Read Mt 17.14-20, Mk 9.14-29, Lk 9.37-43
Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” And He *said to them, “Because of the littleness of your 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; and nothing will be impossible to you.
The disciples were trying to cast a demon out of the young man and it wasn’t going so well. Jesus fresh off the mount of transfiguration asks “What’s up?” The father explains that the disciples had tried to cast out the demon and failed. Jesus’ immediate diagnosis for the situation is they lacked faith; “O unbelieving generation…”(Mk 9.19) But wait. The disciples were at least trying to cast this demon out. But apparently with too little faith. Even dad had to be confronted on in his lack of faith when he says, “If you can…” (Mk 9.23) Jesus mirrors his subpar statement back with His obvious disappointment; “If you can! All things are possible to him who believes.” (Mk 9.24)
At this point I’m hanging my head low with dad and the disciples. Yup, you caught me, I lack faith. And we say along with dad, “I do believe, help me in my unbelief!” Most of us are stuck in no man’s land. Between being a faithless hostile pagan who wouldn’t give Jesus the time of day and having enough faith to acquire God’s healing power. But being stuck in the middle is not good enough. Jesus is quite clear here, it was a lack of faith; “Because of the littleness of your faith…” (Mt 17.20)
Being like Jesus is a process. Jesus had the faith to successfully cast out the demon where the disciples did not. The disciples did not make excuses or change their theology. They kept exercising their faith until they were exercising demons. I know that God does not intend to rescue every person from their sickness or trials. I know that sometimes we are called to endure the suffering. (Heb 11.35-40) But to heal no one?! I’m going to stay in the fight for faith and continue to pray that Jesus would allow me help people the way He did. Lord I believe, help me in my unbelief.
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