I want to talk with you today about a familiar scripture or set of scriptures in Matthew 17. It is talking about the man who brought his son to the disciples and they could not heal him or set him free.
At this time, the disciples had seen Jesus heal people; they had witnessed Jesus set people free from demons. They had watched Jesus do numerous miracles right before their eyes. They knew exactly what to do and how it worked. They knew the power that was available.
The Bible says just a few scriptures before that people were amazed because they saw the dumb speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they recognized and praised and thanked and glorified the God of Israel. The disciples knew and recognized what and who was in their midst, they knew what to pray – they had watched it over and over again with miraculous results! However, when they tried to pray they did not get the same results.
Matthew 17:15-20 in the Amplified Bible says; Lord, do pity and have mercy on my son, for he has epilepsy (is [a]moonstruck) and he suffers terribly; for frequently he falls into the fire and many times into the water. And I brought him to Your disciples, and they were not able to cure him. And Jesus answered, O you unbelieving (warped, wayward, rebellious) and [thoroughly perverse generation! How long am I to remain with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to Me. And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus and asked privately, Why could we not drive it out? He said to them, Because of the littleness of your faith [that is, your lack of [firmly relying trust]. For truly I say to you, if you have faith [that is living] like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, Move from here to yonder place, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.
We have all read this story and we usually talk about the absence of faith from the disciples, even Jesus said they were lacking faith, but that is not what I want to share about today. I want us to look at what they did when they didn’t get the results they wanted.
They didn’t go to Jesus and say ‘the boy didn’t have faith.’ They didn’t say ‘the boy must have had sin or maybe God did this.’ No, they PRIVATELY took Jesus aside and said ‘okay Jesus, we did what you did, what you showed us to do and we did not get the same results, what happened? Why did it not work the same way for us?’
The disciples did not stop following their Lord, they did not stop listening to his teaching, and they did not walk away from God. All they did was ask Jesus what went wrong. And He answered them and told them what went wrong. Jesus didn’t forbid them to pray for anyone else or say ‘you must not have what it takes’ no, instead he told them the problem and how to fix it.
The Bible says we have not because we ask not. The Bible also says if we ask, He will answer and will NOT withhold the answer from us. We only have to ask.
We have all been through times when we have prayed and not seen the answer or the outcome we wanted, haven’t we? But have we taken Jesus aside and privately sought Him for the reason we didn’t get the outcome we wanted? I don’t know about you, but I know I don’t always or even often do that. However, for me, this is a game changer. I will no longer just think ‘well, maybe it wasn’t God.’ No, instead I will schedule a private meeting with my Lord and ask Him what went wrong and how I can fix it and I am fully confident that He will give me an answer; after all, He promises me He will in His word.
What situation didn’t turn out the way you hoped? Take that situation to the Lord, spend quiet time with Him and ask Him what went wrong and why it didn’t turn out the way you thought it would and wait for His answer. He will tell you and if need be, He will even show you any adjustments you need to make. He’s that good! All the time! He wants to see you prosper and in health even more than you do….He will give you an answer…just ask.