Archive for Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Matthew 17:14-20

…a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.” “O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed from that moment. Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Matthew 17:21 (NAS)

“But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

 

Today there were 3 major events in the chapter including the transfiguration of Jesus, the healing of the demon possessed boy and the payment of the temple tax. All 3 teach us key learning but this healing and the faith required is what caught my attention. It seems like Jesus was frustrated and this prompted me to read it again. Yes, he certainly was frustrated but not at the boy’s father who approached him. His frustration was focused on his disciples whom he felt did not exercise faith, even faith the size of a mustard seed. Now that is really hard for us to understand because we are dealing with the spiritual world and not the physical and to understand this faith, what would it take us?

Interestingly enough, the NIV did not have verse 21 and when I looked around, I found that it was available in most other versions like the NAS given above. Jesus said clearly that we need to exercise faith but this is possible only through prayer and fasting and therefore we needed to draw from God and not from our own selves. This is not something we would attain sitting under a tree and meditating on our inner self but rather, something we would need to ask God for by focusing our attention on Him. Also, we need to remember that this faith is not for our personal gain but for the extension of God’s kingdom here on Earth. It is spoken in a spiritual realm and we should not misconstrue it. Have you exercised your faith in recent times? Is that what the Lord wants us to do?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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