Matthew 17:18-20 NRSVue
18And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was cured from that moment. 19Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” 20He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly I tell 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 for you.”,
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Some thoughts on this scripture
I take my place in this drama, wondering how it will end. Am I the distraught, despairing, beseeching father? Or the suffering epileptic son? Or the helpless disciples? Or one of the crowd, hoping against hope to see suffering relieved? I watch you, Lord, and ask that I may one day have the sort of mountain-moving faith you speak of.
The man is nameless, a representative of the many fathers who pray for their children - mothers too, and each of us who prays often for someone we love. All human life is in the gospel of Jesus, the men and women who brought their own ailments or their cares about others to him. We know of their faith and of Jesus' positive response when people have faith. Faith may be small, like the smallest seed we know, or like a drop of water. Joined to the power of Jesus, our faith can work small or great miracles.
The father seemed to have more faith than the disciples. His faith touched Jesus and he noticed the difference between their faith and his. Love of a child or indeed any love can strengthen faith. Faith and love are intimately linked in the Christian experience. We can understand what Jesus is about and believe in him only when we know we are loved by him and can grow in our love of him.
The disciples went back to Jesus with their question. I keep this image in mind as I bring the questions of my life before Jesus.
As I ask for greater faith, I ask for a greater ability to trust those around me. I pray for a belief in myself that is founded on God's truth.