Jesus Heals a Demon-Possessed Boy
14 At the foot of the mountain, a large crowd was waiting for them. A man came and knelt before Jesus and said, 15“Lord, have mercy on my son. He has seizures and suffers terribly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 So I brought him to your disciples, but they couldn’t heal him.”
17 Jesus said, “You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.”18 Then Jesus rebuked the demon in the boy, and it left him. From that moment the boy was well.
19 Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, “Why couldn’t we cast out that demon?”
20“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible."
Imagine this scene
Jesus has just come down from the mountain where He was enshrouded by the glory of God, also known as the transfiguration. He spoke to Moses and Elijah; and now, he comes back to see that the disciples that were left behind had no faith in the power of the God that they followed. He then makes a statement that many of us might consider "a little harsh", but if we look at the meaning of the statement and don't apply our own emotions to them, we can see Jesus' frustration is born out in truthful words.
"You faithless and corrupt people!"
Other versions of the bible use the words "faithless and perverse". The Jewish people had for so long lived without true faith in the God they claimed to serve and they had so "perverted" or "twisted" the truth about God that they were a whole generation that lived without true faith. This is Jesus pointing out to them the problem or reason that they are unable to heal the demon possessed boy.
"How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you?"
I believe that this is really Jesus making at statement of frustration and concern. In just a few verses after this one He states that He must go "into the hands of men and they shall kill him". He is worried about the lack of faith that he see's because there is so little time left for Him to teach them.
"Bring the boy here to Me."
Jesus displays complete and total faith. There is never a word of doubt that passes from him. His statement is one of complete confidence in His ability (through His Father in Heaven) to heal this boy. He doesn't say, "Bring the boy here to me, I think I can help him".
Faith that could move mountains
This boy had been possessed from childhood. It was a well known case in the region and undoubtedly many "exorcists" had attempted to remove the demon from the child only to suffer defeat. Common exorcism practices were varied. Some used stinky odoriferous herbs or weeds to "stink" the demon out of the afflicted person. Always the emphasis was put on the person doing the exorcism and not on any amount of faith in God to do the healing.
So here are the disciples; still weak in faith. And this man brings his infamous son to them to be healed. They immediately start to think of how many times others have tried to heal him and failed. They start to think of the size of the problem instead of the size of their God who can do all things. Their faith is in themselves and not in their God, where it belongs.
A weak faith is simply a faith that is centered on a weak subject; like self. If you center your faith on the source of all things possible; on the one who created all things. If you center your faith on God, who created the mountains, then even the smallest amount of faith (in God) can move mountains. True faith also functions within the bounds of God's will. It could never ask the source of faith, God, to do something that God would never do.
Notice that Jesus does not turn to a mountain in the area and demonstrate this level of faith by moving it. That would have definitely made his point! No, he was merely using the largest and smallest measurements to illustrate that it is not the size of the problem or the amount of faith that you have, it is the source of the faith that is important.
Dear Father in Heaven,
Please forgive me sins Lord. Come into my life today and change my heart. Lead me.
Thank you for this lesson today and for the understanding of who faith works through. Help me to have that faith in You.
I thank You for all that you provide Lord. I ask that You would make sure that I use what You have given me to glorify You. Please be with my family, friends, and the church. Keep them safe and protected from the enemy. Pour out the spirit on our church and help us to find lost souls for You.
I love you. Amen.