Grow Through The Gospels - Matthew 17

Pastor Ed Young - Lead Pastor of Fellowship Church
Ed Young

June 19, 2024

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Grow Through The Gospels - Matthew 17

Read: Matthew 17

Matthew 17:16-20 “‘I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.’ ‘You 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 at 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. Truly I tell you, 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.’”

Think

Jesus, Peter, John, and James had just come down from the Mount of Transfiguration, where they had witnessed Jesus in all his glory. As they descended, they were met by a bustling crowd and a desperate father whose son couldn’t be healed by the disciples. Jesus’ response was startling: “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me” (Matthew 17:17). His words were direct and left the disciples humbled and the crowd likely stunned.

Jesus quickly healed the boy, demonstrating his divine power. But who exactly was Jesus calling faithless and twisted? His words were aimed not just at the disciples, but the crowd, the entire generation, Israel, and even us today. The Greek word “geneá” covers a group, a nation, or an entire age. Jesus’ exclamation revealed his deep anguish over the unbelief and twisted thinking he encountered. This wasn’t impatience; it was a glimpse into the burden he carried, knowing how far humanity had strayed from God.

At that moment, the disciples were counted among the faithless and twisted. Their faith, though seemingly present, lacked the power to produce results. Jesus didn’t commend their effort but rebuked their failure. When the disciples privately asked why they had failed, Jesus’ answer was blunt: “Because of your little faith” (Matthew 17:20). This response was sobering, placing the responsibility squarely on their shoulders. Their ministry failure was due to insufficient faith.

This account challenges us to examine our own faith. Not every unanswered prayer or ministry failure is due to a lack of faith, but we must not dismiss the possibility too quickly. Jesus' rebuke is not meant to condemn but to encourage us to seek greater faith. “Little faith” is not a permanent label; it’s a call to growth. Jesus promises, “If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20). This promise is not empty; it’s a powerful truth meant to transform our lives. We are called to live with bold faith, believing that, through Christ, nothing is impossible.

Apply

Are there areas where you struggle to believe in God's power and promises? Think about past experiences where God has answered your prayers and shown his faithfulness; let that strengthen your trust in him. Pray bold prayers, step out for him.

Pray

Jesus, help me embrace your call to live by faith, even when it challenges me. Remove any doubts or fears that hold me back. Show me areas where I need to trust you more. Give me courage to step out, believing that nothing is impossible with you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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