Matthew 17:14:21 (TPT) Unbelief Hinders Healing
14 They came to where a large crowd had gathered to wait for Jesus. A man came and knelt before him 15 and said, “Lord, please show your tender mercy toward my son. He has a demon who afflicts him. He has epilepsy, and he suffers horribly from seizures. He often falls into the cooking fire or into the river. 16 I brought him to your followers, but they weren’t able to heal him.”
17 Jesus replied, “Where is your faith? Can’t you see how wayward and wrong this generation is?[those who deny me]. How much longer do I stay with you and put up with your doubts? Bring your son to me.”
18 Then Jesus rebuked the demon and it came out of him and the boy was instantly healed!
19 Later the disciples came to him privately and asked, “Why couldn’t we cast out the demon?”
20 He told them, “It was because of your lack of faith. I promise you, if you have faith inside of you no bigger than the size of a small mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move away from here and go over there,’ and you will see it move![Mountain moving faith brings the power of God’s kingdom on earth]. There is nothing you couldn’t do![nothing beyond your power]. 21 But this kind is cast out only through prayer and fasting.”
In our passage today, we witness a problem that faces every disciple of Christ. Before we name that problem, let’s revisit Chapter 17 from the beginning. Peter, James, and John have followed Jesus up the mountain to witness heaven and earth coming together in what Scripture calls the Transfiguration. Elijah and Moses—both deceased 450+ years earlier—are seen visiting on the mountain top with Jesus, the appearance of Christ is suddenly miraculously changed, and the voice of the Father is heard affirming the identity of Jesus as His Son. After witnessing this supernatural event, we might be tempted to think, “Wow, if I saw all that happening before my eyes, I would never doubt the power of God or cease to do great things.”
The disciples descend the mountain of revelation and the next day they experience faith failure. A man brings his demon possessed son to Jesus; the disciples fail to cast the demon out. Wait! In Chapter 10, Jesus sends the disciples out and gives them the power to cast out demons and they are successful at that time (Mat 10:1). What is going on? Let’s remember Jesus knows all things, so he knows the disciples are going to fail from weak faith. However, Jesus knows even though this faith failure will humble the disciples now, it will bring the Kingdom greater victory through them in the future. Their faith will supernaturally grow by this experience.
The problem is not God’s lack of power; all things are possible with God (Mat 19:26). Jesus demonstrates his superior power in our passage; he is glorified and his power is exalted because he is completely devoted to God’s purpose. He fasts and he prays and he lives in power to do the Father’s will. The problem is the disciples need to grow in their love and dependance upon Christ and HIS power. Human strength will always fail to produce miracles, so we must learn how to humble ourselves before the Lord and receive HIS strength. Jesus knows it will be the work of the Spirit to make these same disciples devotedly successful in the future. So, he allows them to fail in order to one day flourish! And, they do just that!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for equipping me with every good and perfect gift, as well as causing my faith to grow stronger each day. I humble myself before your mighty hand and rest in your will and purpose for my life as you bring forth your Kingdom on earth. In Jesus’ name. Amen.