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Matthew 17:14-27

Saturday, 5 December 2020

And He [Jesus] 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.” -Matthew 17:20

The foundation of Christian life is faith. Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God…” The same verse continues to state that this faith is based on the firm belief in the existence of God and an unwavering trust that God hears prayer.

During His earthly ministry, Jesus taught the basics of faith through practical lessons. He took the disciples along with Him and they were witnesses and even participants in the ministry. In our reading for today, Jesus encounters the littleness of the faith of disciples when they failed to cast out a demon from a boy who was being tormented. Jesus further explains here the type of faith that we need – dynamic like a mustard seed which when planted does not remain the same – a process happens within it and it grows to become a tree! The disciples have seen the power of Jesus transforming situations and lives! Yet when left alone to deal with, they could not demonstrate the dynamic faith that they thought they possessed.

In verse 19, when they approached Jesus and asked, why they could not cast the demon out – it tells us that they tried to do it! Would they have thought because they were with Jesus for some time now, the demon would flee??!! Or could it be that they thought they had seen it happen many times in the past and therefore it should /would happen now also??!! Or could it be that they thought their position as a disciple would inevitably grant them the authority over demons??!! Or did they think that they know the spirit world well enough, as their Master would have taught them, therefore this demon is easy to put out?

There is a lesson here for us to learn: our pride of our acquaintance with Jesus/ our haughtiness of having past experiences, our boasting of our privileged position/our ego of having the knowledge/our casual approach by belittling the situation - all can often hinder faith from working! Jesus remarked here “Because of the littleness of your faith…” When any of the above is ruling our minds, then we will not be able to demonstrate our faith in God, rather, it may become an attempt to exercise our faith in ourselves!!

The right mind set to demonstrate our faith is given in James 4:7 “Submit to God!” That alone is the right attitude that a believer should always have so that God can demonstrate His power through him. We must serve Him through His Grace only and it is possible to receive grace when we are humble (James 4:6). This verse also tells us a measure of grace! “He gives a greater grace.”

Although the Bible defines faith, in the given context we can see the demonstration of faith as: grace working through humility! Abraham was weak, but he was always the friend of God and was always humble – his faith manifested through his life is etched in the pages of the Bible. Moses was humble with a rock-like faith in God and God’s power was seen through him!

We too, when we try to exercise our faith, what is the predominant factor? What controls our mind? Are we glorifying God or satisfying ourselves? Miracles were happening through the ministry of Peter and Paul – yet never did they use it for their personal glory – they did never advertise it!!

May we become the vessel in which a greater measure of grace can be filled - so that our faith will always be manifested for the glory of God alone!!

Thought for the Day:

Christ will always accept the faith that puts its trust in Him.

-Andrew Murray



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