And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help you my unbelief.
This incident will show us what believing presupposes and consists in.
I. The text shows A MAN THAT IS IN EARNEST. He cried out with tears. They were tears that told how his heart was moved.
II. We look at this man, and we find that there is more than a general earnestness about him. We see the tokens of a special and active desire to have the blessings which faith was to secure for him. So he who is awakened to flee from the wrath to come.
1. He seeks forgiveness. Sin is not a light thing in his eyes.
2. He longs for healing of the disease of his soul.
3. To say all in a word, his desire is set upon salvation.
III. The operation of this desire. It is an active desire.
1. It makes a man pray and cry to God. It is a time of felt need.
2. It may cast into an agony, which may evince itself in tears. There is a melting power in strong desires that agitate the soul.
3. The desire for salvation will cause you to seek for faith. We are justified by faith; no holiness without it.
4. There will be an effort to believe. It is not God that believes; we have to believe. He would not command you to believe, if it were idle for you to try.
IV. HE FEELS HIS NEED OF GRACE FOR THE EXERCISE OF FAITH — "Help mine unbelief." My own resources are not sufficient for it. A true sense of the need of grace to believe is a great step towards the act of believing.
V. THE MAN BETAKES HIMSELF TO CHRIST. I need grace and I look to Thee for it. So is it with all those that are about to believe. "Thou hast destroyed thyself, but in Me is thy help." The fulness of Christ is unlimited.
VI. THE MAN HAS A DISTINCT CONCEPTION OF THE GRAND OBSTACLE WHICH GRACE MUST REMOVE — "Unbelief." Why is it that unbelief has so great an ascendancy? Because it possesses the heart.
VII. WE FIND THAT THE MAN DOES BELIEVE — "Lord, I believe." "I must believe" is the first step. The next, "I can believe." The third, "I will believe." The last step, "I do believe."
Parallel VersesKJV: And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.