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Scripture Reading: Matthew 17:14-21
A Demoniac Boy is Healed
Parallel account is recorded in Mark 9:14-29
1. One of the compelling traits of Jesus is His compassion toward the weak and suffering (Matt 4:23-24; 9:35-36; 14:14; 20:34).
2. The miracles of Jesus continually remind us why we put our faith in Him as the Christ, the Son of the living God!
a. The Father revealed this truth through the words and works of Jesus, Matt 16:16-17; Jno 5:36-37.
b. The transfiguration of Jesus gave a glimpse of His glory and power to 3 apostles, and Jesus explained He is the Messiah of whom Malachi spoke and John announced, Matt 17:10-13.
I. RECORD OF THE MIRACLE: Matthew 17:14-21; Mark 9:14-29.
1) The multitude gathered around the disciples, and scribes were disputing with them (they had failed to heal the boy), Mk 9:14.
-Lesson: There will always be skeptics due to hard hearts, Jno 12:37-41.
2) Man’s son, who was afflicted with seizures due to demonic possession, is brought to Jesus, Matt 17:15; Mk 9:17-18, 21-22.
-Lesson: Sometimes the innocent suffer; not a reason to reject God, Job 2:9-10.
3) Disciples could not heal the boy (Matt 17:16; 10:1). Jesus said it was due to their unbelief, Matt 17:16, 19-20.
-Lesson: Disciples need to trust the power of faith, Lk 17:5-6.
4) Jesus rebuked unbelief (incl. the disciples), Matt 17:17; Mk 9:(14-16) 19.
-Lesson: God is longsuffering, but He will punish unbelief, 1 Pet 3:20-21; 2 Pet 3:9.
5) The goodness of Jesus (His power and compassion) stirred an appeal for faith in the father, Mk 9:23-24.
-Lesson: God’s goodness urges people of faith to repent, Rom 2:4.
6) Jesus commended the power of faith, Mk 9:23 (to the father), Matt 17:20-21 (to His disciples).
-Lesson: Faith is the victory that overcomes the world, 1 Jno 5:4-5.
7) Jesus cast out demon and healed boy, Matt 17:18; Mk 9:25-27.
-Lesson: Jesus does all things well, Mk 7:37. He can save you, too!
8) Jesus explains to His disciples their need for faith, prayer and fasting, Matt 17:20-21.
-Lesson: Faith must be coupled with devoted service in order to please God, Heb 11:6.
II. ADDITIONAL LESSONS.
A. Our Lack of Faith can be Another Person’s Excuse not to Believe, Mk 9:14-18; Matt 17:17.
1. How a Christian servant served his master, 1 Tim 6:1.
2. How a wife/mother conducts herself, Titus 2:4-5.
3. How young men conduct themselves, Titus 2:6-8.
B. Christ’s Power over the Demonic World Assures us Victory over Sin, 17:18 (Mk 9:25); Eph 6:10-13 (1:21).
C. The Power of Faith in Christ, Heb 11:6.
1. It is not this: If you have faith you can do whatever you want done. This wrong definition leads many to reject God, because they say, “I believe in God, but He didn’t do what I asked!”
2. It is this: If you have faith, you can do everything God wants you to do! cf. Mark 11:23-24; Jas 4:15
a. “Your will be done”, Matt 6:10.
b. Christ’s will was for them to work miracles (Matt 10:1).
c. They had to remember to strengthen and practice their own devoted faith (prayer and fasting) to do God’s work.
D. “Faith-Healers” Accuse the Wrong Person of a Lack of Faith when Their Fakery Fails!
1. It was the faith of the disciples that was lacking, not a lack of faith in the boy (or the father), Matt 17:19-20; Acts 3:6, 16; 4:7-10.
2. The father’s plea for faith was seeking a reason to believe; the very thing Jesus’ miracle provided! Mk 9:22-24
3. Age of miracles through the agency of men has ceased, since their purpose has been fulfilled and their means of transmission has ended:
a. Produce faith; validate the gospel, Jno 20:30; Mk 16:20.
b. Assist in completing revelation, 1 Cor 13:10.
c. Holy Spirit baptism of apostles and the laying on of their hands, Acts 1:8; 8:18.
1. “Lord, I believe: help my unbelief” (Mk 9:24).
2. We must be strengthened in faith and not waver through unbelief, and eternal rest from the devil’s attacks will be ours, Rom 4:20.