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 NLT
Illustration of Matthew 17:14-18 NLT — "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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 10:1, 8
  • Matthew 15:28
  • 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.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.