Matthew 17:14–21 (click to view Scripture below)
Our reading today is the account of Jesus healing a boy who was demon-possessed. Those demons caused epileptic-like seizures in the boy. These seizures would actually throw the boy into open fires or toss him into bodies of water. We can only imagine how his family’s lives were controlled by their fear of what might happen to this young boy. Jesus is actually a bit disgusted at his disciples whose prayers seem to have little effect on the boy. He tells them that they lack faith and even a little faith is the most powerful thing on earth.
The kind of faith that Jesus spoke of was demonstrated in the life of Alex, a young boy at the Valley of Peace ChildHope school in Belize. During Alex’s first year at Valley of Peace school, his family received the devastating news that he had leukemia. The only hope for him was to travel to the neighboring nation of Guatemala and live with his aunt and receive treatment for this terrible illness.
Alex’s friends and teachers gathered around him and prayed for him as he left for Guatemala. They continued that prayer commitment for the 3 years that Alex remained in Guatemala. Alex is now back with his family and at the Valley of Peace school. He has been pronounced cured of leukemia and is thriving as he continues to study.
Jesus reminded his disciples that even a little bit of faith is powerful. It’s like the small mustard seed that grows into a huge plant. Jesus said, that kind of faith can remove obstacles in our lives, even those that are huge like mountains. Alex is healed, but just as importantly, the whole Valley of Peace school has had a lesson in the power of faith. They prayed fervently for three years and their faith in God’s healing power saw the removal of the mountain of leukemia.
Vice President, ChildHope
Prayer: Lord, I admit my faith is very small at times. Would you please allow that small bit of faith to grow every day? Please let me see my small seed of faith blossom and grow in the miracle that only you can bring to my life.
14 And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and, kneeling before him, 15 said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he has seizures and he suffers terribly. For often he falls into the fire, and often into the water. 16 And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him.” 17 And Jesus answered, “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.” 18 And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was healed instantly. 19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20 He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, 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.”
Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.