Mark 9:22
And often it has cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if you can do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(22) If thou canst do any thing.—The words are spoken almost in the accents of despair. Could He, the Master, prevail where the disciples had failed?

9:14-29 The father of the suffering youth reflected on the want of power in the disciples; but Christ will have him reckon the disappointment to the want of faith. Very much is promised to our believing. If thou canst believe, it is possible that thy hard heart may be softened, thy spiritual diseases may be cured; and, weak as thou art, thou mayest be able to hold out to the end. Those that complain of unbelief, must look up to Christ for grace to help them against it, and his grace will be sufficient for them. Whom Christ cures, he cures effectually. But Satan is unwilling to be driven from those that have been long his slaves, and, when he cannot deceive or destroy the sinner, he will cause him all the terror that he can. The disciples must not think to do their work always with the same ease; some services call for more than ordinary pains.If thou canst do any thing - I have brought him to the disciples, and they could not help him. If thou canst do anything, have compassion.22. but if thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us—"us," says the father; for it was a sore family affliction. Compare the language of the Syrophœnician woman regarding her daughter, "Lord, help me." Still nothing is done: the man is but struggling into faith: it must come a step farther. But he had to do with Him who breaks not the bruised reed, and who knew how to inspire what He demanded. The man had said to Him, "If Thou canst do." See Poole on "Mark 9:17" And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire,.... When he has been near it; so that one part or other of his body has been scorched, or burnt, and his life in danger:

and into the waters to destroy him: when he has been near any brook, or river, it has thrown him into it, in order to drown him, as into the fire to burn him. The Ethiopic version before fire and water reads, "into the deep"; meaning either the sea or some deep pit, or off a precipice. All this is said to aggravate the case, and show the miserable condition the child was in, from the frequency of the fits, and the danger he was exposed to:

but if thou canst do any thing. This man's faith was very weak, and perhaps weaker than when he first came from home with his child. He had brought him to the disciples of Christ, and they could not cure him; the evil spirit was as strong, or stronger in him than ever; he now lay in a violent fit, and in a most miserable condition; so that he was almost ready to despair of healing: some small hopes he had that Christ might be able to relieve in this case; but he puts an if upon his power, and earnestly entreats him, if he had any, he would put it forth:

have compassion on us, and help us; his child that lay in such a deplorable condition, rolling on the ground at his feet; and himself, who was greatly afflicted for him: he tries, in very moving language, both the power and pity of Christ; and begs that if he had either, he would exert them on this occasion.

And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Mark 9:22. εἴ τι δύνῃ, if Thou canst do anything (A. and R. Vv.), or better, if anyhow Thou canst help. The father speaks under the impression that the case, as he has just described it, is one of peculiar difficulty; therefore while the leper said “if Thou wilt,” he says “if Thou canst”. With reference to the form δύνῃ, Phryn. says that it is right after ἐὰν, but that at the beginning of a sentence δύνασαι must be used (p. 359).22. if thou canst] More literally, if at all Thou canst. This is a strong expression of an infirm faith, which at the beginning had been too weak, but had become more and more weak owing to the failure of the disciples to aid him.Mark 9:22. Τὸ πῦρ) This noun is without a plural: otherwise, as ὕδατα, so πῦρα might have been said in this passage: but the place of the plural is supplied by the article.—ἵνα ἀπολέσῃ, that it might destroy) either because it was promising itself power even over the dead body of the possessed, or else lest it should be cast out by Jesus: for otherwise it would gladly have remained in a human body. It had not the power of itself to destroy a man without water or fire.Us

Very touching. The father identifies himself with the son's misery. Compare the Syro-Phoenician, who makes her daughter's case entirely her own: "Have mercy on me" (Matthew 15:22).

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