Mark 9:21 – Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”
“From childhood,” he answered. NIV
Jesus is still dealing with the father of the demon possessed boy. It is not a question that Jesus would usually ask before healing someone. It is an assessment question that might be asked to determine if this is a recent situation or if this activity had been going on for some time. It is unclear if Jesus asked the question for His own benefit or for the benefit of the disciples and by-standers. It did show that this demon possession of the boy had been happening since he was a young child and that the father was desperate for his son to receive healing.
This is a good assessment question in many ways. Jesus can ask us this question, and we can decide if we are tired of a situation in our life and want His help in seeing it change. It can help us determine if something that is wrong in our lives is the result of a recent situation or it’s been a longstanding situation that we’ve either tolerated or denied. Sometimes we blame recent situations or people who have recently crossed our path for a problem that we’ve had for a long time, but refuse to get help or bring it to Jesus. It is a question that helps us determines the source of our situation. Whether it is a recent problem or a long standing situation, Jesus cares and will help us deal with it.