Summary: HOW DO YOU SUPPORT SOMEONE WITH A LIFE THREATENING ILLNESS? I wonder what it would be like for the Father in Mark 9:14. His son had a life-threatening illness and he was seeking physical, emotional and spiritual answers.


He was having a biopsy on a lump. The doctor was concerned and rightly so. It turned out to be bowel cancer, a devastating discovery and as we walked into my office he asked me for my support in prayer. Of course I prayed, then and most days since, through the biopsies and tests and surgery and soon the Chemotherapy. Many others join us in prayer. He is part of our tribe.

I have been reading an excellent blog recently called Beautiful Life With Cancer. Have you experienced a life-threatening illness? I would be interested to find out what it was that helped you the most?


I wonder what it would be like for the Father in Mark 9:14 who was trying to find answers for his son. His son had a life-threatening illness.

Mark 9:14 (NLT) says “When they (Jesus, Peter, James and John) returned to the other disciples (from the mountain), they saw a large crowd surrounding them,” Perhaps the crowd had been gathered by the 9 disciples who did not go up the mountain with Jesus.

14 some teachers of religious law were ARGUING with them.

What Jesus found when He came down the mountain was an ARGUMENT. We don’t know what the argument was about but we do know that it wasn’t helping anybody find healing that morning. In the middle of the argument was a little boy who desperately needed healing physically, emotionally and spiritually.

The negativity of the scribes almost sabotaged the future of this little boy. He needed people to be PRESENT, but he needed POSITIVE PRESENCE to give him hope. What support can we give to someone with a life threatening illness?


15 When the crowd saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with awe, and they ran to greet Him. Most people want to get away from NEGATIVE people and this crowd was no exception. They ran to Jesus and away from the Scribes. Would you want people like the Scribes, or someone like Jesus, to speak into your life when you are sick? I would want Jesus.

16 “What is all this arguing about?” Jesus asked. In effect Jesus is saying – This isn’t a time for argument. It’s time for COMPASSION. Negativity won’t heal this little boy.

17 One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, “Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won’t let him talk.” This young man couldn’t talk. His Dad brought me to Jesus and WAS HIS VOICE when he had none. He verbalised his deepest prayer on his son’s behalf.

One lady I spoke to recently is so sick she finds it hard to pray. What can we do to support someone with a life-threatening illness?


They may not be able to pray but we can pray for them.

The father described the spiritual oppression taking place in his son’s life 18 … whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. This young man was sick physically, emotionally and spiritually. The Bible says that he had a DEMON plaguing his life. His spiritual illness led him to have physical illness.

If it hadn’t been for his DAD, he would not have found the healing he so desperately needed. The father of the boy said, “So I asked your disciples to cast out the evil spirit, but they couldn’t do it.”

What I love about this father is that when the Scribes couldn’t help, this father didn’t give up. When the disciples couldn’t help, this father didn’t give up. Now he comes to Jesus.

19 Jesus said to them, “You faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you?” I don’t think Jesus was talking to the disciples or the Dad when He said “You faithless people”. I imagine He was looking at the Scribes. Their NEGATIVITY had created an ATMOSPHERE OF UNBELIEF that had limited the ability of the disciples to heal this boy. Negativity certainly isn’t one of the spiritual gifts. It definitely doesn’t provide the atmosphere for a miracle to take place.

Jesus says “Bring the boy to me.” 20 So they brought the boy. A great choice to make. What can we do to support a person with a life threatening illness.


Jesus took the boy away from the Scribes and their negativity.

20 But when the evil spirit saw Jesus, it threw the child into a violent convulsion, and he fell to the ground, writhing and foaming at the mouth. The evil spirit felt comfortable in the negativity of the Scribes and in the middle of an argument, but very uncomfortable in the presence of Jesus and the mustard seed faith of the Father. Sin and evil are always exposed in the presence of Jesus, but so is forgiveness and healing. Invite people to reach out to Christ.

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