When they came to the crowd, a man [with a demon-possessed son] approached Jesus and knelt before him. “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. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”Matthew 17:14-16 NIV
Why were the disciples unable to heal the boy? After all, Jesus had given them power to do this (Luke 9:1).
Matthew 17:20 answers this: “Because you have so little faith.” Mark 9:20 adds: “This kind can come out only by prayer.”
But why was the disciples’ faith so small and their prayer life lacking at this particular time?
The context informs us that the just before this, Jesus (with Peter, James, and John) had been away having their own glory moment on top of a mountain. The disciples attempting to heal the boy had been on their own.
I wonder if the absence of their group leaders attributed to their lack of faith?
It’s easier to believe when strong leaders are standing with us, guiding us, and inspiring us.
In her Bible study, Jesus the One and Only, Beth Moore says: “We’ll never discover what God has empowered us to do personally if we’re dependent on the presence of our leadership. We’ll never discover our strengths in the power of God if we keep drawing off another’s.”
In the dearth of good leadership, I am challenged to go directly to my Lord to fill my own “power shake of faith,” (as Beth calls it) rather than sip out of another’s.
Beth Moore, Jesus, the One and Only, (Nashville, TN: LifeWay Press, 2000), 126.