At first it seems like this story is dropped awkwardly into Mark 9 with no apparent reason. But studying the passage more carefully shows that it may well be a deliberate act on the part of God to illustrate the need for faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus. This poor boy, afflicted by a demon for years, seems to be a representation of Jesus on the cross and how challenging it would be for the disciples to trust in a Messiah who would die. This passage also has something that is hugely important to me personally; the father of the child crying out, “I believe, help my unbelief!” The fact that Jesus received the conflicted faith of this man shows me that He receives us when our faith is equally conflicted. Thank God for His patience.