When disciples have a problem

By | April 9, 2018 6:26 am

By Derrick Coble – West Sparta church of Christ

We don’t like problems! Problems leave us unsettled, perplexed, and distressed. But, we all have them and we all face them often – sometimes daily! Even the disciples of Jesus (while he was personally with them) had problems. One big problem had to do with their faith.

Matthew recorded how a man came to Jesus with an urgent need (Mat. 17:15-20). His son was possessed with a demon that continually overpowered him causing him to fall into fire and water. The man revealed that he brought his son to the disciples but they could not cure him. Jesus did cure the man’s son but not without addressing a big problem. The disciples wanted to know why they could not cast out the demon. It was a problem they could not solve alone. They had been given the power to cast out demons already (Mat. 10:1). The son was not in a condition beyond help and Jesus was still with them. There really should not have been a problem at all. But, Jesus revealed the problem in two strong terms: “faithless” and “unbelief.” All it took was faith as small as a mustard seed to cast out the demon but the disciples failed in trusting in the power of God, apparently not believing they could cast the demon out.

This is a problem that can affect Christians today as well. We don’t have miraculous power, but we do have the “glorious power” of God to strengthen us throughout our lives: “Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness” (Col. 1:11). It takes faith that God gives us strength to endure difficult times with patience knowing we can do all things through Christ (Phi. 4:13). He provides whatever is necessary for us to live a faithful Christian life. Yet, it takes faith to overcome the world (1 John 5:4).

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