Sunday, February 13, 2022
With a Mere Kernel of Faith
14-16 At the bottom of the mountain, they were met by a crowd of waiting people. As they approached, a man came out of the crowd and fell to his knees begging, “Master, have mercy on my son. He goes out of his mind and suffers terribly, falling into seizures. Frequently he is pitched into the fire, other times into the river. I brought him to your disciples, but they could do nothing for him.”
17-18 Jesus said, “What a generation! No sense of God! No focus to your lives! How many times do I have to go over these things? How much longer do I have to put up with this? Bring the boy here.” He ordered the afflicting demon out—and it was out, gone. From that moment on the boy was well.
19 When the disciples had Jesus off to themselves, they asked, “Why couldn’t we throw it out?”
20 “Because you’re not yet taking God seriously,” said Jesus. “The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, ‘Move!’ and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle.”
-Matthew 17:14-20 The Message
The Demon-possessed Boy
Verse 14: When they came to the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, falling on his knees before Him and saying,
Verse 15: “Lord, have mercy on my son because he has seizures and suffers terribly; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water.
Verse 16: And I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him.”
Verse 17: And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.”
Verse 17 study: The disciples had been given authority to heal, but they haven’t learned how to commandeer the power of God. Jesus’ frustration is with the unbelieving and unresponsive generation. His disciples were a reflection of that attitude in this instance. Jesus’ purpose is not to criticize the disciples, but to encourage them in faith.
Verse 18: And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was healed at once.
Verse 19: Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”
Verse 20: And He *said to them, “Because of your meager faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; nothing will be impossible for you.”
Verse 20 study: Jesus was not condemning the disciples for substandard faith; he was showing the importance of faith would be in their future ministry. If you are facing a problem that seems big as an immovable mountain, turn your eyes away from the mountain and look to Christ for more faith. Only then, you will have become better at your work for him, and it will be useful and vibrant.
Verses 17-20 studies: The disciples unsuccessfully drove out this demon, and they asked Jesus why. His reason is the lack of faith. It is the power of God, not our faith, that moves mountains, but faith has to be present to do so. The mustard seed was the smallest particle imaginable. Even small or undeveloped faith would have been sufficient. The disciples tried to drive out the demon with their own ability, not with God’s. There is great power in even a little faith when God is with us. If we feel weak or powerless as Christians, we should examine our faith, making sure we are trusting met in our abilities to produce results but in God’s.