Matthew 17:14-21 From the Mountain top to the Mission Field

While Jesus was on the mountain top with 3 disciples the other disciples were ministering down below. They were also arguing with some of the scribes according to Mark 9:14 who were asking how they had the authority to heal and minister to the people. Many people were looking for Jesus and since Jesus had already sent the disciples out to minister they were more than likely already ministering to those who had arrived.

Illness and demon possession where related back then.

Lunatic was a term that derived from the moon because they thought the lunar cycles had something to do with how a person acted.

Many still believe this today and will make comments about it being a full moon.

The father’s plea to Jesus was understandable because the man was looking for answers and no one seemed to be able to help him not even the Disciples of Christ. You could imagine his son having seizures which would cause him to fall into fires if he was next to one or into watering holes for the animals. It must have been a terrible time for the father who constantly had to save his son from danger of hurting himself.

Burns on the boy must have been noticeable but you can also imagine as a parent the pain the child would have been in with no relief. The long nights moaning and screaming would have been more than any parent could take. With no relief in sight the father was desperate to help his son.

The Disciples had done ministry without Jesus before and were given the power by Him to do so, but this time they were having difficulty.

Matthew 10:1,7-8 And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers,cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.

So this is nothing new to them to do and were probably willing to help many of the people out as they could but now this one they did not seem to have any success.

Faithless and Twisted Generation, How Long must I be with you

They became like the people instead of being set apart. Jesus disappointment is because they doubted when they should have had faith in what God could do through them. Maybe they started to believe in themselves instead of the one who they received their power from.

A common theme for them was to doubt Jesus even after all they had seen and experienced. They saw Jesus calm the Storm, feed thousands, raise the dead and do so many miracles they could not record it all, but yet they still doubted. It is a similar  frustration of parents when we hear our children say they can’t when they did not even try. The way it is written they must have tried but in their immediate failure they quit.

Perverted or Twisted means to bend out of shape. It was the term used for pottery that was carelessly molded before being hardened in the oven.

It is the main reason for taking the truth of Christ so seriously is because so many are twisting and perverting the truth of Christ.  People followed Christ for the wrong reasons. Some followed Him for what He could do for Him, some just because they were thrill seekers to see all the miracles. Some followed Him to see if He would mess up so they could trap Him and turn the people away from Him.

This happens today as many people twist the things of Jesus to make them fit their lifestyle instead of making their lifestyle fit Jesus or they have been taught a twisted truth about Jesus. I am amazed at how many people do not believe in the Bible yet at the same time want to make it say something different than it says. If you do not believe the Bible then why do you care that it calls something sin or that Jesus is the only way to Heaven?

Jesus rebuked the demon and the boy was healed instantly

Notice that the demon not the boy is rebuked. We must always have compassion on those who have been trapped by a sin that they have allowed to control their lives. It is easy for us to look down on people because of the sin they are addicted to instead of seeing and rebuking the sin that is destroying their lives. Always hate the sin and not the sinner and you will be more like Christ.

The demonic realm has no power over Christ or His followers. We do not believe that the power of evil is anywhere close to being equal with the power of Christ. We do not believe in the Ying and the Yang which teaches that good and evil are equal and battling it out. (It also teaches they bring balance which we also do not believe)

Then the disciples came to Him Privately / You have little faith

Jesus told them they had little faith

Faith is not an activator to get God to do your bidding. It is trusting in Him no matter what happens.

I have heard some false teachers talk about God as if He is trapped waiting to do something but if you do not have faith He cannot move. We need to be careful that we do not put God into a box.  Faith means trusting God no matter what the scenario, not if He answers our request.

Little faith is when you can see the end result or the money is in your possession or life is back in control and so you know your prayers will be answered. Big faith is not being able to see how God can come through and believing He will anyway.  Faith means that when God does not heal the disease you have faith that HE has a plan.

Some will say that you are not healed because of your faith but faith is trusting God even when things do not go your way. Part of the Disciples problem is that they gave up too soon. When the results did not come quick enough they moved on instead of waiting patiently for God to do the miracle.

We have this tendency to say we will trust God but when things do not happen fast enough we move on. Faith that gives up is not faith. Big faith waits for God even when it seems He is slow or not listening.

Faith as small as a Mustard Seed: Mustard Seed faith is persistent faith

Jesus is not speaking about faith that is small because He had already said they had small faith. Faith of a mustard seed means your faith grows as you grow in Christ.

A mustard seed would grow to be a12-15 feet tall tree.

So faith of a mustard seed is a faith that grows taller in its trust of God not a small amount of faith. A mustard seed was used to demonstrate ones potential to greatness as they grew.

Luke 11:5-10 And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence[c] he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

See Also Luke 18:1-8

The key is what your faith is in. Faith is in the person and work of Jesus Christ  not in our faith. To much emphasis has been placed on our faith instead of the one who we place our faith in. Faith that does not have its root in Christ is a false faith that will lead to you believing it is about you and what you can do.

Tell this Mountain to move: A common expression and proverb for overcoming problems or impossible situations.

This was not to be taken literally but to show that when you do Gods’ Will God’s way you will overcome the obstacles that are in your way.

Mark 9:28-29 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.


1)   Plead in your prayers

Philippians 4:4-7 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

People are worried, anxious and fearful because they do not see God either caring or meeting their needs. It starts with rejoicing because it is as we remember what He has already done that we can trust in what He can do.

1 Peter 5:7  God cares for you

Romans 8:28 God is working all things for the good. (not always your good)

Prayer acknowledges first of all that God is in control no matter how bleak things may look. We must go to the one who can change things and trust in Him no matter what we face.

Have you prayed about your situation?

2)   Persist in your faith

George Muller prayed for 5 friends consistently. The first one came to Christ after 5 years, two more after 10 years, the fourth after 25 years and the fifth one came to Christ right before he died, 50 years later.

We have a tendency to give up when things do not work out quickly. Trusting God in the midst of this life is tough and we need to do so for the long haul to see Him work. Faith of a mustard seed is us continuing in what we know while we wait for what we do not know.

Job 13:15 Though he slay me, I will hope in him;   yet I will argue my ways to his face.

Daniel 3:16- 18 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.[d] 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

Hebrews 11:7-8 By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.

See also Hebrews 11

Let your trust in God determine your faithfulness not your circumstances.

It is in the storms of life that our Christianity shines the brightest.

Isaiah 26:3 as we trust God we will have peace

No one will understand in the midst of all the problems you face  how you can continue to have peace. Peace comes from trusting in Christ not because everything is going our way.

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

If you are lacking the peace of God in your life then you are not trusting Him and the only way you can get that back is through prayer and His word.

To whom or what are you running to for help?

Plead in your prayers and persist in your faith.

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