1.3. Snakeoil Salesman

 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

Written by: Michael Herbert

Reflecting on the past, the early settlers of our nation “Snake Oil Salesman.” The phrase conjures up images of seedy profiteers trying to exploit an unsuspecting public by selling it fake cures. In fact, the Oxford English Dictionary defines snake oil as “a quack remedy or panacea. Made from the oil of the Chinese water snake, which is rich in omega-3 acids that help reduce inflammation, snake oil in its original form really was effective, especially when used to treat arthritis and bursitis. The workers would rub the oil, used for centuries in China, on their joints after a long hard day at work. The story goes that the Chinese workers began sharing the oil with some American counterparts, who marveled at the effects. (a). Later in the 19th-century men of fraud started to make an imitation of the real thing in order to make a quick buck. 

The popularity grew because would not admit they were swindled, while psychologically others were so desperate for a cure they believed in their head this snake oil really worked. Unlike the fraudulent snake oil salesman, Jesus could really bring healing to anyone who came to him. But, it took faith to believe on the part of the one seeking healing Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”(vs.23). Remember Jesus came to his hometown and could do no miracles. Matthew 13:58. The father had probably have gone to the snake oil salesman of their day and nothing happened to his son. Coupled with those awful experiences now comes the disciples of Jesus who had cast out demons before but now in the midst of this father’s desperation could not cast the demon out of this boy.

The father at this point has heard all the false teaching of his day, Many money-making evangelists who for the love of money turn themselves into modern-day snake oil salesmen. Promising to heal and have a cure like the original Jesus and a prayed up group of disciples, but no healings and cures, preying on desperate people who are in need of healing but walk away from the meeting worst off than when they came.

The Father told Jesus that he had been through the wringer and on the verge of hopelessness. Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (vs.24)And so Jesus did, When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” (vs.25) Jesus is the real deal while many others are imitators of the original. I do believe in signs, wonders, and miracles and that they are sure to be for this day, yet they are done by people who love God and are not concerned about making money.