When Jesus and the three disciples came down the mountain after the Transfiguration, they encountered a man begging for help for his son. There was a demon in him that kept trying to do him harm. Jesus’ disciples couldn’t cast the demon out.
Jesus made the title comment and then asked the man if he believed. The man said, “I believe, help my unbelief.” This story has always fascinated me for a variety of reasons. It is a story that brings out our beliefs and our problems with believing.
The nature of belief: Some things are provably true. Some things are guesses with good background information leading to acceptance of truth. Some things require us to go out on a limb and believe whether there is evidence or not.
This is true in many subjects, but religion is the most common area where belief is the key. We weren’t there at the Creation. We didn’t observe Adam and Eve. We weren’t on Mt. Sinai for the carving of the Ten Commandments and we weren’t in the upper room when Jesus talked to His disciples after His resurrection. We have to believe.
I Believe, Help my Unbelief: At first this sentence looks like a contradiction. How can you believe and not believe at the same time? There are times when we see that in our lives. We may believe someone loves us, but have doubts about whether or not we are acceptable. That, too, is a contradiction.
Let’s put ourselves into this man’s shoes for a moment. His son had a problem that would very likely end in his death. He loved his son very much. He heard about Jesus and immediately saw hope…something he hadn’t experienced much of. He has enough hope…faith…to seek Jesus out. He continues to have hope even when Jesus’ disciples were unsuccessful. Yet this hope is in something that he doesn’t understand.
We sometimes have the same difficulty. I know I do. Who am I, a sinner, to hope to be with God? Who am I that God sent His only begotten Son to die in my place? How can I hope to be in paradise with Jesus?
I believe. I believe in Jesus. I believe He died for my sins. I believe that when I die I will be with Him in paradise. Help my unbelief.