14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”
17 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.
19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”
So Little Faith
Those who are in the crowds Jesus is talking to have no faith. His disciples have little faith. Jesus has much faith. The amount of miraculous and world-changing work a person is able to do is directly related to their amount of faith. If a person has no faith, their perception will be that the physical realm is all that there is. They will look to technology and scientific discoveries for hope. Although disciples trust that science can be used for good, they do not look to it primarily. There are those who think that faith is anti-science and limits thinking. Faithful thinking encompasses science and is broader in its thinking because it allows for more holistic approaches to life. As well as the scientific, the emotional and spiritual can be fully explored. Science tends to reduce emotional and spiritual phenomena to synaptic impulses or electrical flow. This is the means by which signals are transmitted in many cases, but it is not the whole story. Those who have bought into the limited perspective of scientific naturalism tend to accuse people of faith as being stupid. People of faith they say just stop the discussion with statements of faith. How does lightning form? God does it! What is the internal fluid of the eye? Whatever God put there. There is a faith community that embraces shallow thinking and stupidity, however, there are those who go deeper and ask, “If God forms the lightning, how does he do it?” They believe that God reveals himself and not all that we experience is divine mystery. So when we deal with illness, troubles and trials we can engage with science, but it must be done with an holistic perspective that develops faith.
- What are Jesus’ disciples not able to do?
- Why can’t they do it?
- How are faith and healing related?
- How do you approach mental illness, sickness, and trials?
- How could your faith be increased in your approach to life’s problems?
20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”