At that time, a man came to Jesus, kneeling down and saying unto him: “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a dumb spirit; and wherever it seizes him it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.”
And Jesus answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to him; and when the spirit saw Jesus, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth.
And Jesus asked his father, “How long has he had this?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us.”
And Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You dumb and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again.” And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse; so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when Jesus had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting.”
They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he would not have any one know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him; and after he is killed, he will rise on the third day.”
Here are some questions about the Gospel reading:
In this Gospel, a father brings his son to Jesus. What problem did the boy have?
What happened to the boy when he was brought to Jesus? Had it happened before?
Who did Jesus tell to believe so that the boy could be healed? Did that person believe?
Why did the crowd think the boy was dead after Jesus healed him? Was he?
How did Jesus tell his disciples that this kind of demon could be cast out?
What things in your life are hard to believe that God can heal or take care of? Tell Him about them in prayer, and with the father in this Gospel, pray, “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.”