Matthew 17: 14-20
Hab 1:12–-2:4 / Ps 9:8-13
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)
Why is it that I only believe
The Giver once I receive the gift?
My faith is weak in this life I live,
Lord, forgive me for my unbelief.
When they came to the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, knelt before Him and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.” And Jesus said in reply, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.” And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured at once. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” And He said to them, “Because of your little 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 17:14-20)
Jesus and His three closest apostles had gone up to a mountain where our Lord was transfigured. The other apostles, left on their own, were trying out their “delegated powers” that Jesus had entrusted to them while He was away. But that “power” was not going to drive out any demons that day, simply because these apostles had little faith on the Source of that power, Jesus Himself.
In one of our Bible sharing sessions, a brother related how vital faith plays a role in the healing ministry. He said the reason why some people are prone to disease, or are easily possessed by the devil is due to their lack of faith. Conversely, it is the power of faith that drives these vile spirits away. It was because of his “little faith” that the father received our Lord’s help for his son. On the other hand, it was due to their lack of faith, or their understanding of its power that the apostles failed to cast out the evil spirit.
As Christians, we believe that everything comes from God. We own nothing, as we are fond of saying that we are merely His stewards. We have no power to control our destiny; God has already accomplished it for us. All that is required of us is to have faith, even just a little, to believe that Christ is the Son of God Who redeemed us by sacrificing Himself on the cross, and resurrected again to prove His divinity and give us hope. “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1)
Faith is the only condition for our salvation. Faith (or the word “believe”) is mentioned in the Bible more than five hundred times. The Word of God assures us that if only we believe we will never “lose our life”. Abraham and all the patriarchs were favored by God because of their faith and nothing else. All the apostles and the martyrs and saints who followed them were glorified by God because they were steadfast in faith. As St. Paul said, “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Cor 15:58)
Dear Lord, help me to overcome my unbelief whenever my prayers do not seem to reach You. Forgive me for doubting You, and help me to understand, and to accept those I cannot comprehend. Help me to trust in the power of faith; give me the grace to develop this gift, so that I may be able to perform the ministry You have in mind for me. Amen.
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