It's always seemed like an "uphill battle" for Jesus! So many times, the Jews and religious teachers of the day asked for "a sign" from Him so that they could believe He was the Son of God. He longed for them to learn a "faith from the heart" rather than by "miraculous signs."
This is the backdrop of the story we find in (Mark 9: 17-26). Jesus is confronted by a father who has a demon possessed son, whom he wants Jesus to heal. Time and again, our Lord was asked to cure the sick, and because of His love for all people, He would lovingly oblige. But many of these people wanted something else as well.
Because of their small and divided faith in Christ, the Jewish people were also looking for "devine validation." As we stated, they just couldn't seem to quite believe in Jesus' message based on pure faith alone. That's why our Lord makes the comment in (V19),"O unbelieving generation...how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you?..."
However, despite these frustrations, Jesus saw an opportunity to teach a lesson as he drove out the evil spirit from the boy. In (VV 21-24), we read:
"Jesus asked the boy's father, 'How long has he been like this?' 'From childhood,' he answered. 'It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.' 'If I can?' said Jesus, 'Everything is possible for him who believes.' "Immediately the boy's father exclaimed 'I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!' "
From this passage, we can see Jesus' point. The people wrestled with their faith problem, which also led to other deficiencies. This lack of trust in Christ's Divinity kept the Jews from learning other significant points of scripture. One such example was that "all things were possible through faith."
This was evident in the exchange between Jesus and the father in (VV22-24). Once this father admitted to his "slight faith," and asked for help to believe even more deeply, our Lord had made his point. He then drove out the spirit from the boy.
Even after years of signs and scriptural revelation, there are still people today who don't believe in the absolute power of Jesus. In fact, a great number don't even believe in Jesus or God at all! To this, I would echo the words of the Son, which say..."O unbelieving generation...how long shall I stay with you?"
One day, the scripture will be fulfilled which says:
"...at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord..."(Philippians 2:10-11)