The Gospel of Matthew: a commentary & meditation 
 "Nothing will  be impossible to you"

Scripture: Matthew 17:14-21

14 And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and kneeling before him said, 15 "Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic 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 perverse 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 him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured 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 as 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 to you." [21 But this kind never comes out except by prayer and fasting.]
Meditation: What kind of faith does the Lord expect of us, especially when we meet set-backs and trials? Inevitably there are times when each of us disappoint others or disappoint ourselves when we suffer some kind of set- back or failure.  In this gospel incident the disciples of Jesus fail to heal an epileptic boy.  Jesus' response seems stern; but it is really tempered with love and compassion. We see at once Jesus' dismay with the disciples' lack of faith and his concern to meet the need of this troubled boy and his father. With one word of command Jesus rebukes the evil spirit that has caused this boy's affliction and tells the spirit to "never enter him again". Jesus tells his disciples that they can "remove mountains" if they have faith in God.  The expression to "remove mountains" was a common Jewish phrase for removing difficulties.  A wise teacher who could solve difficulties was called a "mountain remover".  If we pray with expectant faith God will give us the means to overcome difficulties and obstacles.  When  you meet trials and disappointments how do you respond?  With faith and trust in Jesus?

"Lord Jesus, help my unbelief!  Increase my faith and trust in your saving power.  Give me confidence and perseverance, especially in prayer.  And help me to bring your healing love and truth to those I meet".


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(c) 2002 Don Schwager