BSF Study Questions Matthew Lesson 18, Day 4: Matthew 17:14-21

Summary of passage:  After the Transfiguration, Jesus began traveling and preaching again.  A man approaches Jesus, asking for mercy on his son who has seizures and is suffering.  The disciples could not heal the boy.  Jesus, frustrated at the disciples lack of faith, chastises the crowd for its unbelief as well.  Jesus rebukes the demon and the boy is healed.

The poor disciples, still dense to Jesus and all he is, asks why they couldn’t heal the boy even though they have been granted healing powers to do so (Matthew 10).  The answer is their little faith.  With faith, they will be able to move mountains and nothing will be impossible for them.


9a)  The father of the boy

b)  To have mercy on his son and to heal him

c)  The disciples

d)  “O unbelieving and perverse generation, how long shall I stay with you?  How long shall I put up with you?  Bring the boy here to me.”  Then Jesus healed the boy.

e)  “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”  Basically, the father didn’t believe Jesus could heal the boy especially after the ineptness of the disciples so he asked for help to believe.

f)  One word:  unbelief.  Or Lack of faith.  Whichever.

10a)  All things are possible for those who believe.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Little faith is characterized with the presence of doubt.  It’s when you say this to yourself, “Ok, God, I’m going to pray that you bring me financial success” but your very next thought is you doubt it will happen or come soon.  You don’t fully trust God to do it.

Small faith is 100% trust in God and His ability to accomplish anything you ask.  You do not doubt Him.  It is small because faith grows over time.  It always starts small and grows from there.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I need patience more than faith.  Patience I will actually accomplish my one goal in this world of creating something that will touch others.  Faith it will happen.  For I do doubt especially when I finish a book that it will go anywhere.  Faith my dreams will be realized, Lord.

11)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Anything is possible with the Lord.  To take that in, believe it, banish all traces of doubt from my mind, and put all of my trust in Him and His ability to do great things in my life (not my ability which obviously is dismal to say the least).

Conclusions:  Great lesson.  I got more out of this than the Transfiguration study.  Not that it wasn’t good (it was).  It’s just this is what I needed to hear right now in this moment of my life.  God speaks to each of us differently and meets each of us right where we are at.

Read Mark’s version of this story (Mark 9:14-29).  Fascinating the added details and even the reason Jesus gives for the disciples inability to heal the boy.

We see one of the best prayers in all of the Bible here in my opinion given by this father with no recorded name:  “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”  We all doubt.  We all sometimes lack trust in God.  We all let our egos take over and believe we can do it without Him.  When this happens, pray this verse.  Pray for God to help you overcome your unbelief.  For you to return to Him and to let Him do it.  To overcome your pride, to let go of your doubts and anxieties, and be humbled before the Creator of the Universe and to rest in Him.

To believe.

Which takes faith.  And it takes Him.  So don’t let go…

End Notes:  Notice the similarities between Jesus here descending the mountain and Moses when he came off the mountain.  Both met with God and received incredible spiritual gifts.  Both met with unbelief.  Sad the unrepentant human heart.

Note how man fails even when blessed with amazing abilities but Jesus never does.  It is good for us to fail so that we rely on Jesus.  Otherwise, why would we need a Savior?

Again, we see Jesus’ frustration at his disciples and now that his time is approaching for the cross maybe even a bit impatient at their denseness.

What matters is where our faith is placed.  Is it in God or in something else?  Small faith in God is infinitely better than little faith in nothing or even great faith in something else such as ourselves, others, our careers, etc.

And if you have small faith in Him, it will grow to produce great things.