What Jesus Did! 'Faith or Frustration?' — Matthew 17:14-18

Monday, August 14, 2017

Jesus and the followers went back to the people. A man came to Jesus and bowed before him. The man said, "Lord, be kind to my son. He has epilepsy and is suffering very much. My son often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought my son to your followers, but they could not heal him." Jesus answered, "You people have no faith. Your lives are all wrong. How long must I stay with you? How long must I continue to be patient with you? Bring the boy here." Jesus gave a strong command to the demon inside the boy. Then the demon came out of the boy, and the boy was healed.
— Matthew 17:14-18
Illustration of Matthew 17:14-18 — "Lord, be kind to my son. He has epilepsy and is suffering very much. My son often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought my son to your followers, but they could not heal him."

Key Thought

Why had Jesus' closest followers not been able to heal the boy? Matthew 17:19 says that it was because they did not have enough faith, but why was that? Was it because of Jesus' absence? Was it because of the leaders' among the apostles being with Jesus? Was it because they simply lost faith in what Jesus had equipped them and empowered them to do?
Jesus is surely frustrated with our vain attempts to live for him and bless others with his grace. Just as Moses came down from his mountain of experience with God and found frustration and faithlessness, Jesus does, too. The message for us? Surely we must understand that we must have faith and when we do, Jesus can do great things through us. But ... Jesus can and will do things without us if we choose not to follow and obey him. The issue is one of honoring and blessing him by having faith.

Today's Prayer

Holy God, I want you to be pleased by my choices and my actions as I seek to live by faith, trusting Jesus will use me to make a serious impact on others. Father, I believe, but help my faith to grow stronger each day. May all I do bring you glory and bless my brothers and sisters in Christ. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus and the followers went back to the people. A man came to Jesus and bowed before him. The man said, "Lord, be kind to my son. He has epilepsy and is suffering very much. My son often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought my son to your followers, but they could not heal him." Jesus answered, "You people have no faith. Your lives are all wrong. How long must I stay with you? How long must I continue to be patient with you? Bring the boy here." Jesus gave a strong command to the demon inside the boy. Then the demon came out of the boy, and the boy was healed. Then the followers came to Jesus alone. They said, "We tried to force the demon out of the boy, but we could not. Why were we not able to make the demon go out?" Jesus answered, "You were not able to make the demon go out, because your faith is too small. I tell you the truth. If your faith is as big as a mustard seed, then you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there.' And it will move. All things will be possible for you." Later, the followers met together in Galilee. Jesus said to the followers, "The Son of Man will be given into the control of men. Those men will kill the Son of Man. But on the third day the Son of Man will be raised from death." The followers were very sad {to hear that Jesus would be killed}. Jesus and his followers went to Capernaum. In Capernaum some men came to Peter. They were the men that collected the two-drachma tax. They asked, "Does your teacher pay the two-drachma tax?" Peter answered, "Yes, Jesus pays the tax." Peter went into the house where Jesus was. Before Peter could speak, Jesus said to him, "The kings on the earth get different kinds of taxes from people. But who are the people that pay the taxes? Are these people the king's children? Or is it other people that pay the taxes? What do you think?" Peter answered, "The other people pay the taxes." Jesus said, "Then the children of the king don't have to pay taxes. But we don't want to make these taxcollectors angry. So {pay the tax in this way}: Go to the lake and fish. After you catch the first fish, open the fish's mouth. Inside its mouth you will find a four-drachma coin. Take that coin and give it to the tax collectors. That will pay the tax for you and me."

Matthew 17:14-27

Related Scripture Readings

Jesus called his twelve followers together. Jesus gave them power over evil spirits. Jesus gave them power to heal every kind of disease and sickness. Heal sick people. Give dead people life again. Heal those people that have leprosy. Force demons to leave people. I give you these powers freely. So help other people freely.

Matthew 10:1, 8

Then Jesus answered, "Woman, you have great faith! I will do the thing you wanted me to do." And at that time the woman's daughter was healed.

Matthew 15:28

Jesus said to the officer, "I will go and heal him." The officer answered, "Lord, I am not good enough for you to come into my house. All you need to do is command that my servant be healed, and he will be healed. I myself am a man under the authority (power) of other men. And I have soldiers under my authority. I tell one soldier, 'Go,' and he goes. I tell another soldier, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and my servant obeys me. {I know that you also have power like this.}" When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Jesus said to those people that were with him, "I tell you the truth. This man has more faith than any person I have found, even in Israel. Many people will come from the east and from the west. Those people will sit and eat with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. And those people (the Jews) that should have the kingdom will be thrown out. They will be thrown outside into the darkness. In that place people will cry and grind their teeth {with pain}." Then Jesus said to the officer, "Go home. Your servant will be healed the way you believed he would." And at that same time his servant was healed.

Matthew 8:7-13

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.