to teach them.  At this point Jesus said, 
The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men,
and they shall kill him;
and after that he is killed,
he shall rise the third day.
  The disciples did not understand what Jesus was saying, yet they were afraid to ask.  Oh, how the plot thickens and the disciples are not the best of detectives at this time.  Thank you for reading.  Tomorrow, Jesus teaches forgiveness.