Read Matthew 17:14-20 (NLT)
Have you ever experienced a situation where you were asked by someone (perhaps a boss) to handle a task you felt unequipped to do? What was that like? Did you have enough faith in yourself to accomplish what you were asked to do, or did you doubt yourself?
In today’s reading, we find this scenario. Jesus, along with Peter, James, and John are coming back down from the mountain where the transfiguration takes place. It must have been an exhilarating experience. By the time they get to the bottom the other 9 disciples are in a sticky situation. Among a crowd of people, a man comes to kneel in front of Jesus. He begins to tell Jesus all about his son who was suffering from seizures and being thrown into the fire or water- certainly the doing of a demon. The frantic father goes on to say that the disciples couldn’t heal his son. After verbalizing his frustration with the disciples Jesus has the boy come to him. He casts the demon out, and the boy is well.
The disciples come to Jesus after a while and ask him, why couldn’t they cast the demon out? It wasn’t because they didn’t have the authority; Jesus had given them authority and sent them out. Jesus says it was because of their lack of faith. He goes on to tell them that if they only had faith as small as a mustard seed (the tiniest of seeds), they could move mountains. They could overcome any obstacle to fulfill God’s purpose, but the disciples failed to have faith. In other words, they doubted. Doubt is what prevented the disciples from healing the boy from the demon.
You may be asking, exactly how much faith do I need? The answer is only a tiny amount. Take a look again at the mustard seed. That small seed planted in the ground has the potential to grow and reach between 6 and 20 feet, a pretty substantial size. We forget that faith can start tiny, but if allowed to grow, it can reach heights we didn’t know it could. However, what often happens is that we allow doubt to creep in and steal our mountain-moving moments. “While faith moves mountains, doubt creates even bigger ones.”* Doubt is a nemesis to our faith. The only way to address doubt is to surrender it to God. In Mark’s account of the story, the boy’s father cries out to Jesus to help his unbelief. Seeing the father’s honesty of his lack of faith moves Jesus to heal his son.
Friends, what mountain would you like to move? Does it feel like something impossible for you? Then plant that seed and let it grow and you may just find out that moving mountains is possible.
Shining the Light Brighter – Here is where you can dig deeper to help you learn more and apply God’s word to your life.
- What is feeling like a mountain in your life right now? What is holding you back from moving it?
- Do you struggle with doubt? Surrender this over to God and ask him to help your unbelief. You will be surprised at what he can do.
- Has God done something amazing for you lately? Why not share your story in the comments. We would love to hear about it.
*Source of quote is unknown